Gayaram performs Indian dances such as Kathak, Odissi and Filmy for not only dignitaries, but everyone, including those willing to pay him and his dance troupe, the Ghungroos.
Gayaram got his start in his native country Guyana at the age of nine. It was as if it was what he was born to do, because after winning first place in his first-ever dancing competition, the trajectory to stardom was a swift one.
For five consecutive years he won first place at local competitions around the country. He ended up getting banned because he was “winning too much.”
“I started touring locally, then while I was still in high school I began traveling the Caribbean islands,” he said.
When he was allowed to participate in dance competitions again in Guyana, he won the National Dance Contest in 1985 and became the national dancer for Guyana.
While Gayaram was winning the competitions, he was not performing the strict, routine of Indian dance. “I was just freestyling,” he said.
It wasn’t until gaining the post as the national dancer did he get the proper training to learn the basics. During that time he served as a police officer by day, a dancer by night.
He went to India and studied Kathak, Odissi, folk and Filmy dance. During the 90s, Gayaram gained international fame on the scene when he won most talented Indian dancer in Canada and most outstanding male dancer in London. He has performed in over 5,000 shows and has won over 150 dancing competitions.Guyaram, who resides in Richmond Hill, still dances but now he keeps it national around the United States.
“When you travel you lose more financially," he said. "I often ask myself, is it worth it to go for one night or stay here for three nights?” Often, he chooses the latter.
He and his dance crew of 35, which was formed 10 years ago, perform live events and private parties and functions around the five boroughs, Florida and also Barbados.
On June 26, they will perform at Club Tobago in Jamaica, Queens.
For Guyaram, it’s not just about the spotlight; he is already helping upcoming young dancers.
At the Ghungroos dance school in Richmond Hill, the dancer, who has also toured with Bollywood big names, teaches classical and pop Indian dances to aspiring dancers.
“I grew up in the cultural arena, and I don’t like seeing people be taken advantage of,” he said. “There are lots of kids who dance but don’t have that opportunity to be seen. We are here to back them up.”
For more information about Dheeraj and his dance school, visit his .