Nyani Dnyaneshwar Kisane, 27, is one those few passionate dancers who has set a groundbreaking example to justify that dreams do come true and everything happens when you least expect it to happen. Popularly recognized in the scene by his stage name Ronnie, his love for dance and music has literally taken him places. This blog post is dedicated to all those dancers holding onto to a dream, pursuing which sounds totally meaningless, yet, there’s a small voice deep down that keeps whispering to not give up.
How It All Began?
Ronnie, in his early childhood days, started picking up on basic Bollywood dance steps after observing one of his close friends. Even some of Hrithik Roshan’s moves, at times, left him completely mesmerized. It was during these stages that Ronnie started embracing dance with incredible passion. As time passed by, his passion to dance kept taking shape and his whole life changed when he discovered HipHop.
Ronnie is one of those dancers who was caught in the HipHop wave introduced by VH1 and MTV back in 2006-07. The songs aired in these channels were mostly pop music and HipHop tracks from the 90’s. These music videos often showed glimpses of Bboys performing some “Never-Seen-Before” moves that usually left all its spectators awestruck. Ronnie says, “Yeh music sun kar hi aisa lagta tha ki isme kuch alag baat hai. Ek “WOW” factor tha yeh music mein jo bohot sahi lagta tha sun kar”
Time passed by, universe kept working in mysterious ways and Ronnie ended up making connections with members of Rohan & Group, one of Mumbai based early hiphop dance crews that got featured in reality shows like Boogie Woogie. It didn’t take much time for Ronnie to lose himself in awe after he saw some of his friends performing Bboying moves live in front of him. Gradually, Ronnie understood what Bboying is and started pursuing it since 2010.
With crews like Freak N Stylz, Underdog Kombat, Roc Fresh, High Down, and many others, the bboy scene in Mumbai was at full throttle back in 2010. Ronnie became aware of the Breakin scene in Mumbai and later became a part of B1 soul crew. With Bboying, Ronnie also kept pursuing another dance form called House which is now gaining huge momentum in India.
And, Life Hits Him…
In 2015, life became complicated for Ronnie. His journey started getting rough on the financial end. Expenses shot up and the income from regular shoots and shows started falling short. And, he realized it was high time he started finding other sources to generate sufficient income to lead a stable life.
That’s when Ronnie made his decision to land a job and he quickly got employed with Shoppers Stop. The 9-5 routine, adapting to new environment, the stress and strain of deadlines, and the will to directly attend practice after dealing with an entire’s day work literally put Ronnie’s potential to test. God shouldn’t have been so harsh on him but even god has his own reasons to do that.
Dressed in formals, Puma shoes inside his bag, his daily shift ends at 7pm and then straight to practice at Shivaji Park. While many dancers brag excuses and give up under such tough circumstances, Ronnie persisted here. He pushed his limits, kept grooving, and his love for house and hiphop music always kept him glued to the floor.
To the World Finals…
It was just another day, woke up late, missed breakfast, and while rushing on his way to office popped a notification that left Ronnie frozen for a second. The notification announced Just Debout’s India qualifier which was about to take place soon. Juste Debout is one of world’s most prestigious competitions that take place annually. By the time Ronnie’s goosebumps disappeared after reading that notification, his determination to give his best was already on cloud9.
As Juste Debout’s date kept approaching closer, the training sessions kept getting more and more intense. With too much sweating…packing two more extra spare t-shirts for practice became a requirement now. And, for once, the day finally arrived where Ronnie along with his partner Elvis got down at Juste Debout and emerged victorious sweeping the House category representing Rare Grooves. The duo was now well off to represent India at the world finals.
And, Life Hits Him Again (This time even harder)
The win definitely boosted Ronnie’s confidence but there were some more real problems waiting to pull him down. The big goof up started taking place when Elvis and Ronnie’s passport preparation started taking place. From obstacles to clearing the passport interview to meeting the financial requirements to fly Paris, everything seemed impossible at one point,.
Ronnie says, “Agar jaana likha hai toh hojayega kaise bhi, meko bharosa hai”. And, that’s exactly what happened. Amidst of all this darkness, there was still room for silver lining. Everyone from Ronnie’s friends circle to their mutual friends to their mutual friends all showed their support. And, in the end, the finally took off with a huge smile on their face.
After battling all these up and downs, the real battle supposed to go down on the floor awaited the duo at Paris. The competition was fierce however, Rare Grooves was no less. The duo cleared three rounds with god’s grace and they were now through to the semi-finals.
The semi-finals began and Rare Grooves put on a tough battle however, that’s where the JD journey came to end. All their efforts and hardwork throughout the years reaped rewards that night. Although, they lost at the semis, they did win hearts and blazed a trail for all House dance lovers here in India. “Mere liye toh who moment magic tha”, Ronnie says with sigh on his face.
Juste Debout World Finals 2016 – Semifinals
Today, Ronnie is still employed with Shoppers Stop and he says he is blessed to have found this job as everyone from the staff to the management at SS treat artists with respect. Shoppers Stop has also sponsored him to travel and compete at Juste Debout Bratislava 2017. Apart from touring once in a year now, Ronnie also keeps traveling as and when he gets a chance to attend workshops and makes his presence available in the local battle scene. When asked for any last message that he’d be willing to give out to the scene, Ronnie said, “Keep Dancing”.