This Kumartuli boy is not only one of the most celebrated artists of the Indian television world, but also a globally successful dancer. Specialising in popping and (liquid) waving, the dancer has earned fans including names like JLo. Apart from his dancing skills, he has also impressed the nation with his acting, choreography, anchoring and an enchanting persona in television reality shows
Shantanu Maheshwari is a multifaceted and a widely-admired dancer, choreographer, actor and a TV show host. Known for his chocolate boy charm and impeccable dancing skills, the dancer has won hearts of the audience apart from his many accolades and recognitions. He rose to fame owing to his endearing portrayal of Swayam Shekhawat in Channel V’s popular sitcom ‘Dil Dosti Dance’. As a member of the ‘Desi Hoppers’ dance crew, he achieved the laurel of being among the first Indians to win the ‘World of Dance’ (WOD) Championship in Los Angeles, along with his team in 2015. Apart from this, he also emerged as the winner of the stunt-based reality show ‘Fear Factor: Khatron Ke Khiladi’ season 8. He was also one of the star performers with his girlfriend Nityaami Shirke at ‘Nach Baliye’ season 9.
Maheshwari’s international acclaim goes to the extent that global superstar Jennifer Lopez is a fan of him and his ‘Desi Hoppers’ dance group. After winning WOD in 2015, Desi Hoppers were invited to Los Angeles for a ‘showcase’ by ‘World of Dance’, where they impressed the producers. Hence, the dance group was invited for an audition, after which they created history by putting Indian dancers on the global map and becoming the first Indian group to participate in NBC’s popular reality TV show World Of Dance (WOD) in 2018. With their very first performance in WOD Season 2, Maheshwari and his team excited all the three judges – Jennifer Lopez, Ne-Yo, and Derek Hough. Although they did not emerge as champions but the group was loved by judges and audience alike. He participated in the show with his mates Macedon Dmello, Nimit Kotian, Mohit Antony, Rohan Virus and Niraj Lama.
Born in Kumartuli in Kolkata, Maheshwari has been dancing since the time he can remember. His interest in dancing instigated at a very young age when he would participate in his residential society’s events and celebrations. At the age of eight, his mother identified his talent as a dancer, and he has been dancing for passion ever since. Being the youngest child in the family, Maheshwari was pampered by everybody, from grandparents to other elders. Thus, he grew up to be a mischievous and demanding kid. He has also been influenced by his mother throughout his entire life, getting inspired, learning lessons, and seeking guidance in life. However, his basic character formed shape under the influence of his father and brother. He is very close to his family and loves to stay connected. “I am an optimistic guy who is thankful to God for always showering his blessings on me. One thought that should come to people’s mind when they think about me is ‘high performance delivered’,” he said in an interview with an entertainment portal.
Initially, Maheshwari’s career goal was to become a Chartered Accountant (CA), but his continuous associations with dance continued to draw him towards his dancing career. He later wanted to be associated with the media industry as backstage crew but ended up auditioning for ‘Dil Dosti Dance’ and bagging the popular role of Swayam Shekhawat instead. Without having any prior acting experience, he was able to get into the skin of his character with each episodic development. He played the role of the shy-chocolate boy and an aspiring dancer from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai’s college dance crew. The show was widely popular among the young masses and Maheshwari secured a huge female fan base with his adorable character.
Throughout the tenure of the show, his exemplary dancing skills and his chemistry with his co-stars Sneha Kapoor and Vrushika Mehta were exceedingly welcomed and praised. Swayam and Sharon’s chemistry on the show, in fact, created a craze of ‘SwaRon’ among the fans, that refuses to die still.
He was a technician and choreographer before a talent hunt transformed his life getting him ‘Dil Dosti Dance’. Since then, he has portrayed quite interesting characters in several episodes of various youth-based television shows. He also stepped into the world of web-based content with ALTBalaji’s ‘Medically Yourrs’ which was a 10 episodes’ series starring Maheshwari in the lead role of Abir Basu, a medical student aspiring to be a musician. Moreover, he has also starred in MTV’s ‘Girls On Top’, and an episode of ‘Yeh Hai Aashiqui’.
From aiming to be behind the camera to winning international and national reality shows — Maheshwari has travelled a long journey to fame. His stints with reality TV include ‘Fear Factor: Khatron Ke Khiladi’ Season 8, which he ended up winning. Then, he went on to participate in Colors TV’s ‘Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa’ season 9 in which his techniques and craft were appreciated by the judges and the audience equally. He was the first runner up for the season. He went on to host ZEE TV’s ‘India’s Best Dramebaaz’ season 3.
During his time at ‘Fear Factor: Khatron Ke Khiladi’ season 8, his dedication earned a lot of praise. He also earned the title of ‘Silent Killer’ by Rohit Shetty for doing every task with utmost focus. Even during ‘Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa’ season 9, the actor-dancer stole the hearts of the nation. Although Maheshwari did not win the show, he was Jacqueline Fernandez’s favourite since the beginning. With such validation, he has fixed a permanent place in the hearts of the girls and families alike.
“Everything I do contributes towards making me a better performer, a better dancer. Dance is the medicine I need to take regularly. I never stop my dancing for anything else, be it acting or anchoring. Whatever I do, I try and balance it out with my dance. Whatever little I am famous for, it’s primarily because of my dance,” he told a news portal.
Currently, the star is focused on further polishing his dancing skills and creating a buzz in the entertainment industry by donning various hats including those of a choreographer, actor, host, and a reality TV star. His latest stints with Indian television have been quite successful and he is willing to explore the industry further with equal zeal. The Kumartuli boy’s career graph is only acing and with his success in the International hip-hop scenario, there is no stopping this young man. How many more trades will this talented boy master? Only time will tell. Till then, the global entertainment world awaits him with many more opportunities to grab.
Hobbies: Cricket, Badminton, Tennis
Favourite Actor: Aamir Khan
Favourite Actress: Angelina Jolie
Favourite Food: Jhalmuri and Puchka
Favourite Sport: Cricket
Favourite TV Show: The Big Bang Theory
Favourite Destination: Kashmir
Favourite Movies: The Pursuit of Happyness, Legend of Bhagat Singh