You'd like to be smarter, erudite, more successful, and happier. And youknow that PRO Talks are full of lessons on how to get that way.
In this series we bring to you an exclusive interview with the dancer and choreographer Terence Lewis. You just need a few minutes to imbibe the amazing compilation of informative and educative talks that can make a lifelong impact on you.
This covers everything from how to be successful, to how can you get intothe dance industry, to how your passion can turn out to be a beautiful gift toshowcase the world.

Let's begin the journey of dance with Terence Lewis.

Q. What's your story, Terence? How did you start your journey in danceand choreography?*
I was born to dance, I guess because at the tender age of 6 and 8 I'd bewatching stuff on TV and trying to memories steps. So yes, I had rhythm but itwas all self learnt; watching Michael Jackson and other contemporaries.
Q. At what age did you start dancing?*
As I mentioned as akid I loved dancing at family weddings or at home to entertain my family andrelatives. The applause after a performance was reason enough to keepentertaining. It was only much later that I was introduced to dance training byPervez Shetty, my very first teacher.

Q. What were the challenges?*
Family pressure came early on when I chose to dance, they wanted me tohave a 9 to 5 job as we were a huge family of 8 and poor. Yet I decided tostand my ground and started teaching and earning my pocket money throughtuitions for school subjects post which I even started taking dance tuitions.

Q. Did your family support you?
Unfortunately, no, but I don't blame them because dance was not soeasily accepted as a profession then.
Q. What was the turning point of your life?
When I got a scholarship to train with Pervez Shetty I realised thatdance was a discipline I needed to follow. That was the first changing point. Severalyears later I was introduced to contemporary dance by Jaan Freeman and SusanneLinke, then there was no looking back.

Q. What made you take fitness sessions for celebrities and shift from dancingto becoming a fitness trainer?*
Dance, as I mentioned, was not so easily accepted even as a recreationalclass at those times so to reach out to an audience I decided to mix dance withfitness. That's how I got my major clientele from Bollywood. They were hookedto my dancer code classes and only a couple of years later I got called byAlyque Padamsee to choreograph Evita. That finally started my career on dance officially.*

Q. How did you make way for your passion; dance and choreography?*

By my grit, perseverance and never say die attitude; I am a go getterand very driven. Once I've made up my mind nothing can stop me and similarlyifmy mind is not into it nothing can convince me.

Q. What are the right steps to take dance as a career? How should one go aboutit?*
Once u know its dance that makes you happy and that you're willing towork hard for it (physically and mentally, dancing is taxing ) then you muststart training. Once your body is mouldable, you can adapt and learn severalother styles; start with basics and then select or fine tune your choice orstyle of dance.
Q. Is it better to focus on one particular style of dance and takeclasses mainly in that style and audition for companies of that style? Or is itbetter to try to be versatile and take classes in various styles and auditionfor a variety of companies?*
Yes it's very important to finally know what you enjoy most. Forinstance, I enjoy hip hop too yet my niche is contemporary.

Q. What are the growing avenues of dance in India?*
With so many dance academies cropping up the avenues surely are openingup. Dance reality shows are *also giving youngsters a lucrative openinginto the field of shows, sangeet performances, teaching and choreographing forstage shows too.*
Moreover dance is a big part of Bollywood movies so there again manymore youngsters are joining the dance fraternity as dancers or choreographerstoo.
Q. Who can opt for a career in dance and choreography?*
Dance is a skill but not everyone can dance or choreograph. Achoreographer is one who has a overall vision, the broader perspective,creativity in all fields not just the steps alone
Q. There are many dance enthusiasts who may not be extraordinary performers.What can their career prospects be?*
Those who are not good performers may be good teachers, or may even begood at choreography. Besides, if not dancers they could also be good managersat dance academies.

Q. What opportunities lie inside the dance industry?*

Choreography forshows, movies, musicals, sangeets
Performing at shows, musicals, movies*
Teaching at classes or for dance reality shows
Competing in dance reality shows
Starting your own dance academy

Q. Which dance form do you love the most?*

Contemporary, of course.*
Q. Is there a fixed period for a dancing career?*
The earlier the better, though I don't think there's an end period. Ifyou really want to, one can keep dancing*

Q. Is it necessary to be trained in dancing to build a career?*
Yes, for sure, dance is a discipline just like other art forms.*

Q. How many years of training are required to start a career in dance?
Earlier the better, the longer you train the better you get, learningshould never stop*.
Q. Choreography and dance, how different are they?*
They are different on many levels, dancers can't always choreograph andlikewise, not all choreographers make good dancers. To be able to do both israre and requires you to be two different people at the same time.

Q. What is the key skill required to be an extraordinary choreographer?
Extraordinary vision and an ability to look into all departments fromchoreography to lighting to makeup, hairstyling, costuming and yes being a goodlistener and counsellor too.*
Q. What is the key skill required to be a performer/dancer?*
The ability to keep going with a positive mind despite all odds; Physicaland mental fatigue is common.*
Q. There are so many forms of dancing. Which form, as per you, makes onethe most versatile dancer?
Ballet training is very important but most importantly if you keeptraining in various styles you will get versatile.*
Q. What is the period required to learn each dance form and become aprofessional and is there any age limit?
One should try to start early so the body adapts and is more flexible,dance is for all age groups but I doubt people would want to take up dance as aprofession post a certain age, especially if they haven't danced before at all.Yet, I believe in*'never say never'!
Q. You are a pro in dancing. What do you foresee in your dancing career?
I want to explore dance on a platform that I haven't explored before,could be on celluloid with me being the lead or even directing the movie.*
Q. How do you see dance? What does it mean to you?
Dance is an expression of my being and who I am, but there's more to me.I am multi-faceted and I want to explore more avenues of my creativity.*
Q. Why do you thinkpeople should choose dance?
If you have to wonder if you should dance or not, then you probablyshould not be dancing.
Q. Do dance talent shows really help in building a career in that field?
To kickstart, maybeyes, but people have short term*memories. You're as good as the last showon TV. So to sustain one has to keep at it, learning and training and being inthe limelight all work hand in hand.*
Q. What is your mantra for life?
Live and let live. Donot settle for mediocrity.*
Q. Could you give us one piece of advice for people who would like tofollow in your footsteps?
I'm not perfect butI work hard and am a student for life; I'll never stop learning or questioning.*