Vaidehi Rastogi is a dance diva at just the age of 11. She manages to have her childhood intact and has loving friends she spends a lot of time with. In our interview, Vaidehi appeared with her mother, who manages her, all smiles and extremely polite and humble. Absolutely not the tantrum-throwing star kid one would expect to encounter. She talked about her dance and hobbies and life in general to us.
Vaidehi has already been the centre of fame with renowned celebrities sharing her videos. She has won big competitions, collaborated with dancers for videos and plans to make dance her future career, as big as it can get. Here are bits and snippets from the interview Brown Magazine had with Vaidehi Rastogi, the dancing champ.
Being a Kid
Vaidehi claims that she thoroughly enjoys being a kid. Not a day goes by where she doesn’t spend time playing and hanging out with her friends. “By spending an hour or two on dance out of 24 hours doesn’t take my childhood away,” she went on to say. Despite all the rigorous practise hours, she still finds plenty of time to go out for movies, eat out, go swimming and play with friends. Even with her growing popularity, Vaidehi still has the luxury of being a child who enjoys and has fun every day.
Vaidehi has had quite a pleasant journey so far when asked about it. “There is so much love that I receive from people, and it makes me feel so special and motivates me further to entertain them.”
Vaidehi also insisted that her parents have been the biggest support to her so far. “Without my parents, I am nothing. Whatever little I have achieved is because of their hard work, efforts and sacrifices. I love them a lot, and thank you is a very small word to express my gratitude and love for them.” Besides her parents, she also finds a lot of support and comfort from her friends at school. “I have no siblings, only cousins, and they dote on me,” she claimed.
When asked if she faced any difficulties balancing both her studies and her dancing, she claimed that she hadn’t faced any issues as of yet. Recently promoted to the sixth grade, Vaidehi stated that her parents had instilled the value of education in her, with her studies being prioritised till she grows up. She went on to say, “Education is a must, and it’s not an option for me. If in the future, I have difficulties in coping up, I will slow down my learning process for dance as it will only be for a short period.”
Even during these Covid-times, Vaidehi declared that not being able to leave the house doesn’t bother her much. “I mostly stay indoors and spend my time between dance and study. Studying is a must. I spend only two hours every day doing my videos.”
We also asked her mother about the different types of attention that Vaidehi receives on the internet and how she handled it. Her mother explained, “A lot of people have a lot of opinions on the internet. For instance, when she first started doing belly dancing videos, we faced a lot of negative comments. People said a lot of things. But ultimately it depends on you – how you balance it because whenever anyone starts anything new, there will be people raising all sorts of opinions. I try to manage all the reviews and interactions she receives on the internet and try to be as careful with that. But ultimately, it is her passion, and we have to keep letting her do what she wants.”
Love for Dance
Vaidehi also clarified how she initially developed her passion for dance. She gives credit to Anup Bhardwaj who introduced her to the world of dance. Anup has made quite a name for himself in Dubai as a dancer. Going by the name of Anzy B, he is quite popular for his dance moves. As the winner of Nach Baliye 7, the personal choreographer for Miss Romania 2017, and has worked with several celebrities for their music videos, Anup is no amateur and an excellent role model to Vaidehi.
“When I was 2 and a half, I used to dance to Bollywood songs, so my mom took me to The Tee and Bee Dance Institute in Dubai and there I enjoyed more.” With each passing day, Vaidehi learnt new styles that only helped her grow more. Not only did this develop her passion for dancing, but she also built her audience, who continued to shower her with immense support.
“It’s no longer a passion now as I want to pursue it as a career.”says Vaidehi
Vaidehi is known for her various facial expressions in her dance videos. Her expressions are very mature and apt for the songs she dances to. When asked about it, Vaidehi laughed, “I think it comes naturally to me. I try to understand the lyrics, and then I portray the words through my expressions.”
Vaidehi has also attended several workshops led by Nicole Concessao of the popular dance duo Team Naach. Inspired by their choreography, Vaidehi has tried to bring in their style into her own dance, and has even released a dance cover with Nicole on the song ‘Lamberghini’. Talking about her own first-ever workshop, Vaidehi was ecstatic that her only workshop till date was a house-full. All the proceeds from this workshop had gone for charity for Covid-affected kids’ meals. Vaidehi also talked about her experience teaching dance at such a young age. “It gave me a sense of achievement, and it tested my patience too. I would love to teach more in the coming years.”
Vaidehi also revealed her personal favourites when it came to dance styles and how she came to love them. She explained that she mostly loved performing to the beats of Hip-Hop and Bollywood music. “When I was very young, my mother saw how much I liked Bollywood music, and I slowly developed a love for the songs and would dance to them. My mom posted it on social media slowly, and this is where that small beginning has led me today.”
She also disclosed that she had no particular dancer who has been a major inspiration for her.
“Anyone from whom I can learn from inspires me.”says Vaidehi
Plans for the Future
Vaidehi has slowly been amassing her own fan base, even among celebrities, many of whom are sharing videos of her dance routines and appreciating her talent. Remaining humble, Vaidehi says, “I have a long way to go. I have only started to grow. It gives me a lot of happiness when celebrities appreciate my work, but it’s never a parameter to judge my success or quality of work for me.”
Recently, Vaidehi also came out as the winner of the SGH Talent 2020. The talent show hosted by the Saudi German Hospital Group in UAE had incredible performances that culminated towards the Grand Finale on 8 February 2020, with Vaidehi bagging the cash prize of AED 75,000. Vaidehi says, “The money is being kept for me to use in my training or any other dance-related aspects.”
When asked about her future plans, she answered, “I want to own a chain of studios, you know, make it BIG! Be a big Bollywood or Hollywood choreographer. Rest I leave everything to God as I can only work; the results are in His hands.” Vaidehi also disclosed that she would love to collaborate with some of the top-notch artists and celebrities in the future.