Mingma Dorjee Lepcha, the first dancer from Sikkim to appear on a dance reality show, received a rousing welcome at a programme organised by Mingma Fan Club here yesterday evening.
The Dance+2 contestant returned home finishing in the top six of the show.
The 19-year-old dancer from Kagyup village in Namchi, South Sikkim, performed solo dances in a mixture of contemporary and Kathak and was representing Puneet J. Pathak's team in the show.
"I have been auditioned for Dance India Dance, India's Got Talent, India's Dancing Superstar and other shows in Delhi, Mumbai and Calcutta over the years," said Mingma.
Finally, in Dance+2 auditions in Siliguri, Mingma qualified for the next phase of auditions in Calcutta and later in Mumbai where he was short-listed as a contestant for the reality show.
Dawki Lepcha, Mingma's mother who is a saleswoman, admitted him to Taal Music in Namchi for dance classes after realising the boy's talent at a performance for Mount Carmel School in Namchi.
"My mother is everything for me. My father left us and married another woman. She has taken so much of pain to educate me and my brother," said Mingma.
In 2008, he met his mentor Sushma Chettri, a dancer, who helped him take his dance to a notch higher.
Mingma had performed at the Namchi Mahotsav and has been regularly performing at the cultural event of South District for years. He had been a winner of Sikkim's Number One Dancer in 2013-14 and Season Two of Bagbani Nritya Pratiyogita in Darjeeling in 2014. He was a runner-up at Himali Pratibha Ko Khoj and a finalist at Nepali Dancing Star which he had to leave midway because of personal problems.
"I have performed in many cultural gatherings in the state over the years, but was not popular those days. After gaining experiences from all such shows, I vowed to go big and make a mark at national level events as well," said Mingma.
Although Mingma failed to win the reality show, it presented before him a series of opportunities. He has been invited by Padma Vibhushan winner Pandit Birju Maharaj for training and to stage a show in Dubai in November.
The teen was also invited to be a celebrity judge at a dance reality show by a Maharashtra-based troupe. He will also be attending a series of workshops in Goa and organising a few in Sikkim in the future.(TT)