Raj was born in Riverside, California but grew up entirely in Houston, TX as a proud Texan. He didn’t start dancing until the last year of high school where his passion in dance was sparked by a successful bollywood-fusion wedding performance for his cousin inspired by the show Dance India Dance. Since then, he has taught himself multiple styles within the umbrella of Hip-Hop and has become heavily involved with the the desi dance circuit. Having been inspired by top choreographers within the Urban/Hip-Hop scene, and shows like America’s Best Dance Crew, he has grown his dance knowledge and style incredibly. In college, he joined the University of Texas-Austin’s premier Bollywood-Fusion co-ed dance team, Texas Nach Baliye, and danced and choreographed for all 4 years. In his last year, he was able to help lead them as a Captain and Lead, to World of Dance-Dallas 2014 as only the second Bollywood-Fusion dance team in the world to have competed as an upper-division team at this prestigious dance competition. He was able to take his vision of Urban-Bollywood, a fusion dance style that combines urbanized new-style hip-hop choreography with bollywood elements to bollywood songs, with the help of his team and bring it to the desi dance circuit and the urban/hip-hop scene.
In terms of his dance experience, his forte is in Urban/Hip-Hop dance (New-Style Hip-Hop choreography, Popping, Locking, House, Tutting, Animation, Waving, Lyrical) but also knows Bollywood (Filmi, HFD, Masala, “Bollywood-Hip-Hop or New Style/Urban Bollywood”). He has also taught himself Bhangra (in particular Dhamaal) and has knowledge of Dhamaal, Giddah, Jhoomer. He also likes to share the love of hip-hop as a DesiDanceTeams.com Hip-Hop professor from which he posts dance videos for a weekly dose of inspiration. He also loves to help out fellow teams by writing constructive reviews of team performances from various desi dance competitions around the nation. This has allowed him to learn how judging works and how to analyze a team’s performance in a much deeper sense, teaching him many interesting things. He is also an avid freestyle dancer; he believes freestyling is at the core of his dance style. In his free time, he freestyles to all musical genres to destress and explore the limits of his style.
As a dancer-turned-organizer, he has also served as a Consultant, Co-Head-Liaison/Dancer’s Hospitality Head for Jhalak 2012/2013, and Judge’s Coordinator for Jhalak 2013/2014. Being involved with Jhalak , he has acquired two years of experience with organizing a national dance competition from the ground up, allowing him to appreciate the hard work and planning that goes into hosting dance competitions. He believes that dancing is one of the strongest mediums of social culture and continuously looks of ways to share the same thrill of dance he has received all these years.
University: University of Texas-Austin
Major: B.S. in Physics (Radiation Physics and Nuclear Engineering) and Polymathic Certificate in Philosophy of Physics
Career Path: PhD in Nuclear Engineering
Interests: Dance , Food, Soccer, Science, Philosophy, Healthy Living, Hip-Hop/EDM/Bhangra/Bollywood music