She is someone for whom dancing has not been just a profession but a life partner. She breathes dance and finds it her happy place.
In close conversation with Simi Talsania as she takes us through her journey.
An upcoming star performer, Simi was born and raised in Mumbai. Her initial months of waacking were all about looking deeply into why the dance form started, as well as the whole thought process behind it. On digging further, she was able to tie it back to its roots, which entailed a continuous struggle with self-identify. They came from the gay community; the whole phenomenon of not being accepted back in the 1970s was their reason to start this dance form. The intention of changing their negatives to positives gave Simi the much-needed motivation to push herself even further, which, in turn, made her believe in this art form even more.
After gathering a lot of courage, Simi approached Tee-J (Tejasvi) to be trained under her.
“Tejasvi to me was a blessing. Because I found her exactly when I needed a mentor who would understand me and help me take that first step to become an artist. She has been a great inspiration to me and several others to take up this art form.”
There was never a moment of turning back for Simi even with her focusing on completing her education. Her apprenticeship with Tejasvi also gave her a chance to work with Queen of Waacking from Los Angeles, Kumari Suraj in her crew, House of Suraj.
“House of Suraj was an endeavour to bring together an amazing group of personalities and artists representing their countries . The group made it possible for us to reach out to the world. Being a part of the House of Suraj has taught me how to be liberal and understand Waacking even more deeply. I sincerely thank Kumari Suraj for teaching me so much about the world of dance and making me a part of her family”, remarks Simi.
Getting deeper into the conversation, Simi tells us that street dance has seen some remarkable changes throughout the decade. She described how difficult it was for them to reach out to people around the world to learn, train, battle or even jam.
Moreover, the scope for dance in India was super narrow. But the constant effort of keeping the space alive and pushing it to the forefront has made it possible for several artists to be out there and be themselves.
“It is amazing to see how all the elements of street dance are getting the recognition they deserve which wasn’t there before”, exclaims Simi.
India is slowly reaching a point in professional Waacking that it had not seen before. Representatives from the country are making a space for themselves on a world level, brining in the desired recognition for India on the global stage.
As a performer, Simi wants to represent the country. She wants to take the art of Waacking and its community spirit to a world level and achieve the recognition that the community deserves here in India.
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