Ankit Sen - India’s 1st Deaf Kathak Dancer!
Ankit Sen is India 1st Deaf kathak dancer. To know about his inspiring journey, watch this video!
Kathak dance has always been a part of Indian culture. This dance form is professionally taught at the university level as well. Many hearing individuals are studying this. What about the Deaf? Now there is one Deaf person named Ankit Sen - sign name - from Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh is an amazing Kathak dancer! He is currently studying it at an university and his goal is to achieve a PhD in Kathak. Wow! I am so proud of this Deaf man! Ankit is extremely experienced and a very well known personality. I will now tell you about his childhood. When Ankit was 7 years old, he lived next to a popular Kathak teacher. Many students attended his class. When Ankit approached him to learn Kathak, the teacher said it would be difficult for him to communicate with a Deaf person and refused to enroll him. Ankit returned home and was inconsolable. He told his parents that he really wanted to attend the class. His parents saw that Ankit loved to dance. So they approached the teacher and requested him to teach Ankit as it would motivate him to achieve his goals. The teacher agreed. 7 year old Ankit was very excited to learn Kathak.
He then started showcasing his dance at various local events. As he excelled in dance, Ankit's teacher predicted that he was destined to make a name for himself. Ankit was very happy. However tragedy struck when the teacher passed away. Ankit was devastated he was determined to carry his teacher's positivity along and work hard. In the 9th grade he moved to a school named Justice Tankha Memorial Rotary Institute for Special Children. There he was asked to audition and everyone was blown away by his dance. Ankit then began rigorously training for a huge dance programme. The event was attended by top dignitaries, ministers & former CM of Madhya Pradhesh. Ankit danced in front of a packed audience. He was dressed in an exquisite Kathak outfit. The dignitaries present said that since Ankit was Deaf, he would have a teacher prompting him off stage. They were shocked to see that there was no one and he was dancing all by himself. They were stunned by his graceful moves. He was very thorough with his beats.
People were stunned that he was able to dance independently. He shed the disability tag and proved that the Deaf can do anything. Ankit's school was very proud of him and this inspired the dancer a lot.
Ankit then received funds not to participate in competitions but to showcase his dance across India.
He excelled at dance and participated in many events. RYLA is an organisation that conducts events related to leadership skills, art, dance, etc. They contacted the Rotary Institute to conduct an event in Kanha which is famous for its national park. When Ankit's team and principal agreed, he began training himself from YouTube. He was not taught by a teacher. Ankit's principal was apprehensive about him making mistakes, but he assured her of his confidence. He then participated in the dance competition. The next day Ankit was shocked to see himself on a hoarding calling him a Deaf dancer!
How shocking! His school principal noticed in a year that Ankit flourished at school. He helped sort out differences, cleared doubts, organised events for teacher's day and many others. She was very impressed by him. When a teacher was absent, he helped out in all subjects like maths, English, etc.
The teachers & principal were blown away by his sincerity and made him a Captain. Ankit was very happy. Later the principal was informed about a guest visiting the school. The school made preparations to welcome the guest and informed the student. They were shocked to see that the guest was Gautam Gambhir along with other dignitaries of the school. Gautam Gambhir walked upto Ankit and shook his hands. All the teachers & the principal praised Ankit's dance. Ankit was very touched to have met the cricketer & recieve his autograph. Hyderabad's Deaf Enabled Foundation hosted the International Week of the Deaf event. Ankit was a part of the event where he showcased his Michael Jackson moves. In a dance-off Ankit gave a Kathak performance with another Deaf guy who showed off Michael Jackson's iconic moves. The event went viral and was covered by multiple newspapers as well.
DEF's T.K.M. Sandeep presented him a gift for being an amazing role-model. Dr. Shilee Dhope is a well known professional Kathak from Madhya Pradesh. She teaches many students at a university level. Ankit then applied at the university to study Kathak as he was a seasoned dancer. Dr. Shilee told him to participate in events and keep showcasing his dance for a year. She noticed that he performed independantly. With this practical knowledge, he could easily cope up with the university studies. His 1 year journey impressed her and she admitted Ankit into the university. During his 5 year Diploma, he participated in dance recitals & appeared in exams. Kathak facial expressions & theory are not easy, He worked hard to learn it all. While Ankit was training Kathak students, he was judged by the teachers & he passed with 84%. Ankit was overjoyed. After his diploma education he is now persuing his M.A. in Kathak. His goal is to get a Ph.D. In Pune there is an association named Red Cross Deaf Mitra Mandal who invited Ankit to dance. For the first time he taught the Deaf and held a Kathak workshop. He taught them the basics of Kathak which would help them lose weight, release tension, be happy and change mood. The association were very happy to receive such awareness. So this was Ankit's journey from childhood to adulthood. His achievements are very inspiring! What a wonderful Deaf role model! I hope you all follow in his footsteps. Why does Ankit desparately want to get a Ph.D? Ankit wants to complete his doctorate and become the head of Kathak at the university. He is extremely motivated and believes he can dance despite being Deaf. This is why many look up to him as a role model. Now that I have told you all the points, I am sure you are very excited. The reason we are releasing the video today is because it is International Dance Day. We would like to extend our wishes to Ankit on this day. This is his Instagram handle and he will be going live at 5pm today. You all can attend the live and interact with him. In the end I would like to say that if any Deaf Association, NGO, etc. like Ankit who is a certified & experienced dancer, then if associations are planning events like WDD, IDD, Women's Day, anniversary events, etc. Then if you want to invite Ankit for any of these functions, then you can contact him. He provide an in-depth explanation of Kathak, conduct lectures, etc. Young Deaf individuals who are unable to learn from hearing instructors, can contact Ankit for accessible dance classes. Do give him prior notice for any of these services. Thank you.