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"So I'm in New York right now, and the person who messaged me was in India. So they were like, 'Can I just get a visa to attend a class so that I can see you'? And I was just like, I wish I could give you a visa."
That's not the only time Jainil Mehta has received fan mail on his Instagram.
Speaking to The Quint, Mehta, who is known for setting the streets on fire with his electric performances, opens up about his dance style, his dance series aimed at gender inclusivity known as 'Men in Skirts,' and all the love and hate he gets.
How Do New Yorkers React to Jainil's Dance?
"Well, there are so many Indians in New York and New Jersey, but at the same time a lot of Indians as well who don't know much about Bollywood, but they love what I'm wearing or they love how I'm moving," Mehta says.
Talking about the non-Indians, he goes on to say that "they really appreciate and respect the Indian culture."
With Fame Comes Hate... But a Lot More Love
When asked about the inevitable hate that comes with fame, Mehta says that he has "faced criticism from the beginning itself."
"Because I dance, first of all. So, just a guy dancing was always unorthodox, especially in school where my friends and colleagues used to tease me."
But that criticism, he asserts, only made him more confident.
On the other hand, there is no dearth of sexually suggestive comments and fan mail in his DMs and in the comments section of his videos on Instagram.
He Calls His Style J-Flow
Talking about the origins of his dance style, J-Flow, Mehta says, "My name is Jainil, so that's why the J, and then flow because everything kind of flows in my movement."
"It basically comes off of my personal experiences. My relationships with people, with nature, with the environment, were lot of the reasons why I started 'Men in Skirts,' which is just being who I am, as confident and bold in the flair and the grace that I love being in."
'Dance Education Is the Goal'
Mehta started teaching when he was only around 15 or 16, and that time he had 25 students in his first class itself. From thereon, the class size just kept increasing.
"After COVID, the class size really increased from Mumbai to all around the world."
With dance education as his goal, Mehta says that he wants to "set up a dance education model in India for university and college students."
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