Popular rapper Raftaar first appeared as a contestant of “DID Doubles” eight years ago. (photo provided)

MUMBAI—Zee TV has always been at the forefront of giving India’s common man a platform to showcase their talent and open up a world of opportunities for the truly deserving. Giving dance its due respect, “Dance India Dance” has revolutionized the landscape of dance in India, making it a mainstream career choice for millions.

The biggest dance legends in the industry – top-of-the-league choreographers, reality show judges and performers have all risen from “DID” – be it Dharmesh, Shakti Mohan, Punit J. Pathak, Salman Yusuf, Raghav Juyal, Prince or the winner of the previous season, Sanket Gaonkar.

Now, after a decade of rewarding the country with dancing sensations, “Dance India Dance” is set to return with an all-new, never-seen-before season with a new format in “Dance India Dance: Battle of the Champions.” This year, the show will introduce an exciting, hyper-competitive format, wherein contestants will be divided into four zonal teams and pitted against each other in weekly dance-offs.

Recently, choreographer Bosco Martis was roped in as a judge, and joining him on the panel will be popular rapper Raftaar. What many might not know is that Raftaar first appeared as a contestant of “DID Doubles” eight years ago.

Raftaar has given the music industry multiple hits. His super-hit song “Swag Mera Desi” took the nation by storm and he won the Best Urban song of the year award for it at the Brit Asia Awards 2014. His hit film singles include “Whistle Baja,” from “Heropanti,” “Tamanchey Pe Disco” from “Bulett Raja,” “Mehbooba,” the re-creation from “Fukrey Returns” and the title track of hit film “Andhadhun.”

Said Raftaar: “Dance and music run in my blood, and being a judge on “Dance India Dance” is a huge deal for me, as I was once a contestant on the show. I have so many fond memories of dancing on this stage, and I can’t wait to watch many others like me sizzle on the dance floor this season. In fact, I started off as a dance instructor, which helped me save money for a musical career, so I am extremely overjoyed and thankful to have got this venture.”

He went on, “I have an emotional connect with the stage of “Dance India Dance.” Moreover, this year, there is a complete change in the format of the show, and I am really looking forward to witnessing some amazing dancing talent battle it out in a hyper-competitive space of dance-offs. It feels great to be back, and I look forward to my reality judging debut with this exciting season.”

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