Dejan Tubic is here to teach hip hop and is open to learning Bollywood moves too

This is his first visit to India and Dejan Tubic confesses, “I am like an excited child, peering out of the windows and discovering a new world.” As he walks up to the terrace for the photo shoot, he spots a pigeon and remarks, “Ah, this must be the bird that wakes me up every morning.”

The Los Angeles-based hip hop dancer is on a month-long visit to teach students at the Shiamak Davar Institute of Performing Arts. After the first few sessions, he says, “The students are discovering that hip hop is different from Bollywood dance. Age is no bar; everyone gets a chance to learn. In different sessions, I taught children, young adults and even young moms. In the first class, the students were not sure and tried to pick up the moves. I could see the improvement in the second class. It was evident that they had practiced at home.”

Dejan Tubic, who will turn 21 this Sunday, started learning dance when he was 13. As a child, he was inspired watching music videos of Michael Jackson, Britney Spears and Chris Brown. “I was 16 when I got a job to dance for Chris Brown. Even today, I find his videos inspiring,” says Dejan, who has worked for Usher and Tony Braxston. Talking about his years of training, he shares, “I trained for a while with choreographers, developed my style and branched out. Now everyone seems to like what I do. I benefited from professional training and picked up freestyle hip hop moves from the streets. The best part is you can learn even in someone's backyard. It's all about exchange of ideas and learning the tips and tricks.” He loves hip hop over jazz and ballet and reasons, “There are rules to follow in jazz and ballet. Hip hop is more freestyle. As a dancer in the US, you need to make a choice between New York, the hub of traditional dance forms like ballet and jazz, and Los Angeles where you can do commercial work for music videos and other artistes. I chose LA and it's been good so far.” He also enjoys travelling and teaching dance. “It's gratifying to teach. You never know where a child you taught would go tomorrow. A couple of months ago I taught in China. I had one of the best times of my life. After India, I will be going to Germany, UK and Croatia. My mom comes from Croatia and I am looking forward to teaching there.”

During his month-long stint in Hyderabad, Dejan hopes to learn Bollywood dancing. “Maybe I should take classes from the other instructors here. The moves are so different,” he smiles.