Shanid, Sharun, Jayasree | Photo: Mathrubhumi
Kozhikode: Sharun M, a Kattunayakan tribal student from Wayanad, was on cloud nine after securing an A grade in Folk Dance for boys at the 61st Kerala School Kalolsavam.
A Class 10 student of Rajiv Gandhi Memorial Model Residential School in Noolpuzha panchayat, Sharun’s sheer passion for dance was not only the crowning moment for his school but also a proud moment for his tribal community.
“I am very happy and proud that a boy like me from a backward caste has scored an A grade in the festival. I hope that my mother will be delighted too,” said Sharun.
His mother is yet to learn about his victory due to trouble connecting with their tribal hamlet.
A self-taught dancer driven purely by passion, Sharun had secured first place with an A grade at the sub-district and district levels.
“We never expected that he would reach the state level and would have to compete against well-trained dancers. After he grabbed the win, we realised we needed to give him some proper training,” said Jayasree, Sharun’s school teacher.
Following this, the boy was given proper training in Folk Dance by master Sameer Kalpetta for one-and-half months.
Although he was an above-average student of the school for the past 10 years, his passion for dance drives Sharun more than his studies.
“After vacation, when he feels a bit lazy to return to school, we convince him by saying that he can participate in arts festivals and Kalolsavam. That motivates him,” said Jayasree.
In case of any school event, be it a meeting or other programmes, Sharun’s dance will be there as a treat to enhance it.
"We just have to play some songs on our phones, and he will choreograph the steps and do the rest,” said Shanid, Sharun’s school teacher, who accompanied him to the Kalolsavam.
Currently, around 550 students study at Rajiv Gandhi Model Residential School, run by the education department and the Scheduled Tribe (ST) development department, which functions for the development of the Kattunayakan community.
According to Jayasree, the kids at the school have an inborn sense of taste in music and art.
“Sharun, including many others in our school, paints well too. He plans to join Kalamandalam and learn dance further. I hope his dream comes true,” she said.
Talking about his love for dance, the young artist said “I love dancing a lot, and I have been learning it from my elder sister (Jayasree) since childhood. Dance is my life!”
Sharun, whose biggest support is Jayasree teacher, aspires to be a dancer in future and act in movies. “I don’t know whether it will be possible. But, I hope to achieve it,” he said.