Akshat Singh: Dancing Away To Glory
A joy to watch, his moves on the dance floor are simply awe-inspiring. He aims to make viewers happy with his antics on stage. Meet Akshat Singh of the Golden Buzzer fame on Britain’s Got Talent.
By Monali Bordoloi
Akshat Singh, with his gravity-defying moves on the dance floor, proved to the world what he has always believed in – that ‘fat boys can dance’. He rose to prominence after his performance in a regional dance reality show, Dance Bangla Dance. And in the latest edition of Britain’s Got Talent (BGT), Akshat floored the judges with his cheeky expressions and his amazing antics on the dance floor. Just 13 years of age, Akshat is now basking in the limelight of his recent success in the BGT show, where he impressed everyone and earned a Golden Buzzer from the hosts and judges. The Golden Buzzer in BGT sends the contestants directly to the semi-finals.
Here is Akshat's BGT video that went viral. Watch the Golden Buzzer moment!
How it all began...
Akshat’s journey to fame and glory began in the narrow lanes of Kolkata. When he was four, Akshat, who was growing up on a diet of Salman Khan movies and dance numbers, told his parents he wanted to learn how to dance. His parents, Abhay Singh and Uma, enrolled him in a neighbourhood dance class. But in class, he was ridiculed for being overweight. His teachers too felt he would not be able to dance. That early setback only made Akshat more determined to ace all the dance moves, come what may. He enrolled for gymnastics classes and paid attention to flexibility.
At the young age of six, he gained enough confidence to participate in a dance reality show conducted by the TV channel, Zee Bangla. The rest, as they say, is history. For Akshat, that show proved to be a stepping stone to success. His flexibility on the dance floor caught everyone’s attention. His next stop was the stage of Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa. Even there, he danced his way to viewers’ hearts with his fluidic movements, not to mention his positive spirit.
Next, he participated in the pan-India show India’s Got Talent in 2014. As his fascination for Salman Khan had only grown stronger with the years, he decided to perform to the actor’s song during a stage performance for India’s Got Talent. Dressed in a police uniform and riding a toy bike, Akshat bowled over the judges. A video of his performance went viral. That was another turning point in Akshat’s career.
Soon, the video of him dancing and doing stunts caught the fancy of the Ellen DeGeneres Show’s team and he was invited to perform on their show. He accepted the invitation and conquered hearts there too. And there was no looking back after that.
Akshat made an appearance in numerous dance-based shows and performed to comic acts in shows like the Kapil Sharma Show. That was just the beginning. He continued to win hearts and make people smile with his antics on stage. Akshat successfully participated in many national and international shows and even made an appearance in Australia’s Little Big Shots. He also advertised for a Japanese brand of rice crackers, which went on to become very popular in Japan.
Salman Khan continues to be Akshat’s idol and the youngster was elated when he finally got to meet the actor in real life. He says, “I am a huge Salman Khan fan, more so as he is someone with a big heart and a genuine human being. I also like Michael Jackson’s awesome dance moves.”
Recently, Akshat made a foray into movies and acted in the dance-based Tamil movie, Lakshmi, helmed by Prabhu Deva. He made his debut with the Malayalam movie Ayal Njanalla. He also acted in a Russian movie called Best Friends. His other Bollywood and Hollywood projects are all under production.
Away from all the reality shows and the limelight, Akshat is like any other regular teenager who is trying to balance his studies with his passion for dance. He is good at his studies too and tries to keep up with his classmates even when he has to miss school. Known as a foodie in the family, Akshat loves the chicken dishes prepared by his mother.
ParentCircle catches up with this energetic teenager just as he is preparing to go to bed – he has school the next day and dance practice. Here are the excerpts:
Congratulations on your achievement. How did it feel to be on BGT and earn the Golden Buzzer?
I was not expecting the Golden Buzzer, so it came as a surprise. After that, I got a standing ovation from the judges and the audience, which I realised was a huge compliment. I would like to thank my Gurus, Amir Sir, Sagar Sir and Subhas Sir, for helping me reach this stage.
Your parents played a huge role in your journey. How has their support been?
From the beginning, I have seen how hard my parents worked for me. It was because of their dedication that I was able to reach this stage. From the day when they first took me to a dance school till today where they travel with me to different shows, they have been extremely supportive. I am eternally grateful for that.
Your mottos, “‘To be happy and make others happy’ and ‘Nothing is impossible in life’” have won many hearts. Tell us more about them.
I have seen that sometimes people get so busy in their lives earning money or wanting to move to a bigger house or buying the latest car, that they forget to smile. I want those people to smile a little after watching me on stage. Also, there is a lot of negativity in our society. People often discourage you from trying to do something. So, I want to tell everyone out there that there is nothing impossible in this world if you put your mind to it.
Do you feel talent is inborn or is it a case of ‘practice makes perfect’?
I believe it is a combination of both. I believe in God and thank Him every day for giving me this ability to dance. But I also practice my dance every day for hours. I believe there is no shortcut to hard work.
You are famous for your box splits. Do you practice those splits?
Yes, I practise those regularly. I try to keep my body flexible with a lot of fitness training.
Does your weight hinder your performance in any way or leave you unable to do certain dance steps?
Not at all. I want to remove this misconception. Here is yet another motto of mine: ‘Fat people can dance’!
During BGT, how was the response to your performances?
For the introductory number, I danced to the devotional dance number, Deva Shri Deva. Then I performed to a Nicki Minaj number and improvised with some Bollywood moves. It was a hit with the audience and the judges.
How do you manage to balance studies and dance?
Apart from dance, studies have always been my priority. I carry my books whenever I travel and catch up on studies. So, I end up studying while waiting at the airport or in my hotel room. My parents also help me with my lessons since sometimes I have to skip school for shows. I would like to thank my school, Ryan International, and Snehal Pinto ma’am for their support.
Do you face bullies both online and offline? How do you deal with online trolls? How do you handle bullies in general?
The best way to deal with bullies is to ignore them. Initially, many people made fun of me and teased me for being overweight and dancing despite that. But I told them how proud I am to represent my country. That stopped them from bothering me further.
What are your future plans?
I would like to showcase my dancing talent at the international level and participate in many more shows. Acting is another passion which I am pursuing.
What is your advice to those children who want to take up dancing professionally?
I would like to tell other children who are passionate about dancing, to perform with all their heart. Also, they should not neglect their studies.
ParentCircle also talked to Akshat’s parents Abhay Singh and Uma. Here are the excerpts:
How has the BGT and Golden Buzzer experience been for you?
From the time he started participating in shows, we have always accompanied him. We went to BGT as well. It was a huge boost for Akshat to be able to perform before such an audience.
Of course, when he got the Golden Buzzer and a standing ovation, it was an emotional moment for us as parents.
How do you help him keep a balance between dance, studies and a regular kid’s life?
We don’t treat him as a star or celebrity at home. Luckily, Akshat is also down-to-earth. We just want him to do good work and be recognised all over the world for his dance.
What is your parenting style like?
Akshat has always been a good child, so there was never any need to be strict. We are like other regular parents – we guide him, praise him, love him unconditionally and scold him if he does something wrong.
Being in the limelight at such a young age can sometimes go to one’s head. How do you keep him grounded?
We try to keep things normal at home, now that Akshat is entering his teens. He knows his responsibilities. A positive conversation at home also helps him to remain grounded.
What are your aspirations for Akshat?
As his parents we want him to be a good human being first. We also hope that he fulfills all his dreams and that his passion for dance takes him places.
It is clear that Akshat has the right attitude to make it big. His passion for dance is infectious. It was lovely catching up with the young dancing star. Here is wishing him many more successes in the years to come!
About the author:
Written by Monali Bordoloi on 24 July 2019.
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