Actor Rohit Behal after the film Natyam, takes us through his journey nine years after he decided to hold on to dancing

Dancing his way into Tollywood
Actor-dancer Rohit Behal
Actor-dancer Rohit Behal

Actor-dancer Rohit Behal is basking in the success of his recent film Natyam which also had prominent danseuse Sandhya Raju as a lead. The new star on the block already has two other films in his kitty, and is here to stay. Nine years after he decided to hold on to dancing, he takes us through his journey thus far.

Like most children in the country, Rohit was asked to dance and put up a performance for guests who visited his home. Back then, little did he know that he’d pursue dance professionally. “It was not until I graduated from college that I took it up seriously. I could’ve taken up any job after MBA, but I knew I wouldn’t be happy. That’s when I thought to give dance a shot. I asked my parents to give me just a year’s time to try my hands (and legs) at dancing and they were understanding enough to agree. I went to Mumbai and trained from morning to night, every day. It was then that I knew dance was what I was made for,” shares Rohit, who has trained in jazz, classical ballet, contemporary and modern dance forms.

He went on to be among the top 20 contestants on the television reality show, So You Think You Can Dance. He has also been an assistant choreographer for the popular dance show, Jhalak Dikhla Ja! On how acting happened, he says, “While training at the dance school, I wanted to do more and not stop at dancing. I enjoyed telling stories through my dance and by playing various characters too. Acting was a field I wanted to venture into and I asked people around. I trained from The Jeff Goldberg Theatre Group, and began actively looking for opportunities.”

He continues to talk about how he bagged his debut film, Natyam. “The director, Revanth, was looking for a male lead who could act and was a real dancer. He came across my YouTube channel and contacted me, gradually things fell in place and I landed the role.”

Rohit’s acting prowess got him two more projects: one’s a crime thriller and the other, a sweet, fresh rom-com family entertainer. “I’m looking forward to both these roles, which are polar opposites each other and what I’ve done in Natyam,” an excited Rohit reveals. There’s more to his excitement. The third film has been written and will be presented by popular director Dasaradh, who has churned out the biggest of Tollywood hits with Nagarjuna, Prabhas and others.

The Mumbaikar, who moved to Hyderabad three years ago, says he has now become a true blue Hyderabadi. “I’ve toured the entire city — from old to new. I can speak broken Telugu to autowallas, delivery boys and others. This is my second home.” The actor loves to venture out in his free time. “I love to take my bike out on a spin and go on long rides. My newfound love for skating has me spending most of my free time in our parking lot. I’m also a water baby — surfing can beat all the blues out of me,” Rohit says before he signs off.

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