■ By Sugandha Rawal :
SHE is 15, and comes from a village with no electricity. He is 20, and hails from a lower middle-class family with bare access to daily resources. Together, they are the salsa dance duo Bad Salsa, and are winning global fans after impressing judges on the international reality show, America’s Got Talent. The Indian duo of Sonali Majumdar and Sumanth Maroju aspire to be international stars and win laurels and accolades for India with their salsa groove.
Their tryst with fame started when they won India’s Got Talent season four in 2012. Sonali also participated in Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions. “I come from a distant village near the Bangladesh border where there was no electricity. My father is a farmer who used to earn approximately Rs 80 per day and had a tough time raising the family. After India’s Got Talent, the village came into limelight and eventually electricity supply was made available. Now we own some land, and have built a house for our family,” Sonali told IANS, looking back at the challenges in her dance journey. Sumanth’s family broke many shackles to help him realise his dream.“In my lower middle-class family, dancing was never considered a profession. My family broke barriers and stereotypes to keep my dreams going.
My father is a railway employee with bare access to daily resources but has always supported our family in every way possible. We now reside in a flat in Bhubaneswar and our standard of living has increased,” Sumanth said. Looking back, Sumanth shared: “Our sir Bivash Chowdhury paired us in 2012 to participate in India’s Got Talent. His decision forever changed our lives.” “We just focused on working hard with a positive intention of doing great work and followed our sir’s instructions. Taking part in such a renowned show was always a distinct dream but Bivash sir made it possible for us.
He has shaped us into who we are today. While rehearsing our only aim is to keep getting better so we can constantly provide electrifying performances,” he said. “From India’s Got Talent to America’s Got Talent, we faced many ups and downs, but we never let it come in our way. Our sir always believed in us. We continue to stay with him as he motivates us to perform to our best.
Our journey is inspired by passion and dreams. We want to explore the world and spread our art to every corner of the world. Whatever the stakes, we will always give our best and continue to work hard to live our dreams and support our families,” he added. Earlier this year, the duo set the stage afire on America’s Got Talent, with their groovy moves on the Bollywood number Dhating naach. They received a standing ovation from judges Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and Sofia Vergara. They have cleared the first round of auditions and are awaiting second round of the show, which airs on Colors Infinity and streams on Voot Select.