10 Facts About Bad Salsa: The Energetic Indian Dance Act On ‘AGT’

Bad Salsa America's Got Talent

Bad Salsa absolutely slayed the America’s Got Talent stage with their quick footwork and dangerous acrobatic skills. The duo consisting of 15-year-old Sonali Majumdar and 21-year-old Maraju Sumanth from Kolkata, India have blown the audience away with there immense talent. Let’s take a deep dive to learn more about this act that hopes to win season 15.

Bad Salsa Started At A Legendary Dance Studio

Sonali and Sumanth are dancers of Bivash Academy of Dance. This is where they get the acronym “BAD” from. Because we all know, their dancing is anything but bad. It is one of the best dance academies in India and helps train people who are interested in performing on reality talent competitions.

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Their Mentor From Bivash Academy Of Dance Is Pretty Famous

The owner of Bivash Academy of Dance, Bivash Chowdhry has worked with many celebrities and contestants from other talent competitions including dancing superstar Akash who competed on India’s Got Talent. He has said in the past that he admires Sonali and Sumanth for doing such dangerous acrobatic tricks. “It’s a lot of risks involved. We used to be very scared initially, but with practice, the moves become easier,” he said. Injuries can sometimes happen which was the case for Sumanth recently after he reportedly suffered an injury.

Sonali And Sumanth Have An Intense Practice Schedule

The pair practice anywhere from 8-12 hours a day. They not only follow a very strict practice schedule but also a strict diet on top of pursuing their studies. Sumanth is currently pursuing his graduation in English honors in India.

Bad Salsa Came From Humble Beginnings

Sonali is from Bonga, a small village on the India-Bangladesh border. Her father is a farmer that only makes the equivalent to $1 a day. Her family struggled during her childhood to have meals and sometimes fasted if they could not afford any food. They also do not have electricity or running water.

Sumanth comes from a lower-middle-class family of railway workers. Growing up in this environment people only considered you successful if you went on to be a doctor or an engineer. Even though these expectations were placed on him at a young age, his parents have been nothing but supportive of his salsa career. In fact, his father is the one who first brought him to Bivash Academy of Dance. Sumanth has gotten good grades in all of his classes and enjoys playing cricket in his spare time in the midst of all of the traveling that Bad Salsa does.

Bad Salsa Won ‘India’s Got Talent’

Sonali and Sumanth won season four of India’s Got Talent in 2012. Sonali was only 7 years old at the time. They absolutely dominated the competition and won by audience votes. Not only did they win money, but also a car they were not yet old enough to drive. The show gained prominence for celebrating underprivileged kids that needed a platform to showcase their talents. And of course, it gained them prominence in India for being one of the greatest dance duos of all time.

Sonali Also Appeared On ‘Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions’

Sonali has actually met Simon Cowell before when she appeared on Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions with her other partner Sardar. He was actually a finalist on India’s Got Talent seasons six and seven. Interestingly enough, Simon did not acknowledge that he has seen Bad Salsa perform before but maybe they will go more in-depth about it in future episodes of ‘AGT.’ Even after being eliminated right before the finale, they were still extremely motivated to take their dancing talents all over the world.

Sonali Has Made Several Television Appearances

As you can tell, Sonali has danced with multiple people from Bivash Academy of Dance. One thing she has demonstrated is some major girl power after beginning salsa lessons at the age of 7, the same year she won India’s Got Talent. She had only ever danced Bollywood before getting salsa lessons. Sonali has also made other television appearances including Dance Champions and  Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa.

It’s Not All About Winning For Bad Salsa

Sonali has said in the past that it’s not all about winning for her. Her and her past partners have agreed that it’s about putting dancers from India on the map. They hope by being on America’s Got Talent they will be able to show people that India is home to some of the world’s best dancers just like ‘AGT: Champions’ winners V. Unbeatable.

Sonali And Sumanth Are Huge Fans Of Shah Rukh Khan

During the finale of India’s Got Talent, Sonali and Sumanth got to meet their idol Shah Rukh Khan, the global phenomenon, actor and producer. Sonali said the moment was special for her because he is her favorite actor. When they were crowned the winners, they shared a moment with Shah Rukh Khan where they got to dance with him and he even lifted up Sonali to give her a kiss on the forehead. Sumanth said that dancing with Shah Rukh Khan during the finale was a dream come true. This was a huge notable moment for Bad Salsa and they will never forget it. Who wouldn’t want to dance with Shah Rukh Khan?

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Being On ‘America’s Got Talent’ Is A “Dream Come True”

Sumanth described being on ‘AGT’ as a “dream come true.” The experience for Bad Salsa has been “magical.” His parents were extremely emotional after their successful audition and they even cried. Sonali and Sumanth will never forget that iconic moment.

For a little bonus fact, one of Sonali’s favorite comments she got on Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions was when judge David Walliams said: “This is not Bad Salsa, this is good salsa.” Ironically, Howie Mandel also made a similar comment on this season of ‘AGT.’

SEE ALSO: THE BEST INDIAN ACTS TO COMPETE ON ‘AGT’

Will Bad Salsa be the winners of season 15 of America’s Got Talent? They definitely have what it takes with their unique combination of acrobatics and dancing.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Samantha Agate
Samantha Agate

Samantha Agate is a contributor and host for Talent Recap on YouTube with a previous byline at The Blast. She graduated from Hunter College in 2019 with a degree in Media Studies and a Concentration in Journalism. When she isn't binge-watching reality television shows or binge-eating fried food, she loves hanging out with her friends and family and petting puppies.

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