Posted on April 3, 2016 at 1:17 am

Bollywood Featured What's Happenin'

#Interview: Latin Dancer ‘Neeraj Maskara’ talks Dance Festival in Mumbai!

Dance brings many people together and many people love dancing because it makes them happy! Now this is one we have not heard of but we are excited about! It’s Dance Time! Founded by world renowned Salsa dancer Neeraj Maskara, Bailamos is a first of its kind dance fest where the best of talent from across the world and Asia will be coming together from April 8-10th at the Renaissance Mumbai Convention Centre Hotel, Powai.

Every evening the grand ballroom of the Renaissance Hotel will host a 2 hour breathtaking dance show featuring a lineup of 30 international artists like Adriana Rodriguez Calbajal, Anita Santos Rubin, 6 times world salsa champions and Andrea Bosonotto, Silvia Accosato, 4 times World Bachata Champions as well as the best of Indian talent including Terence Lewis Dance Company. The fest would also include 60 different workshops with 10 different dance styles taught by the world’s best instructors, parties where world class DJ’s take to the dance floor like DJ El Malo from Italy, DJ Hugo Boss from the UK. Lastly, beat the heat with the coolest pool party on the final day!

I had a chance to chat with Neeraj Maskara about the upcoming event Bailamos dance festival and here is what he had to say 

Whether you have two left feet or not, buckle up for the biggest dancing spectacle ever!

Neeraj and Gosia

How long have you been dancing for and did you look up to any role models when you were younger? 

18 years. When I was a kid like millions of other people my role model was Michael Jackson.

Later on with Latin dance I’ve had several other role models. 

Latin Dancing is quite intense and a good work out as many know. What got you keen on bringing it to India?

Though I have been living overseas since 18 years but I am still very connected to India. I’ve been seeing salsa, bachata, Kizomba forms growing in India so much in the last 10 years. I am really proud of it. I simply wanted to bring a massive international platform to India for the dance community here.

Neeraj Maskara

What can we expect from this huge dance festival and what can attendees get out of it? 

3 days and nights of celebration, a lot of inspiration and learning, jaw dropping performances, fabulous parties and an unmatched festive experience with the world coming together in Mumbai over that weekend.

Dance brings people together and they connect and dance makes people happy! With the Baliamos Dance Festival and the 30 artist who are coming what forms of dancing techniques will they be teaching everyone?

Salsa, bachata, Kizomba, hip hop, dancehall, contemporary, jazz.

Neeraj and Gosia (2)

What sort of workshops is included in the dance festival and is it open to everyone?

Over 60 workshops with all the above mentioned dance styles and all levels for complete beginners to professionals. Of course it is open to everyone whether you are a first timer or an experienced dancer. 

It must be thrilling to have Terence on board as well! What sort of classes will he be teaching?

It is great to have a brilliant dancer like Terence onboard. He will be teaching some very unique, exclusive contemporary classes. 

_DSC5652

As a world class Latin dancer what made you get into this form of dancing? 

I witnessed salsa in New York 18 years ago. Loved the energy of the party I attended and found this to be the most organized form of social dancing. It’s a happy dance with a lot of spontaneous partner work. No choreography. So I loved the art of being able to dance so beautifully with someone you’ve never met. The music and feel of dancing salsa is something incomparable to other dance forms I have seen and tried before.  

After India will we see Neeraj hit USA and or Canada with this festival? 

Haha. Not really. I’ve travelled to over 85 countries as an artist teaching at festivals. A lot of those countries already have wonderful festivals. I rather just enjoy them. However, I already organize another event in Singapore every year in August. The plan is to do more such festivals across India and other countries in Asia for the time being.

What’s next for Neeraj’s journey in the Latin dancing World? What can we expect for 2016? 

I have a massive tour around the world where I will be teaching and performing myself this year. Aside from Bailamos, the Singapore Latin Extravaganza is the next festival curated by me and I’m looking forward to that from Aug 12-14, 2016.

Neeraj and Gosia 3

When: April 8-10th, 2016
Where: Renaissance Mumbai Convention Centre Hotel, #2 & 3B, Near Chinmayanand Ashram, Powai Mumbai 400 087 India

For more details on the lineup and registration, log on to http://bailamosfest.com/