500 rupees to $1 million story: NBC ‘World of Dance’ winners, The Kings, used to make $7 before they found fame

The Kings members
Champions of the world of dance: The Kings.

Members of the group had a humble start in the ‘gullies” of Mumbai.

It’s time for the boys from a dense Mumbai mohalla to bag their space in the limelight. The world is toasting The Kings, a dance group from India’s largest city that just created history by winning the most prestigious and biggest dance platform on American television.

As The Kings were announced the season’s winners for NBCs’ World of Dance, the 14-member crew knew that their lives would now change forever.

During the entire contest, the group consistently remained a favorite of judges Jennifer Lopez, Ne-Yo and Derek Hough.

And even though, it appeared that the group was quite at home on the glitzy stage in Los Angeles, the truth is that all the members had very modest beginnings.

Suresh Mukund, director and choreographer of the group, told the American Bazaar that when the boys came together from the streets of overly populated and humble suburb of Nala Sopara, in Mumbai, to form a dance group, they often used to win a modest Rs 500 ($7.17) in prize money. “It all started 10 years back when some passionate dancers from around the streets came together to form a dance crew and achieve what they all of them had dreamt of together,” he said. “In 2008, we formed our first crew which went to participate in local competitions where we used to win Rs 500 as the prize money.”

But the small amount that was collectively won by the 14-member group inspired them to dream bigger. Asked how the group was able to catch the attention of people in India, Mukund said, “This was the time which encouraged us to pursue more and we went on to participate in reality shows. We performed for the first time in Boogie Woogie (a popular dance reality show in India hosted by Javed Jafri) and received appreciation from the judges with one statement that we will make it to the International stage one day.”

And the group did take the encouragement that came their way seriously. The boys from humble backgrounds were able to arrange for means to prepare for global competitions with the help of the digital media network Qyuki.

“We partnered with Qyuki a few years back and they helped us grow overall in digital as well as other mediums,” he said. “Today, we stand here cherishing that one line and fulfilling what we had always dreamt of representing our country on an International stage. The journey has been really wonderful and we feel very proud to be the only team from India to be at this position. And all our achievements wouldn’t be possible without a great team which we have along with us. We got the fabulous team with few of them being with us for the past 10 years like Karthik Priyadarshan, Chandan Acharya, Sunny Chatterjee and few more. Each and every crew member has worked really hard to bring our crew on top of the world.”

The Kings, who are managed by Qyuki digital media, have lofty plans for the future. Said Mukund, “We are setting up new dance studios along with Qyuki and cannot wait to see what the future holds for aspiring dancers like us.”

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