To almost the entire institute, the only memory of Thomso’s Footloose is the Choreography and Dance Section mercilessly thrashing their competition. Read on as Nidhi Srivastava, the current secretary of the section talks about the choreo family, their string of wins in inter collegiate competitions and how the recruitments might just leave you pleasantly surprised.
How has the Choreo Section changed your life? What is the best part about being in the Choreo section?
The Choreography Section taught me how to build a better bond with the juniors, seniors, rather everybody; to have more fun on the campus. I never thought that my life would end up being like this, because when I came I imagined all the students to be these extremely ghissu types, but the environment was totally different. Even today, I see the same environment in the Choreo Section,which is more like a family, I suppose?
We are not here to just dance, one of the main principles of this section, apart from following your passion, is to build a bond with the members. I have a motherly feeling to my juniors and it grows every year. It has been a pattern, I think, that the 4th year is close to the 1st year, and I think it is because of this feeling or sense of being like a parent on campus.
How is the choreo section structured?
We have one secretary, which is the post I serve, and there are two additional secretaries, Prajwal Bhatt and Agniva Si. Then we also have two joint secretaries each from the second and the third year. To be honest, the whole trend of secretaries doesn’t really matter, it is more of a superficial post, and everybody contributes equally to the section, which is nice.
How does the recruitment process go? There are basically three levels in the recruitment process. First, is you prepare your own dance sequence with your own choice of songs. The second stage is when we pick our own songs, the most random and challenging music, and you have to dance to that! This stage tests the ability of the dancer to adapt to various beats on the spot. The third is the interview round, where we end up talking to you to see that sense of group dynamics that I was talking about. This process of recruitments has been this way since the very start and the only element of mystery is the song in the second round.
Can you share some hacks for the recruitment process?
We are looking for a friendly person. One who can gel with the group dynamics. What we see in the interviews is how would he be able to mingle with the people of the section. Some people come for the centre stage and the limelight, which may cause problems in the group, so to avoid all of that we look for a selfless, friendly person. And of course, bakchodi toh aani hi chahiye!
One thing I would like to admit is that it is kind of difficult for boys to get into the choreo section, because one, there are so many of them and two, we expect boys to come up with something new and cool, like backflips and somersaults, maybe. The easiest hack, to be honest, is that you should do something that impresses us. Use your own discretion and impress us!
How did your recruitment go?
My recruitment was very normal. In the first round I picked “Twist” from that Saif Ali Khan movie Love Aaj Kal. However, the second round was kind of dramatic as they played a random ‘50s song, and asked me to dance to that! As if that wasn’t enough, they played “Pardesi, Pardesi..” next! And that’s how we take the recruitments. These songs are completely out of the blue and leave the most prepared dancers confused!
Your most memorable moment in the section.
Thomso ‘15. Anyday.
Towards the end of our performance in Thomso’15, I was supposed to be lying down, and as the song ended, the whole convocation hall audience rose with me, and every single one of us was overwhelmed with happiness, so I think that was one of the best moments on campus. And we did end up winning the Footloose event of Thomso ‘15.
Some recent glories and achievements of the section.
When I was in the first year, that was the year when Thomso came back after being discontinued for a while, and ever since then, we have been winning the Footloose event of Thomso, so it has been three consecutive wins for us! Last year, we participated in the IITK’s cult fest and ended up being the second runner ups. This trend of participation outside the campus started last year, so we hope we continue winning accolades for IITR!
How does choreo section help people who want to learn dance?
We do realise that people want to learn how to dance, but unfortunately, choreo section is meant for the performances in events like Thomso, Jashn and the orientations. So it isn’t possible to let people join the choreo section just for learning. We look for a certain prerequisite skill before we take that person in the choreo section, which is why the recruitments are the way they are. However, we do organise flash-mobs and events like those to teach the IITR junta how to dance, and events like FoS, which started just the last year, might help people who aren’t a part of choreo showcase their worth. We are going to try keeping more dance workshops too, like the contemporary dance workshop a couple of years ago and Garhwali Dance workshop the previous year.
Can you tell us a bit about the section’s Friends of Section initiative? Actually it is an informal event which the choreo section organises for people who are not it’s members. I guess the IITR junta loves, in fact everybody loves to dance and somehow not being a part of the section might lead to a lot of people giving up on their dream of performing on a stage. So this is a platform where people can show up and portray their talent. It is open for everybody.
There are a lot of people who miss out on their auditions for the choreo section in the first year, so what we have done through the FoS initiative is that we have made it easier for them to showcase their talent and if they do end up being brilliant, it is a huge plus point when they show up for their interviews in the next recruitment cycle.
Which is your favourite dance form? I have tried a lot of dance forms, but my favourite has to be contemporary!
The Choreography and Dance section goes recruiting in the MAC auditorium from 6-9 pm today and from 10-6 am on the weekends.