He's young, dashing and a choreographer who is very much in demand! Salman Yusuff Khanis one of the most sought after choreographers in the TV industry today. He won Dance India Dance 1 and now, he's weaving his magic on Colors TV's Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 5. In conversation with Salman Yusuff Khan.How's it going on Jhalak So far?
It's very stressful. The finale was supposed to be a while back but now it's got extended. It takes a lot of effort! Jhalak was offered to me while I was working on a movie for UTV productions.In the middle, the judges were not happy with your's and Isha's performances. What went wrong?
I always give my best. But sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. It's like the movies. Not every film is a hit. Or else, everyone would be a Rajnikant. There can be only one Rajni sir!So what's your strategy to remain unbeatable on the Jhalak stage?
I sit with Isha Sharvani
and discuss. Our strategy is not to go the easy way. That's also my concept and my attitude towards the show.You and Isha are strong contenders to win this season of Jhalak. How does it feel to be everybody's favourite?
Till you do well, people appreciate your work. Your work speaks for you and gives you that positive push. People on Twitter are tweeting about my performances. Recently, TV actor Ronit Roy
also complimented me on Twitter. I guess that keeps me going.Who do you consider competition on the show?
I never got into Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa
to compete. My sole intention was to excel and improve and groom my self. With DID (Dance India Dance) I was a nobody who became a somebody. That was something. Nobody is competition for me. I only consider myself as competition. I don't have a benchmark. If I excel from yesterday to today, I'm very happy. Remo Sir is my mentor and I love Prabhudeva's work. I want to learn from him. He's so humble! When you feel I'm the best, then knowledge dies! You have to keep learning.In the past, you were linked up with Yana Gupta and now people talk about your chemistry with Isha. Is there any truth to that?
Link-ups keep happening because people will always talk. But what's important is the professional relationship I share with my partner and the amount of hard work we put into our dance. I am not bothered about such stories.How is Isha as a dance partner?
With Isha, I know I can push her. She completely surrenders. She has no attitude and I'm an extremely difficult person to work with. It's my way or the highway. If I don't get what I demand, I just say no. That's why I can showcase so much.So you're saying that you only work with good dancers?
No. all I'm saying is that I can push capable people. I keep the person in mind and then think of the concept and choreography. If I know someone has the potential but they don't push themselves, I do that. You don't have to be a good dancer to work with me. I won't tell a non dancer to hang their feet behind their head for a performance. I trained with Yana Gupta for one week to understand her capabilities and her body's capacity to perform a dance.So what are the positives and negatives about Isha Sharvani as a dancer?
Isha is extremely disciplined and dedicated and these qualities she gets form her mother, who is also her strength. I think nobody can do malkham the way Isha does. Her negative point is that she has a memory issue (laughs with Isha inquiring into the background). Isha doesn't remember steps. I tell her she has an 8 GB memory. There's no space for extra storage (laughs again).How will you rate Isha as a dancer?
9.5 because there is always room for improvement.An actor whose dance you like from Bollywood?
Hritik Roshan. He's got the techniques and does the gestures to the tee.What about the new generation of actors? Whose dance do you like?
None of them can really dance!What you put up in your performances is extremely tough. How do you keep re-inventing yourself as a dancer and choreographer?
It's very tough because dance is a constant process. When international instructors come down to India, I go for all their work shops. YouTube is also a blessing in disguise. I learn my techniques form there.One song you wished you had choreographed?Hunter
from the film Gangs of Wasseypur
.One song whose choreography stands out in your memory?
Prabhu sir's Main Aisa Kyun Hoon
from the film Lakshya
!How do you handle success?
My prayers, meditation and fasting keep me grounded! If in a few months I can be somebody, then I also realize that in a few months I can go back to being a nobody. That thought makes me feel extremely humble.What next?
Lot's more in store! I will keep going on till these feet work!Any films you are choreographing in the future?
I can't talk about it at this point.
When asked about Isha Sharvani's status on Jhalak, Salman refused to comment. Viewers will only have to wait and watch to see if this duo will come together on the Jhalak stage or if Isha will truly bid adieu to the show!