A group that goes by the catchy name ‘Sweet Sixteen’ may evoke images of dreamy teenage girls but this group is about young at heart ladies who are in the 50 to 74 age group. Some of these dancing queens have overlooked knee surgeries and spinal surgeries to follow their true calling.
This group of 18 talented women trained by JSK academy in Ahmedabad has won the hearts of people with their spellbinding performances.
This group has become an inspiration for women of all age groups and is storming the internet after their special appearance on ‘Super Dancer; ‘ Dance Deewane’ and the reality show ‘Hunarbaaz.’ These ladies have been performing for a few years. This has helped them hone their talent and gain a good measure of confidence to perform in front of film stars including Madhuri Dixit, and Shilpa Shetty among others. The group was started by Swati Kudarat Patel.
These eighteen extraordinary women are Aruna Chaturvedi (74), Aruna Jamkhedar (69), Rajeshree Khatri (66), Pramodini Parikh, Bhavna Dwivedi, and Trushna Talati, (65), Ramila Panchal, Raksha Bhatt, and Minaxi Mehta,( 64), Ketki Shah, (63), Nayana Shah, Alka Shah, Ami Shukla and Anjali Jaiswal (61), Urmila Kamlaia (59), Asha Totlani (58), Amla Mehta (54) and Dimpal Shah (51). It may sound cliched but the fact is that they have all matured like fine wine and are very graceful.
Nayana Shah, a 61-year-old contestant told VOI, “ We are a group of seventeen to eighteen women who love to dance. With the help of great choreographers, we excel in this field and even the grasping power of the ladies is praiseworthy. Dancing was a passion I wanted to pursue from childhood but the norms and the time stopped me from doing what I wanted to do. I was married early and had too many responsibilities to spare time for dancing. This is not just true about me but also the group. Now that we have time for ourselves, we are exploring our passion once again.”
Talking about the preparations she said “we had practiced for a week for three hours, just one week was needed for us to perfect the routine we had to perform.”
Nayana said, “All of us are healthy. Age-related issues never stopped us from doing what we love. A few members in the group have gone through knee surgeries, one has had a spine surgery but all of us cope with something we love to do. At first, we were sceptical but the trainers have motivated us to perform on stage and in front of celebrities. We consider it a special opportunity. For me, it all started three and a half years ago when I learned about dadi (grandmothers) group. I soon decided to join and now, we are breaking the stereotypes. Like me, members of our group have faced many challenges but have got full support from their families. We choose to fly with such grace in our lives.”