Odissi Dancer Raadhika Khetarpal Who Led A Winning Tennis Team

Dancer, actor, tennis player! Raadhika Khetarpal dons many hats with elan, and knows the sacrifices one has to make to excel at multiple things. The Odissi dancer was leading Team Radiant at the Pro Tennis League in 2021 (which the team won) and has acted in the movie Children of God, set to release this year. She was also recently seen performing at the Braj Film Festival.

The Young Achiever’s Award winner was introduced to the dance form of Odissi at a very young age by her mother, when her family lived in Delhi. “We then moved to Vrindavan, where my dance form became more relatable since it represents many leelas of Krishna. My expressions reflected that relatability, and I started truly enjoying it. My first acting show was at the age of 12 when I did a serial as an Odissi dancer, post which I’ve done three upcoming movies, all related to sports,” she says. The movies will be released soon.

Radhika Khetarpal

As is for anyone pursuing her passion from a young age, so was it with Khetarpal, especially the tough task of balancing academics. “While I used to be the star for my school representing it in sports, cultural activities and drama, I wasn’t academically forward until the sixth grade,” she shares. It was around that time that her mother invested herself in finding the right teachers, who Khetarpal understand the subject material in an interactive manner. “So, I used to have my evenings packed between dance class, swimming and tutorials! I enjoyed each side of it (smiles).”

One of the distinct difficulties Khetarpal remembers overcoming is that after her tenth grade board exams. She had to take a break from dance to focus on studies at the time. Once done with the exams, she found it challenging to restart her training as her comfort space had changed. Her body had slowly gone out of practice. “At times, I still struggle between traveling and practising. But that’s a decision we need to take. I ensure I practice and keep revising all the recitals I’ve learned and now as a sports promoter, I’m exploring ways to blend the two,” says the artist who has never had stage fright or camera worry. If, as an actor she is unable to get a shot right soon, she peps herself up with, “I will do it! There’s no space for NO! Opportunities don’t come every day, if I have it now, I need to make the most of it.”

Radhika Khetarpal

Talking of opportunities, Khetarpal shares that not everyone manages to receive opportunities on multiple platforms. Having shared the state with Hema Malini and Esha Deol at the Puri Beach Festival is certainly one of the highlights of her colorful life. “They too perform Odissi and Bharatnatyam and sharing the experience with them was super inspiring. It helped me stick to my vision.”

Khetarpal believes that life is like a roller coaster ride. Working in two different fields has been challenging for her, but also a pleasure to find the right platforms to encourage and inspire. And to that she continues to follow her passion as an Odissi dancer and actively works in the field of sports following her parents’ advice – to stay humble and keep inspiring.

All images courtesy Raadhika Khetarpal

Also read: Photographer Prasanna Pandarinathan’s Cookbook Is An Ode To Her Mother

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