IIT students have dance on their mind

Mumbai They are not just high academic achievers but skilled dancers too. A group of IIT Mumbai students surprised all by winning UTV Bindass' Street Dance show last week, proving that a passion could be pursued successfully without compromising on studies. The next destination for these dancers of today and engineers of tomorrow -- choreographer Shiamak Davar's dance classes. The 13-member group called Insync consists of third year and fourth year engineering students. "We have been taking part in many competitions and came out victorious from most of them. So we wanted a new and bigger platform now and decided to go for TV show," Sushant Ratan, one of the members, told IANS. Insync was started in 2005 by a group of dance lovers who wanted to give creativity and academics equal importance. After their win on the Bindass, the group may expand and enrol more dancers. So how do they take out time from their gruelling study schedules? "It's a misconception that students at IIT only study and do nothing else. We do have a busy schedule, but IIT gives us a free hand to take part in any extra-curricular activity. In our case, it was dance," said Sushant. "We practise at night in our dance room. We go through videos on YouTube and also innovate steps. We sleep less and try to manage things in a way that nothing suffers," he added. Insync won the competition by showcasing a robust mix of street dance steps, including locking-popping, hand tutting and krumping. However, it has not limited itself to street dancing alone. The group is proficient in many other forms of dance too. "We do salsa, rock n roll, jive, a number of folk dances, Bollywood dance and even a few classical dances," said Sushant. After its win, the dance group was given a one- year scholarship at the Shiamak Davar Institute of Performing Arts and is looking forward to it. (Ruchika Kher can be contacted at ruchika.k@ians.in)