MUMBAI— Ankola boy Sanket Gaonkar walked away with the coveted “Dance India Dance” trophy and a cash prize of Rs. 5 lakh on Feb. 18. After weeks of entertaining audiences and leaving viewers in suspense about who would walk away with the coveted “Taqdeer ki sunehri topi,” “Dance India Dance Season 6” drew to a close this weekend. Over the years, the show has become like abeacon of hope for numerous dancers across the country and has served as a stepping-stone for the careers of some of India’s much sought-after dancing stars.

“Dance India Dance” is the embodiment of Zee TV’s core philosophy “Aaj Likhenge Kal.” The pioneering dance reality show, this weekend, crowned Gaonkar, Karnataka’s dance prodigy who has grown up in a small town called Ankola. Finalists Sachin Sharma and Piyush Gurbhele were announced as the first and second runners-up respectively and were also awarded with cash prizes to celebrate their achievements on the show.

The finale also witnessed the presence of the Chitrangda Singh, who is set to make her television debut as judge on Zee TV’s next non-fiction show “DID Li’l Masters.” Joining her was the upcoming show’s host Jay Bhanushali and the team of the show, including Grandmaster Mithun Chakraborty, masters Marzi, Mudassar, and Mini, and the show’s hosts Amruta Khanvilkar and Sahil Khattar.

An elated Gaonkar said, “‘Dance India Dance’ has been a great learning experience for me. Ever since I took my first steps in the show as a part of ‘Master Mini Ke Master Blasters,’ I have wanted to learn everything there is to learn about dance and make everyone proud. The entire team, including Dada and my fellow contestants, have been very supportive and have encouraged me throughout my journey. My training and practice sessions every week focused on improving and honing my skills and scaled up my performance in front of the judges. I am glad to have made some truly special bonds which I will cherish for life. It’s yet to completely sink in that I have won “Dance India Dance.” I am really excited and want to thank Zee TV for giving me this amazing opportunity and platform.”

Celebrating another successful season, Zee TV deputy business head Deepak Rajadhyaksha, said, “This season was extremely special for us. It it was our first big non-fiction launch after we announced our new brand ideology – ‘Aaj Likhenge Kal.’ And, truly, the contestants this year have done just that! Their unparalleled passion for dance and drive to make it their profession has enabled them to stand tall and build a future for themselves. We would like to congratulate Sanket Gaonkar for his victory. The world is now his playing-field, and we hope that he is able to give wings to his dreams and create his future in dance.”

Celebrating 10 years of “DID”-driven dance mania in the nation, the 3-hour special episode started with a stunning opening act by the finalists of the show followed by performances by the masters – Marzi Pestonji, Mini Pradhan and Mudassar Khan. Living up to the theme, the finale also brought together some of the most loved “Dance India Dance” alumni including Salman Yusuf Khan, Mohena, Sanam, Faisal Khan, Jeetumoni, Cornell, Mitthu and many more who set the stage on fire and proved to the nation, once again, why “Dance India Dance” is a premier star-maker platform on Indian television. And the Top 5 finalists – Gaonkar, Sachin Sharma, Piyush Gurbhele, Shivan Wankhede and Nainika Anasure shown high.

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