Meryl Davis and Charlie White have been ice-skating together since they were nine.
Winning accolades at home and abroad, the 22-year-old skaters, both undergraduates at the University of Michigan, were looking to add some spice and a touch of originality to their routine on the ice.
Then one day their Russian coach Marina Zueva saw a bright coloured scarf with Indian dancers on it in a Hermes store. Zueva was exposed to Bollywood films and music in Russia, and she knew she had found the key to what would add freshness to Davis and White’s performance, especially in their Original Dance routine.
Zueva visualized the two on the ice moving to Bollywood tunes and dressed in colourful Indian outfits.
“She thought it would be something different,” Davis said.
“Not a lot of people had performed with Bollywood music on ice. And she felt our personalities might translate well into this type of movement.”
Davis’s mother had read about an Indian-American Bollywood fitness dance instructor – Anuja Rajendra in the Ann Arbor area. And thus began a friendship and a collaboration that has resulted in a huge interest in Davis’s and White’s figure skating routines. Their YouTube videos have been seen over 200,000 times, especially in India.
“I got a call from Meryl’s mother,” Rajendra said from Ann Arbor. “She was very sweet and modest, and said her daughter and her skating partner Charlie were thinking of doing an Indian dance. She added that they had some upcoming competitions, including the Olympics. And she asked whether I would be interested in working with them.”
Rajendra, 37, is a trained Bharata Natayam dancer and a mother of two young children. She runs several popular dance/fitness classes in the Detroit and Ann Arbor areas, called BollyFit. Meryl and Charlie trained under Anuja Rajendra for over 6 months and they were ready for the most spectacular ice skating done for the first time to Bollywood Film music and dance.
Meryl Davis and Charlie White, wearing an eye-catching ghagra choli and sherwani suit, brought the crowd to their feet at the Winter Olympics ice dance event with what they called an Indian folk dance. You will be spellbound by their effortless, graceful movements and marvel at the way they have adapted Bollywood dance and music to ice-skating.
Courtesy: michigandaily.com, dailymail.uk