The Dancing Star: Raymond Callanan

When he moves his nimble feet, you’re left in awe. A man of many talents, a dancer, choreographer, performer and entertainer Raymond Callanan from Chennai, leaves everyone captivated with his talent every single time he takes to the stage. Innovative and unique, he combines his witty sense of humour and novel ideas with a level of mastery seldom seen. In a candid chat with RITZ Magazine, Raymond talks about his passion for dance and what keeps him going.

Location Courtesy: SAVERA

Makeup and Hair: NATURALS CHENNAI

Wardrobe Courtesy: THAT1TOO.COM

When did you start dancing? Did you take any formal training in dance?

I have always been dancing as far as I can remember. Even as a kid I used to shake my leg to good music all the time. I’m a self taught dancer. But later when I found my calling in dance and got a chance to travel I had teachers started coming down to teach. I managed to attend dance classes and workshops and got some good training experience too.

When and how did you decide to take it up professionally?

I was performing professionally even in my college days. I eventually started working as a dancer and began taking up dance jobs and choreography around six years back. I made dance my full time profession, despite all the odds that this industry faced, because this is what made me truly happy.

What the turning point for you?

I guess when I won India’s Dancing Superstar show I knew that there was no looking back.

What were the challenges that came your way initially? How did you overcome them?

There were too many challenges, but then I was prepared for it. There is always a challenge in every profession and I was strong to face all the challenges. I was always just focusing on dance and I knew if I focused on what I really love, everything else will sort out on its own and that’s exactly what happened.

What have been some of the highpoints in your career so far?

It all started with winning the reality show on Star Plus called India’s Dancing Superstar. I also won Indian Hiphop Dance Championship, Jodi on Star Vijay, Kings of Dance on Star Vijay, Best Male Dancer on Vijay Television Awards and many more. I finally saw my dream come true when I opened my dance studio ‘House of Moves’.

 How are you different from the others in your industry?
It has to be my style of dancing and my choreography. I also think it’s my experience which goes to both extremes like stage and shoot, combining commercial and non-commercial elements.

Who are you most inspired by?

I have drawn inspirations from anyone or anything that inspires me, from Michael Jackson, Prabhudeva to the most amazing dancers I come across on Youtube. But these are just inspirations and I always like to follow my inner instinct and my personal style.

 Any big projects you’re currently working on?
I just started assisting choreography in movies and have completed one song with Prabhudeva and another one with Allu Arjun. Both of them have been one of the biggest dream projects in my life. I have to thank Ruel Dausan, the choreographer for giving me this opportunity.

What are your other passions?

I love unwinding on my play station and whenever its outdoor sports it has to be football for me.

What are your future plans?

My dream is to be a famous choreographer in the film industry.

As told to Namita Gupta.