The Kings, (Kings United) lived up to their name, by making proud India and winning America’s popular dance show ‘World of Dance.’ The troupe was always popular in India, but have become overnight sensations courtesy their victory and are being surrounded by journalists who are keen to know more about their story. Mentor/choreographer of The Kings, Suresh Mukund and some of the other members of the winning group opened on their victory and struggles in an interview.
Opening up on their journey, Suresh said, “It was filled with struggles and sacrifices. It has been more than 10 years we are together. We have been like a family together. When we started, there were no opportunities, no reality shows, there was only one show that was ‘Boogie Woogie’, once in a week for half an hour. So there were limited dancers. Parents were totally against pursuing a career in dancing. It was difficult in the first four-five years because we only used to practise and compete, but didn’t earn anything.
"After we won ‘India’s Got Talent’ in 2011, things started changing and we started earning, only then parents understood we want to pursue a career in dancing. The most difficult thing for me was to sustain this team for so long. There are so many dancers, everyone has different thoughts and different dreams, and it was tough to keep competing, giving them opportunities and winning. Finally, after all this, we are world champions!”
The Kings have bagged a massive prize money of 1 million USD. What are they going to do with it? “My dancers had a dream before, since most of us belong to middle-class and lower-middle-class families. When we started, things were very difficult in terms of money.
"Later on, everyone started earning pretty well and they were settled. Most of them don’t have their own houses and they had a dream to buy their houses. So finally with this money, we’ll be able to achieve it.”
Suresh added, “Initially, there were situations when the dancers didn’t have shoes to wear. And when the first time, the group had come together, most of us had torn clothes. And when we had performed for the first time, most of us had worn chappals and gone on stage. We have experienced that difficult phase."
"And after all that, when such a day comes, all those moments come back in flashback mode, of poverty to being announced as the world’s best dancers. We are speechless and blank on how to express it. We knew when the announcement would be made, our lives would change and that the whole world would know us. It was an amazing appearance.”
Even their journey on ‘World of Dance’ was not all that smooth, “The biggest challenge was injuries. From the second round, our dancers started getting injured. The first round went smooth, we got standing ovations from judges.
"'In the second round, two of my dancers were limping, yet they went on stage, performed, got 99.3 and came back. Such situations went on till the finale. There was another such situation in the semifinals, one of our dancers got injured 10 minutes before going on stage. He twisted his ankle and we all were blank.
"That day I personally saw the passion and the aggression. He said, ‘Even if I have break my leg, I’m not going to let you down.’ In that performance, we got a anding ovation in the first 20 seconds itself.”
Suresh doesn’t have words to express his pride on their achievement, “It feels great, this is a big achievement. Every dancer will know this for years. We were the first in the country to participate in such a big competition and are world champions."
"We are going to become the inspirations of a lot of people. And motivate people not to lose hope. We came up from the gullies and no one knew us, and today the world knows us. Though it took time, it did happen."
Watch the full interview above:
For their final performance, the group dressed as gladiators and presented a powerful act, full of death-defying stunts and well-choreographed and coordinated moves.
Watch the full performance here:
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