Stephanie Kurlow

Stephanie Kurlow

Changing to Islam brought positivity in my life, but I stopped dancing because I didn’t think I could pursue my dream of becoming a professional ballerina because there wasn’t any provision for Muslim girls. In a world where there isn’t any school of dance for people of different race and gender, I wish to inspire the youth to pursue their dreams by becoming the first Muslim ballerina.

I want to bring the world together. Dancers like Amna Al Hadad, the first hijabi Emirati dancer inspired me to take the plunge. My dream is to become a full time dancer and start a performing arts school for people of different faiths and race. I believe that my religious beliefs should not be seen as a hindrance in pursuit of aim.

Subhreet Kaur

Subhreet Kaur

I had always dreamt of becoming a dancer, but my parents wanted me to pursue my education first to become a nurse. I had never thought that I could become a professional because I was always a shy girl and spent most of my spare time reading books. My life was ordinary just like any other person until I met with an accident in 2009. I was on a bike with my friend which got out to control and crashed. The incident left me with a broken leg, but I was fine. Unfortunately, I was left lying on a bed at the hospital which made my condition severe. I had a congenital condition called Arteriovenous malformation which meant that my arteries and veins had an abnormal connection and the doctors were apprehensive about fixing the fracture by inserting plates inside my leg.

I managed to get a surgery done, but things took a turn for the worse when the doctor accidentally cut a vital vein which led to profuse bleeding. I soon lost sensation I my leg and infection spread quickly which meant that there was no way I could keep my leg. I was forced to get an amputation because the infection posed a risk. It was my only chance to survive and lead a normal life. I knew that things were never going to be the same, but I had no choice. I woke up with tears in my eyes after the surgery. My heart was filled with joy knowing that I no longer had a lifeless leg. I had to undergo 7 surgeries before I could walk again and I had to take a loan to cover the costs. My friends often ignored me and all the sympathy that came to me was pity and I didn’t want that.

I was determined to come out stronger than ever before and not allow anything to hold me back. I participated in a reality show where I finally expressed my true self and let the dancer inside me shine. Dance became an integral part of my life and allowed me to do what I really wanted to do. It strengthened me and I soon experienced change. I dance for a living now and I love every bit of it. None of this would have been possible without the support of my mother and the people around me who finally started to look at me beyond my disability.

Subhreet Kaur

Punit Pathak

Dancing was not allowed in my school, but I took part in my college dance shows. I was 17 years old when I started working with Terence Lewis and he brought dance into my life. I wasn’t proficient in any other dance form except Hip-Hop and I ended up quitting his academy to work as an assistant director. I wasn’t fond of my job and quite honestly, I hated every bit of it. My life changed for good when I received a call from a dance reality show where I met my new mentor, Remo D’souza.

I was a part of the audience in the very first season of the show, but I later went on to become a contestant and gradually made my way up to the position of a judge. The journey has been really overwhelming and it wasn’t easy for me. I’ve slept on pavements and struggled to make ends meet. Good things in life do not come easily and I have experienced it myself. I used to be so scared to even leave my seat on sets as a contestant. I always made sure that I did not get myself into a complicated situation.

It was my stint as an assistant director that truly opened the doors to the world of dance for me. I got the opportunity to act in two dance based movies and I even choreographed on several other reality shows. I haven’t won the show yet, but I haven’t given up on my passion. I was my hard work and love for what I wanted that brought me here. I believe that the journey hasn’t ended yet. I still have a lot more to do and I’m determined to make my dreams come true.


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