Having choreographed songs like Hud Hud Dabangg to Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, Shabina Khan’s songs have went on to become a rage around the country. Ahead of her latest film Radhe, in which she has choreographed the song ‘Dil De Diya’, she joined NewsX for an exclusive conversation as part of NewsX India A-List and spoke to us, not only about her journey so far, but also the secret mantra behind her hook steps, her upcoming project ‘Radhe’, close association with Salman Khan and much more.
“I am a performer myself. For a choreographer, it is very important to be a performer yourself. You cannot just compose a song on somebody else and then create the steps. I believe that my background has been acting. I have been to a acting institute, i come from a classical acting background and I am very fond of dancing. I think, being a performer, is my key to come up with different hook steps. Hook steps are something that everyone should be able to do. They should be easy going. When your hook steps are done by none other than Salman Khan, then you know how it is. When you know you are choreographing Salman Khan, you are lucky to work with him for so many songs, it becomes your duty to come up with something that is easy to do yet fun. Anytime, anywhere- you can just do the step. That’s how I started and it started coming out so well. Till today, I get DMs and messages about songs like Prem Ratan Dhan Payo. I keep it very simple so that it becomes a part of daily routine,” she said.
Speaking about her upcoming project Radhe, Shabina shared, “In Radhe, I went a step higher. The steps are not so easy but they are unique. I thought that nowadays people are actually smart because of social media and everything, so I should go a little higher and that’s how I choreographed Radhe. It is a little difficult but people love it.”
When asked about her favourite project with Salman Khan so far, she responded, “All my songs with him have been my favourite. All the songs that I have done with him, I have taken very seriously. But, I think Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, the film as well as the song, is very close to my heart. It gave me recognition. People started knowing Shabina Khan, The Chereographer, because of that film. That film is very close to my heart because of Salman sir and Sooraj Barjatya sir. But, Radhe has taken that place now because we have really worked hard on it and so has Jacqueline. In those 8 to 10 days of rehearsal, we really worked hard. With all the forces going to Radhe, it is also really dear to me. This journey with Salman Khan has been amazing. He always had confidence in me, always displayed so much trust on me. In every song, I feel like I have to prove myself to him first and then the audience because he is the one who trusts me every time. He comes up with difficult songs for me. He has other choreographers as well but he gives really situational songs to me, which allows me to do something different. That’s how the journey has been so beautiful with him.”
Sharing a piece of advise for young choreographers who want to make it big in Bollywood, Shabina expressed, “There are so many dancers coming up everyday, because of reality shows, Instagram and so many other platforms, where they are showcasing their talent but somewhere we are losing out on the grace. We are going too much into the west. We are doing all this hardcore dancing, making faces and everything. I’m saying do that but don’t forget that we have the powerful dancing style, which is called graceful dancing style. Even the west cannot do what we do. Don’t lose out on this. Legacy of choreography,
Legacy of dancing is that we maintain the grace. If you catch that and then you do other steps also, then you are a perfect choreographer. If you tell me to do hardcore dancing with western moves, I can do that because I’m a choreographer but I will not lose grace. I will include it in those steps as well. I would like to say that please come, we have so many new chereographers coming in but don’t lose grace.”
Finally, talking about her foundation, “The Shabina Khan Foundation”, which has been helping people by distributing essentials, primarily to dancers and junior artists, she said, “I started the foundation last year during the lockdown. That phase gave me time to think about a lot of things. Charity has been a part of my family. We have been doing it every year during Ramzan month. My mother taught me to remove 2% from my payment every time and keep it aside. My siblings and me, we do this every year. We do charity from that amount. Last year, we arranged ration and other essentials during the pandemic and sent it to people with full precautions. We tried helping pregnant ladies, who didn’t have bus fare to go to Cooper hospital. It started last year and then became a part of my life. This year again, when we are in this situation, I thought let’s take it further. Let’s make it big so that we can help more people. Dancers and junior artists started sending me messages for help and the news started spreading. Till now, I was doing it all alone with my brothers and my husband. This time, we thought let’s take it forward and make it big. Then, I started this foundation, where I am going to help everyone with whatever they need.”