“Age is just a number.” How many times have you heard this statement? And how many times have you come across a living example? Well, we did when we stumbled upon the Internet’s “Dancing Dadi” a.k.a. Ravi Bala Sharma ma’am. She is living proof that age has no limitations, the only limitations are the ones we set for ourselves. This dadi has been winning hearts all over with her amazing dancing skills. She has garnered a whooping 336K followers on Instagram! We dedicate the International Day of the Elderly to senior citizens like her with a zeal for life.
Born in Moradabad, a small town in Uttar Pradesh, Ravi Bala Sharma comes from a musical family. But she always loved to dance. She learned the basics of classical dancing when she was young which reflects in her moves till date. Ravi ma’am is so graceful, expressive, and always dressed to the nines in her dance videos. The “granfluencer” records one dance video per week. She believes that “Dance aap jitna enjoy karoge, saamne dekhne vale usse dugna enjoy karenge.” “Dancing Dadi” has been noticed by many celebrities and brands given her reach and engagement.
Also Read: Conscious Influencing: The Need of the Hour
On the occasion of International Day of the Elderly, take some time out today to sit with the elders around you and just have a chat about life and their past hobbies with them. Encourage and motivate them to pick up an old passion or a forgotten hobby and support them to start anew at this stage in life. We promise they will love you for it!
The Social Nation Team got the chance to speak with Ravi Bala ma’am a.k.a. “Dancing Dadi” on the special occasion of International Day of the Elderly. Let us take you through the excerpt from that inspiring conversation we had:
Could you tell us a bit about your background? Dance aur “Dancing Dadi” ki shuruat kaise hui?
“Main ek sangeet parivaar se aati hu. Mere father musician the, unhone mujhe sikhaya. Meine classical, tabla aur vocal seekha. Dance mein maine basic cheeze hi seekhi thi – classical Kathak dance ki, classes nahi le paayi thi. Dance ka mujhe bohot shauk tha. Meri badi sister Kathak ke classes leti thi hamare ghar pe. Main vahi dekh kar seekhti thi. Lekin kabhi stage pe nahi kar paayi aur dance peeche reh gaya.“
She immersed herself in learning music and went on to make a career in it. She has an M.A. in Music and an M.A., B.Ed in Hindi. Ravi Ma’am taught classical music at the Delhi Government School for 27 years and then retired.
“Retirement ke baad main Mumbai aa gayi, mere bete ke paas. Kuch kaam nahi kar rahi thi. Fir usi dauran lockdown ho gaya. Tab ghar mein hi baithna tha. Mera jo dance ka passion chhooth gaya tha voh mere bete na vapas jagaya. Usne kaha ‘Mummy aap ghar pe firse dance shuru kar do.’ Fir ek video daali meine dance ki aur voh viral ho gayi. Uske baad jo mere lovers hai, jo mera dance pasand karte hai, unhone mujhe ‘Dancing Dadi‘ ka naam de diya!”
Aapki kaunsi reel viral hui thi? Tell us about that.
“Waheeda Rehman ji ka gaana ‘Kaaton se kheech ke le aanchal‘ jo Guide film se hai, uspe maine dance kiya tha. Yaha Punjabi Bagh mein ek senior citizen club hai jo competitions conduct karte hai aur apne online profile par elderly logon ke videos daalte the. Unhone mujhse ye video manga aur maine bhi bhej diya sochke ki mera passion chalna shuru hoga.” Ravi ma’am told all her friends to like her video for this competition and that’s how it blew up and went viral.
Influencer banne ka idea kaise jaaga? How has this journey been for you so far?
“Meri video viral hui uske baad main kuch din ruk gayi tab mere bachon ne kaha ki ‘Mummy aap dance karte jana aur hum aapka video daalte rahenge.’ Toh tabse ye silsila shuru hua. Bachon ne hi mera page banaya, voh dono hi songs choose karte hai jo trending ho, aur kehte hai ispe dance karo. Unhone hi mujhe bataya ke main influencer ban gayi hoon. Mera dance dekh kar log bhi apne shauk pure karne lage the, voh mujhe dekh kar motivate hone lagein.”
Those senior citizens who were sad sitting at home thinking that they couldn’t start dancing or singing at this age felt inspired after watching Ravi ma’am dance. She further added that if you have the passion, you must follow up on it. There’s no better time than “now.” You have the rest of your life to prioritise your interests, which you had been sacrificing all this while due to your myriad responsibilities.
Age is truly just a number and you are a shining example of it. International Day of the Elderly ke mauke par aap senior citizens ko kya message dena chahoge?
“Age koi matter nahi karta. Agar aapka koi passion chhooth gaya ho pehle, toh aap iss umar mein bhi pura kar sakte ho usko. Agar aapne apne umar par shauk ko haavi kar diya toh aapki umar peeche chali jayegi aur shauk upar ho jayega. Seekhne ki koi umar nahi hoti, aur agar aapki health sahi hai toh aap apne shauk ko bhi pura kar sakhte ho.”
Coming to your health, is dance the secret behind it at this age or vice-versa? How do you balance the physical demands of dance with self-care practices?
“I will give credit to both – agar health sahi hai toh aap dance kar sakta ho aur dance karoge toh health bhi sahi rahegi. Ye dono cheezon ka mel hai.” When you dance, you obviously follow the rhythm of the song but you also express with your face and body. Sometimes happy sometimes sad, this art of expressing brings out a certain energy within you. For this, our “Dancing Dadi” strives to stay fit. “Main subah jaldi uth ke yoga karti hoon, exercise karti hoon, aur daily morning walk pe jaati hoon. Jiske vajah se main fit hoon, mujhe koi problem nahi hai.“
If you had to share 1 of your most cherished dance memories and experiences from your journey, what would that be?
“Maine Diljit Dosanjh ke gaane pe dance kiya tha unke album G.O.A.T. se. Unhone mera video apne profile pe post kiya aur uske baad toh main bohot viral hui. Har newspaper, radio channel pe mere bohot interviews hue the. Uske baad main notice hoti rahi, ek baar Sara Ali Khan ne post kiya tha, fir kaafi singers aur dancers ne bhi kara tha.
Abhi recently Shah Rukh Khan ne mera dance post kiya tha unke X (formerly Twitter) par jo Jawan movie ke Chaleya song pe maine video daali thi. Jab mera “Ghagra” wala video viral hua tab Terence Lewis ne mujhe 2 free classes diye the Navrasa aur Bollywood ki. Melvin Louis ke saath bhi maine dance kiya hai.”
Wow!!! Main bhi Chaleya Teri Ore… big hug and love u https://t.co/Q0zR4d4zkU— Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk) September 14, 2023
Jab koi aapke video par negative comments daalta hai, toh aap usse kaise deal karte ho?
“Hazar mein se koi ek aisa aa jaata hai negative comment umar ko lekar. Mujhe ek baar padhke toh aisa lagta hai ke kyun aisa likhte hai log. Hum kaha se kaha tak pohoch gaye hai aaj. Kya hum ussi cheez ko lekar baithe rahenge ki ‘aapki umar ho gayi toh aap dance ya kuch aur nahi kar sakte’? Agar hamara mann hai ke hum dance karein, gaana gaaye toh usko kyun koi rokega? Koi galat kaam thodi na kar rahe hai? Kala ki toh saadhna ki jaati hai. Dance ek kala hai aur main iss kala ki pooja kar rahi hoon apna passion follow karke. Kabhi mere profile pe aa bhi jaata hai negative comment toh ussi pe koi aur positively reply kar deta hai.”
What is your family’s reaction to your dancing and content creation journey?
This “Dancing Dadi” owes her dancing journey to her kids. They were the ones to motivate her to take up her passion again and shake a leg with her too. As for her extended family, she said “Jab famous ho jate hai tab har koi milna chahta hai. Mere jo khaas hai parivaar mein unko toh bohot acha laga. Jin relatives se thodi kabhi doori thi, voh bhi milna chahte hai. Toh change ho jaata hai saara kuch.“
Kya aapko lagta hai aaj ke society mein aging dancers ko ab accept aur appreciate kiya jaa raha hai ya abhi bhi issues hai?
“Issues toh hai kyunke hamari society mein har tarah ke log hote hai. Lekin buzurg fir bhi apna passion follow kar rahe hai. Aisa nahi hai ke kisi ne bol diya kuch toh voh baith gaye ke hum nai karenge. Parva na karein kyunke aap apne hi ghar mein video bana ke apne hi social media par daal rahe ho. Aur main toh kehti hoon, stage par bhi karna chahiye agar mauka mila toh. Ye toh ek kala hai jise sarhana chahiye na ke bura bolna chahiye.”
Aapka favourite dance style ya music genre kaunsa hai?
“Classical base mein Bollywood karti hu main zyaada tar. Baaki mujhe punjabi dance bhi bohot pasand hai. Aaj kal ke jo bache dance style karte hai voh bhi main koshish karti hu par vaha age aade aa jati hai – voh perfection nahi aata hai. Haala ke logon ko videos pasand aate hai lekin mujhe lagta hai ke thodi kami reh gayi…”
Hamare society mein active aging ko kaise promote kiya jaa sakta hai? Jo senior citizens dance karna chahte hai voh kaise shuruat karein?
“Senior citizens ko thodi jhijak hoti hai iss umar mein vapas dance shuru karne ke liye. Toh main unse kahungi ki ekdum se shuru toh nahi karna chahiye. Pehle warm-up aur exercise karo phir dheere dheere shuruat karo. Aur main chahungi ke unke bache unhe support aur motivate karein. Kyunke elderly ko sharam aati hai ke ‘hum itne buzurg hoke dance kaise karein?’ Ye sab thoughts ko nikal do. Agar aapki body healthy hai toh aap kuch bhi kar sakte hai. Positive socho, dekho aur aise hi logon ke saath taal mel bana kar rakho.”
We find “Dancing Dadi” to be extremely passionate, talented, and of course, supremely cute! This was one insightful conversation – getting to know what Ravi Bala Sharma thinks about doing what you love with age no bar. So remember, age is no limitation, it’s just a number, and have a Happy International Day of the Elderly with your loved ones!