MUMBAI Madhuri Dixit's smile may have launched a hundred brands but it set many more hearts aflutter.
The actress returns to the big screen this year with her first Bollywood releases since "Aaja Nachle" in 2007.
Dixit returned to India in 2011, several years after she gave up her movie career to marry a doctor based in the United States.
The actress recently launched an online dance academy, where she hopes to connect with fans and teach them some of her popular dance moves.
Dixit, 45, spoke to Reuters about her new venture, what one needs to become a dancer and making a comeback in films.
Q: Can you learn dance online?
A: "Yeah, because a lot of it is visual and if there are the right instructions … I wouldn't say it is the easiest thing in the world, but for someone who knows even a little bit of dancing, it'll be great. For someone who doesn't know anything at all, it'll be a bit of an issue, but at least you get to learn at your own pace. You don't have to wait to join a dance class -- you can learn at your own time."
Q: What is the one thing you can't learn in dance and has to be inherent?
A: "Well, sometimes I would say grace is inherent but then you can also learn it. The most important thing to overcome is inhibitions. A lot of people cannot dance because they are inhibited. ‘Oh, I can't dance' or ‘I have two left feet' or maybe someone has commented on their dancing a while back. When you enjoy something, you might be doing the simplest of moves, but they still look so beautiful."
Q: Any important advice about dance that you have got and still remember?
A: "My guruji (teacher) used to always say ‘you should talk with your eyes' and that's very true. Your eyes should say it all."
Q: Did you see yourself becoming an entrepreneur at some point in time?
A: "Well, not exactly an entrepreneur but I definitely wanted to do something with dance. This is a boon to me -- being online. Because then you don't just reach out to 200-300 people -- you reach out to the whole world. You get a cross-section of students."
Q: How has your second stint in India been for you? Was it according to your expectations?
A: "I came back because of a lot of reasons. Somewhere, it was destiny. I had to come back -- it was just a question of when. Secondly, we came back because my kids are at the right age where they will be able to adjust to a new atmosphere and culture. They love it here -- they are happy and enjoy it. The only thing they miss about Denver is the space, but you make that little compromise. They are happy because their friends can just walk into the house and play with them -- there are no ‘play dates' to fix up.
"For my parents, it's wonderful, because they are back to their birthplace and familiar surroundings -- in America they felt like strangers. For me and my husband, it is about giving back and this is just the first step. There will be something in the healthcare region too but that is still in the planning stages."
Q: Have your fans remained the same? What are their expectations from you?
A: "They still want another ‘Ek do teen' from me. They always ask me, ‘when do we see you dancing next.'"
Q: So when is your next ‘Ek Do Teen' number?
A: "I don't know. Right now, I am busy with ‘Gulaab Gang' and ‘Dedh Ishqiya'. It will be great to work with Naseerji (Naseeruddin Shah) and Arshad Warsi."
Q: Are roles easy to come by?
A: "Yeah, this was the right time to come back. Women are not perceived as avenging angels or the victims today. Roles are made where they are modern women -- working, handling their houses and everything. It is a wonderful time for women in Indian cinema."
Q: What does it take to make a comeback in this industry?
A: "We try to make myths that you cannot come back. I don't think that is true. You are like every other professional in any other industry. So many women take a break after a baby and come back. There is Kajol who is still working, Juhi (Chawla), there is Vidya (Balan) who is working after marriage. There was Waheedaji who worked after marriage, Sharmilaji, Raakhee ji … so many women. This is all just a myth."
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