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Swinging success

ANUSHA PARTHASARATHY
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ACHIEVEMENT With 39 swing dance flips in a minute, Salsa guru Lourd Vijay has set a new Guinness record

ANOTHER FEATHER IN HIS CAP Lourd Vijay
ANOTHER FEATHER IN HIS CAP Lourd Vijay

I ndian Salsa guru Lourd Vijay has added one more feather to his cap — a Guinness World Record. The dancer (34) recently set a new record for the most number of swing dance flips in a minute, adding six more to the previous record of 33.

“I had no intention of breaking a record,” says the dancer, “I'm often in Mumbai to judge reality shows; I am also a talent scout. I was approached by the production company of Guinness in March to find someone who could break a record — there are many in dance such as rock and roll flips and hand hops. Surprisingly no one was willing to give it a shot.”

Vijay then decided to do it himself. He chose three of his dancers who would work with him on the record. “I needed girls who weren't too tall or heavy. The ones I picked were from across the country and, therefore, we couldn't start practising till everyone reached Mumbai about three days before we went on stage,” he explains.

Having introduced Salsa in 1997, Vijay has also been working to promote Latin culture music and dance in the country.

For this record, he says, mental preparation was important. “I have been doing Pilates for eight months and that helped me. The work-out focusses on core and upper body strength, which was necessary for the flips. On March 18, we reached Mumbai and practised for three days. We first saw how many flips we could do in a minute and then in 10 seconds. We reached 33 on the second day of practice and then became confident.”

And with 39 flips in a minute, the record was broken comfortably on the sets of Guinness World Records ‘Ab India Thodega'. “I didn't think it was a big achievement till it was aired and people began to call to appreciate me. But now, it feels good to have done something like this,” he says.

Following this, Lourd Vijay is engaging in a host of activities this year — his dance studio's Summer Festival Final, a tap dance workshop and an International Salsa Congress.

ANUSHA PARTHASARATHY

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