Shantanu Maheshwari who is known for playing Swayam in Dil Dosti Dance completed 10 years in the industry on April 11. The ace dancer has also been a part of many dance reality shows and emerged as the winner of Khatron Ke Khiladi season 8. In an exclusive interview with BollywoodLife, Shantanu Maheshwari spoke about his journey in showbiz. He shared, "Words fall short to describe what these 10 years mean to me because there is so much to say, so many people to thank for being with me on this journey, which has been nothing short of a roller coaster ride, but one I have thoroughly enjoyed! I am eternally grateful to each project I was made to be a part of, as the learning I acquired through each of those experiences was immense and what has ideally shaped me to be the person that I am today. The love and admiration that came along from well-wishers and people appreciating my work was what motivated me and kept me going strong through each year, helping me grow, evolve and create new breakthroughs not only nationally but on a global scale with many International competitions and shows."
"When I reflect upon all the work that I have done, all the people that I met along the way, many of whom have developed important relations in my life, and importantly all the love that I have received, it still feels surreal to know that these 10 years have given me moments to cherish for a lifetime! I would also like to thank Palki Malhotra, for giving me my very first break in the industry with D3," he added. We all still remember Swayam Shekhawat from Dil Dosti Dance and it won't be wrong to say we all still love watching Shantanu in that role. The Khatron Ke Khiladi 8 winner also shared how Swayam and Dil Dosti Dance have been special for him. He said, "I started off my career with D3 and Swayam was the very first character I got to play. Since the show began during my teenage days, there was so much I got to absorb and learn whilst playing Swayam which gave me the chance to explore acting in a deeper sense. Through those 4 years of playing Swayam, there were many characteristics and traits that I took in from Swayam, and added in some of my own into him, so there was a lot that Swayam gave me and I gave the character throughout the show. Also, when I was first offered the show, I was super excited to be a part of it as it was the first ever fiction dance based youth show on television,and coming from a dance background myself, it was an opportunity of a lifetime for me to be a part of D3. Though never did I imagine the show would become one of the most loved youth show's of our country. For me, D3 is that one project which completely changed my life. Not only did it become the stepping stone for me to to gain recognition in the industry, but it also changed the face of youth shows on television and helped shed light upon the importance of 'Dance' in India, which infact helped so many aspiring dancers to recognize their dreams of pursuing dance as more than just a passion. D3 also gave me some of the best and most cherished friendships that will always be closest to my heart. Our entire cast and crew is still very much in touch with each other and we are all great friends even now, and make it a point to meet on special occasions. D3 and my character Swayam will always be an integral part of my life, as being a part of the show and getting to play a character for 4 long years which is still fondly remembered and loved, has truly been a life changing experience for me."
"I am definitely rooting for a season 2 of the show, and not just me but the entire cast is rooting for the same! Though for me it is very important for it to happen with the original makers of the show, as it is because of them that the show connected well with the audience, and it would definitely be super fun to work with the entire cast and crew again. With everyone having evolved now as performers,coming together again for D3 would be amazing for all of us! And with so many old and iconic shows being recreated for web nowadays, it would be lovely to see D3 comeback with a brand new season, "Shantanu added. He also spoke about that what he misses about Dil Dosti Dance. He shared, "It's honestly hard to pinpoint one memory among a whole bunch of them that covered 4 years on the show, so all I can say is that every moment spent on and off screen with our D3 cast and crew was extremely special. The Cinevistaas set was our home, where we all have laughed, cried and experienced the good and bad times together which truly strengthened our bond. We would shoot the entire day, rehearse for our dance sequences post the shoot, eat together, leave together after a late night packup and repeat the same thing the next day. So there's a lot I miss about the show and those 4 years, but I am glad that everyone associated with it is still very much a part of my life which I am eternally grateful for." Shantanu hasn't done a fiction TV show since a long time and he also spoke about what has stopped him from doing so. The Nach Baliye 9 contestant said, "All the makers creating youth shows have unfortunately stopped creating those, so while there have been numerous opportunities of roles and scripts that have come my way in the last few years, none of them have intrigued me like the characters I have portrayed in the past. My project experiences in the last couple of years have also been a great learning ground for me in regards with what I should be a part of and what I should not be a part of, so keeping those in mind I am choosing my work with a lot of thought put into it, and only picking projects that challenge me as an actor and a performer and help me bring something new to the table each time."
Shantanu Maheshwari's Desi Hoppers became the first dance crew in the history to represent India at World of Dance and win it too. Talking about his experience performing at World of Dance, Shantanu said, "Representing the country on such a prestigious platform like World of Dance and performing in front of other prominent crews from around the world was an experience of a lifetime for our entire crew! Getting first hand exposure at a global event of such prominence in our early 20's was an amazing feat achieved by all of us which helped us grow, learn about the dance culture and industry besides our own, and helped us think big and out of the box with wider perspectives in mind. Bringing home the trophy on the eve of Independance Day in 2015, totally gave a new meaning to our win at the championship, which not only became our own but one on behalf of India, making it an extremely memorable moment for our crew." Shantanu Maheshwari had won Khatron Ke Khiladi 8 and was fondly called as the 'Silent Killer' by host Rohit Shetty. The actor shared some fond memories and spoke about winning the show and his camaraderie with his co-contestants. He shared, "Before the Indian version of Khatron Ke Khiladi began, my brother and I used to regularly watch the International Fear Factor and would always discuss about how the stunts could be performed in a better manner, so when I was actually offered Khatron Ke Khiladi, it was an overwhelming moment for me. The best part about my season was the camaraderie between all of us co-contestants. We all came from different walks of life, so it was great knowing about everyone's story and understanding them. KKK was also the first time in my life that I was going to be away from my family and friends for a long period of time, so I was skeptical about how it was all going to turn out, but because everyone was extremely warm and sweet, it was great fun bonding with them! The way many of them presented themselves even inspired me to think differently, live in the moment and enjoy it and just be free! So overall being a part of the show, bringing home the trophy and interacting and getting to know so many amazing co contestants, made the entire journey wonderful!"
Shantanu Maheshwari was asked about that one project he has done in these 10 years that has been the highlight of his career. He said, "These 10 years have given me numerous opportunities to experiment with fiction shows, reality shows, web shows, music videos, advertisements and so much more, that naming just one project as a highlight is extremely tough. Every show, be it fiction or reality or web has been a highlight, has been an important part of my career, as each of these projects has helped me grow as a performer in totality and enhanced my knowledge about the industry. All my projects over the years have only helped me raise the bar higher and higher for myself, and explore my versitality as a performer."
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