So She Can Dance

From being a contestant on an American dance reality show to being a part of India's first dance film, Lauren Gottlieb's journey has been full of surprises.

Lauren Gottlieb was leading a regular life in Los Angeles ó that of a dance performer. However, one evening changed it all. When she returned home after work, she chanced upon an email from UTV, the production house. "The email mentioned that Remo D'Souza, who is a well-known choreographer in Bollywood, was a huge fan of mine and wanted to cast me in his next film, ABCD Ė Any Body Can Dance," says Gottlieb. And even before she knew, the contestant on season three of the US reality dance show, So You Think You Can Dance, was packing her bags for India, to play one of the lead characters in the film.

Gottlieb, after her stint with You Think You Can Dance, has also performed with artistes such as Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Britney Spears, Shakira and Carrey Underwood. While being part of films was a dream that she nurtured, coming to India or joining Bollywood was never on the agenda. "But life surprises you in different ways. And sometimes, you've got to go with the flow," she says. Today, she feels she couldn't have asked for a better film debut. "I am a part of India's first 3D dance film directed by Remo D'Souza and it stars one of the best dancers in the world, Prabhudheva," she adds.

Signing her debut film also meant that Gottlieb had to move to a new country on the other side of the world. She had to learn a new language and get accustomed to a new culture. She came to India, armed with ambition and passion. "I did not have much time to settle in. I had to immediately start with my Hindi tuitions." In the film, Gottlieb plays the role of Rhea, a contemporary ballet dancer who works with Kaykay Menon's school of dance. A fight between Menon and Prabhudheva forces Rhea to leave the school and join Prabhudheva.

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