She has been dancing since she was 15, but it is only now that Bollywood choreographer Geeta Kapoor feels the respect for this profession has grown manifold. She says it is a delight to witness the number of people wanting to take up dance as a career option.
"The respect for dance has increased over the years and that's evolution for me. As a career option, it never existed, and it was a profession that one never considered feasible...it was an art form that people never thought respectable, but today that has changed," Kapoor told IANS in an interview.
"People have started looking at it as a career option; they are asking us how they can become choreographers, dancers and assistants. So dance has evolved in brilliant ways for us. People now come with training, they have started learning dance and are accepting dance...it's all very good," she added.
Kapoor first started off as a dancer by joining choreographer-director Farah Khan's troupe. She graduated to assisting Farah in many films like "Fiza", "Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham", "Saathiya"and "Main Hoon Na" and even assisted her for the hit number "Sheila ki jawani" from "Tees Maar Khan".
She admits Bollywood dance has seen a lot of technical changes over the years.
"Bollywood dance has changed in terms of shooting, choreographing and making it look visually wow...but the dance is the same," she said.
Nevertheless, she is happy that actors are now investing extra efforts for song sequences.
"Actors have become a little more hardworking, they have started coming for rehearsals, they have realised that it is all about competition at the end of the day. They have become conscious, which is good for us," she said.
So far Kapoor has made almost all the actors of the film industry dance to her steps, but there is someone who she thinks can do wonders if he takes dance seriously.
"One actor I think who can dance if he really puts his mind into it is Ritesh Deshmukh. He can do wonders, but he hasn't got the right opportunity yet. He is a wonderful actor, he has a penchant for dancing, but he is not utilising it well," she said.
More than for her dance, Kapoor became popular as a judge and mentor on Zee TV's dance reality show "Dance India Dance". She is currently being seen in the show's third season and says she has always tried to keep the charm of classical dance alive through the show.
"I basically wanted to pump in classical dancing and I wanted it to be recognised, which is what I have always tried through all seasons of the show, because I think it is a form that's lost somewhere," she added.