FOUNDER & CHAIRMAN
SAIF ALI ANSARI
S/O SHAMSHER ANSARI
DOB: 04 JULY, 1981
BIRTH PLACE: SIWAN
Before we start with Saif Sir's journey, I must tell you that Saif is the BIGGEST fan of Salmaan Khan, He has gone through all the pain just to meet Salmaan Khan, actually it's his dream to work as an exclusive choreographer for Salmaan Khan movies.
“What your mind can conceive, your will can achieve.”
This saying holds true in the case of Saif Ali Ansari, who did not lose sight of his dream to become a dancer for a minute even in the face of a number of obstacles he encountered in his journey. Born on July 4 1981 in Bihar, Saif was allured by the magic of dance from his childhood. His friends in the seventh grade of St. Joseph's Convent High School, Musabani were passionate about the art, and also the influence of dance was very strong in his neighborhood, and local dance troupes performed in dance competitions held during every festival. “I used to feel the stage was dragging me to it,” remembers Saif. After being turned down by two dance troupes in the colony, he got a break with a ‘Harijan’ troupe (considered the ‘untouchables’ or lowest class of society) who allowed him to join them. “I started going to the Harijan basti behind my parents’ back and dancing with them.”
After schooling in Musabani, Jharkhand, he went on to complete his computer course in Jamshedpur. This was followed by a job in Aptech, alongside which he held tuitions to supplement his income.
But even with the security of a stable job, he never lost sight of his vision. He joined a dance academy – ‘Nritya Dance Academy’ run by Shikta Shah, a kathak dancer, to continue learning the art from. This marked his foray into teaching dance. When the western dance teacher put in his papers, Shikta, spotting Saif’s talent, offered him the job. Though surprised, Saif agreed. “I never say no to anything, as I firmly believe in the Mountain Dew tagline ‘Dar ke aage jeet hai’ , so I took it up as a challenge,” said Saif.
What followed was a back-to-back routine of dance classes, tuitions and office. In spite of this round- the –clock schedule, Saif was never tempted to take the easy route and borrow another choreographer’s routine or steps. “My choreography has been original from the start. I used to stay up nights to create original sequences for the next day’s classes. I wanted to give my students the best,” remembers Saif
This dedication bore fruit a year later, when Saif choreographed the show held for the annual day of Nritya Kala Academy. The show met with resounding success and Saif was showered with praise.
That day also stands out in Saif’s memory for a special reason. “My father, who had earlier been against my involvement in dance, came up to me and said I had made him very proud. That was the most beautiful day of my life, and I knew then that I was heading in the right direction,” remembers an emotional Saif.
This achievement was followed by another in quick succession. Saif choreographed a show for a regional dance competition held by a local television channel, and his conviction to pursue his dream became stronger when his team won the show, as it was a significant victory. “I was just a fresher and competing with experienced choreographers. The victory moved me to tears,” explains Saif.
This was when someone suggested that he should move to Mumbai to pursue his dream. “I did not wait a for single day and called up a friend (Eklakh), who was based in Bombay, and he asked me pack my bags and come right away,” Saif remembers. The fact that he was stepping out of the comfort of his home into an unknown territory, and giving up the security of a monthly income of Rs 8,000, which was a big amount then, did not deter Saif. “This was a chance to fulfill my dreams, and I was ready to overcome any obstacle to pursue it,” he remembers.
Telling his parents an untruth (in good faith, to reassure them!!) that he had acquired a job in Mumbai, Saif left for maximum city. This was in the year 2001.
Life in this city was tough initially. “I landed in Mumbai and after settling in to Eklakh’s chawl (hutment) in Andheri, started looking for jobs. Initially, after going through around 20 unsuccessful interviews, I was ready to give up and go back. It was Eklakh’s support and offer to support me that made me stay back,” remembers Saif.
His first job, in spite of being an engineer, was that of a delivery boy in a courier company. As that made him uncomfortable, he asked for a transfer to the position of data entry operator, taking a cut in salary for the same. Saif remembers, “I was paid just Rs 1200, and could afford only one slice of bread during the day and a ‘gujarati thali’ worth Rs 20 for dinner,” he remembers
Saif later moved on to another job paying him Rs 5000, but the jump in salary was not the only thing he was happy about. “It was a job with a night shift which ended at 6 am, so I could dedicate time during the day hunting for openings for a teacher in dance academies, and finally joined one called ‘Lagaan’, run by Akhilesh Kr. Singh, a dancer in Ganesh Acharya’s troupe,” said Saif.
After teaching for two years in the academy, Saif got his first opportunity to work as an independent trainer, when he took on the request to train three children privately.
With these three children (samariddhi,aditi & divika) winning the first three ranks in a dance competition held in the Country Club in Andheri, there was no looking back for Saif. “I started with three kids and today I have trained more than 10,000,” said Saif, smiling. Saif’s students have participated in shows like ‘Boogie Woogie’ and ‘Dance India Dance’.
But Saif’s commitment and passion have not diminished with time and success. There is no compromise on quality – whether it is choreography or techniques, and personal attention is given to every student. “I feel that every student is special. Even if there are 20 students in a class, it is seen that all of them learn every single step, and no one is left out.” In Saif Creations, every instructor is trained to add value to each class.
A 45 year old man, initially hesitant in his ability to dance because of his age, told Saif in his first class, “You made me comfortable.
“We have created an atmosphere here so that everyone feels the warmth and is comfortable. This is a place for anyone who wants to dance, not just professionally, “said Saif.
Saif has not forgotten those who have helped him in his journey, and does not miss an opportunity to help others in a similar manner. One example of this is his involvement with a trust for street children called ‘Prayas’, where he teaches dance free of charge
“This is one of my greatest achievements. When I was a beginner and short of money, Oscar sir did not charge any fees to train me. So, I believe I am returning the goodness that I have received to the universe, and will continue to do so all my life.” People says that Saif does magic in his works, and Saif Sir says that he got all this from the master magician Late Mr. Oscar Ungar.,”whatever I am it is just because of him.
Every student will take a leap into a world of enjoyment where you feel the rush of adrenaline on the dance floor, even if you are a beginner,” says Saif.
So if you want to experience the magic of another world when the door closes and the music comes on, put on your dancing shoes and step right in to Saif Creations!
"My existence is impossible without the lovely students who were with us and is with us, the Dynamic Directors (Manish, Abhishek, Jeet, Ayshaan, Harikesh, Krishna & Aman), hardworking choreographers and all amazing Non Teching staff. I am nothing without my team and cant dream anything without them. Special thanks to my love, life, my backbone - my wife Aisha."