Recall the latest Step Up movies where a bunch of young, incredibly-toned, glamorous dancers suddenly spring onto the street, put on the boom box and started dancing their bodies off like there’s no tomorrow? Well, Chennai could soon witness something similar to that spectacle — and what’s news — it’s going to be only the ladies tearin’ it up.
Say hello to G Squad India — the city’s first all-girls street dance crew, aiming to stun audiences in the hottest and most badass manner possible. Says Gayathri Rajendiran, one of the co-founders of the project, “All of us come from varied dancing backgrounds and we joined John Britto’s Dance Company for our higher education — that’s how we got to know one another. This is by the girls, for the girls and of the girls.”
The 20 girl-strong crew comprises senior members Kalai, Gayathri, Sahana, Thanuja and Susan, ably supported by Akshaya, Malini, Deepika, Prerna, Maha, Kavitha, Harini, Kavya, Shri, Priya, Vinitha, Swarna, Shamitha, Evangeline and Sahana Jr., with the guidance of John. “Although we come from different dance backgrounds, we have a common passion for hip hop. Individually, we have been a part of school and college dance teams, but once you finish your degree, there is no platform to help keep the passion burning. The best feature about being a part of this crew is that, we have international faculties as our mentors, who will be periodically visiting and guiding us through, making sure we stay relevant to keeping us world class,” grins Malini Karthikeyan, who is one of the younger dancers.
G Squad will also be representing India on an international platform — travelling, attending and initiating workshops. “We have an active social media presence, and are going to start our own channel that will feature videos of our choreography. We will also be promoting other international all-girls acts that will inspire young minds,” adds Susan whose style quotient is something to watch out for.
Having girls in the crew who have been trained, not just in hip hop, but also in salsa, Bharatanatyam, flamenco, Kathak, jazz, jive, belly dancing, lambada and more, Gayathri says they also want to use dance as a medium in various ways — “We have planned outreach programs to encourage dancers to go beyond just learning, but also nurture them. We want to extend our support to young girls, and associate ourselves with one cause, that would enable us in giving back to our society.”
They are also looking to launch a junior squad, adult crew, a Varsity crew and initiate a Mega Crew, which would consist of 80- 100 dancers. “Our vision is to be inclusive of all female dancers and turn this into a movement. We want to break away from the shackles and voice our thoughts through our movements, and grow beyond the norms that don’t make sense anymore,” muses Malini.
But of course, they will also have a good time while at it, adds Susan — “The idea of this crew is quite unconventional. We think outside the box, we are quirky and fun. You can expect us to surprise you!” Gayathri concludes, “We are here to make heads turn and get our swag on!”
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