Tanishaa Mukerji recently reflected on her transformative journey in ‘Jhalak Dikhlaa Jaa,’ sharing amusing anecdotes of coordination challenges and comical mishaps during rehearsals. In a candid chat with ETimes, she also praised Hrithik Roshan‘s effortless dance style and found Aishwarya Rai‘s movements beautiful, ultimately naming Madhuri Dixit as her top choice among female dancers in the industry. Excerpts…
You explored the artistic side of yourself in ‘Jhalak Dikhlaa Jaa’. How was your experience?
It has been unbelievable. I really had to challenge myself, pushing past many limitations that I might have imposed on myself. More importantly, I reached heights where each of my performances was unusual, and the difficulty level was very high. It was very exciting to do these things on a stage like Jhalak, whether it was bungee aerial, emotional acts, salsa, or lifts. I did lifts for the first time, and every lift was more difficult, almost breaking my body because my body is not very flexible. I do a bit of yoga and Pilates, but for lifts, you need a different kind of flexibility. I think I have learnt that on the show. It’s been a hugely transformational experience for me because I now feel confident with lifts. I also feel confident that when I put my mind to something, I can do it. I believe that’s what this whole experience has given me.Could you share a memorable or funny anecdote from behind the scenes of ‘Jhalak Dikhla Jaa’ that might interest your fans?
When you are practically living in a studio and rehearsing 24×7 for a competition, trying to learn a dance in three days for a stage performance at competition levels, there’s a lot of stress and fun at the same time because you are practically living with these people. So, there were many funny moments behind the scenes with my choreographer, Tarun, and me.
One amusing thing was our coordination issue. Tarun would be in the middle of a dance and say, “Put your left hand,” and I would end up putting my right hand. I have a huge left-right confusion, as many people do. It became a funny aspect for him because in dance, coordination is crucial and needs to be fast. There was a moment when he told me to put my hand up near my ear, and I ended up holding his ear instead of my own. He was like, “Put it next to your ear,” but I thought he meant his ear. These were the coordination challenges that brought humor to our rehearsals.

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Then, there were instances where, due to the many lifts and close quarters, I accidentally hit him in sensitive areas. I found it really funny, and at one point, I couldn’t stop laughing because every time he taught me a lift, I ended up hitting him in various places—his chin, nose, and so on. I got bruises on my shoulder and knees. It felt like we were beating each other up more than dancing, but it was all part of the fun. Despite the stress during rehearsals, we managed to laugh it off, making the whole experience enjoyable.

According to you, who is the most fabulous dancer in the film industry?
Answering this question is extremely challenging because everyone has different levels of expertise. Currently, I would say Hrithik Roshan stands out, effortlessly making every move look unbelievably easy and smooth. Among female dancers, I admire the way Aishwarya Rai moves; there’s something very beautiful about her dance. Deepika Padukone has also delivered some fantastic dance performances. However, Madhuri Dixit holds an unparalleled position in the industry, making her my top choice among female dancers. Overall, these three women are outstanding dancers in the industry for me.

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