Loyola Dream Team from the city made it to the grand finale of India’s Dancing Superstars

A sprained ligament, an inflamed heel, a broken finger, yet they go on… swinging, swirling and doing steps that make you wonder if they actually have bones in their bodies. And when they launch into adrenaline-pumping aerial acts, one doubts if the law of gravity applies to them at all. This motley group of dancers call themselves the Loyola Dream Team, and they dance as their name suggests…like a dream. The viewers of India’s Dancing Superstars have well figured it out by now and for those who just came in, this group of dancers from Loyola Dream Team made it to the grand finale of India’s Dancing Superstars, a dance reality show that recently concluded on Star Plus.

“Around 70,000 participants came for the auditions. And we were the only group from South India to make it to the show. In fact we are one of the first teams ever from the south to have reached the finals of a national-level television show,” says Raymond Callanan, the choreographer of the team and an alumnus of Loyola College. After he passed out in 2008, many of his juniors approached him with the idea of creating a dance team that would incorporate the best dancers from the various dance groups in the college. That’s how the Loyola Dream Team was formed. The team that participated in the reality show, however, consisted of 15 students currently studying in Loyola and two from SRM University.

Even though the Loyola Dream Team missedwinning the title, they are happy with their performance and the exposure they have got. “We received so much of support and votes. Most importantly, we made a lot of friends. It was like living in a big family. Most of us from here knew only Tamil and English and participants we met there spoke in Hindi, Marathi or other regional languages. So we got to learn a bit of other languages and shared a great bond despite lingual differences,” he smiles.

There were challenges aplenty as well. During the technical rehearsal, just a day prior to the finale act, one of the dancers doing a bulk of demanding steps had a ligament tear. He couldn’t perform and immediately the team shrunk to 16 from 17 members and the formation had to be reworked. The team believes obstacles such as these helped them grow.

Looking back on the successful journey Raymond says that this is the first time the team auditioned for a show of this level and made it. “And it’s definitely not beginner’s luck but intense training and brainstorming sessions that made it possible. Our strong point is street style dance and formations, so we stuck to it, and the judges were impressed,” he says. The most common question the participants were asked is ‘who is their favourite judge’ and the clichéd answer always was: ‘All three’. “Ashley Lobo, Geeta Kapur and Bollywood actor Riteish Deshmukh as judges were very supportive and approachable,” he says. The Loyola Dance Team’s facebook page had around 3,000 likes but after their stint on IDS the number has gone up to 32,000. Their popularity has soared as is evident when Raymond sheepishly tells us about the constant friend requests they receive on facebook.

Back in the city, it’s once again college, classes and exams for the students. But they have wonderful memories that will last till they make a mark on yet another platform, inspiring more people to dance.