Wednesday, September 28, 2016

My IPL Diary# Sasha

One day I found myself staring at an email that read IPL Cheerleader and decided to go for the audition. At the time I was still working. My office job which consumed most of my time. I pleaded with my boss if I could go and just try and see what would happen. To be honest I didn't really think I would do well but turned out that I did a good job. So thats how I found myself in India dancing for the IPL.
What brought you to IPL? Cheerleading or the chance to explore a new country?
I believe the answer is both, I absolutely adore dancing, I started dancing from the age of 3 or 4, started out with ballet and now I do almost anything just purely out of love for the art. Then my heart and soul yearn and desire to travel and see the world. I guess this is what made the opportunity so rewarding is that I was granted the opportunity to do both and enjoy it at the same time

Which IPL team were you cheering for?
Kolkata Knight Riders

What were your expectations before coming for the IPL?
Expectations, interesting because I never really had any. I asked a few girls about the basics of how it works etc but no expectations which I believe helped me enjoy my experience that much more.

What kind of preparations did you do before coming?
Preparations are intense, rehearsals day and night, fortunately for me I only attended the evening rehearsals because I was still working full time. But we would have 2 - 3 hour rehearsals where we practised all the different routines and during this time also got to know the girls who were going to be sharing the IPL experience with us.

How was it when you performed during a match for the first time?
The first game, nothing prepares for that first routine on that stage. Definitely overwhelming and your nerves get the better of you, but once your adrenaline kicks in and you realise the moment that you are part of everything falls into place. After the first few rounds we found our rhythm and cheered the night away.

Did you learn any Indian dance moves?
Indian dance moves, I think I could say yes. We went out a few nights after games mainly to celebrate the victory of the squad with our mother agency and the girls. Locals would show a few moves here and there but nothing too crazy.

How was the India experience? Did you get time to explore India? Did you try out Indian food?
We had so much time to explore India, it was an incredible experience. The people, the noise, the smell everything experienced was just great! Due to the nature of the tournament we were given the opportunity to see and explore 9 different cities in 7 weeks. I fell in love with India, it has so much hidden beauty that is to be discovered.

I tried loads of food and purely because I love food! They make a few really good pasta dishes in India, and a mean chicken and mayo sandwich at The Astor in Kolkata. I tried Pani-pori which was definitely different I think is safe to say. Let's just say it's not something I'm going to be craving anytime soon.

How wild were the parties?
The parties were limited. I think we only went out thrice while we were in India, our management kept a tight hand on us during our entire stay. If we went out we either partied alone at a club or we would have security and management on top of us. Parties were never ever allowed to get wild just purely based on the fact that we were well looked after. Sometimes I wish we could've had a night out without management and just experience the nightlife for ourselves.

How emotionally attached were you to the team ?
In the beginning not so much but towards the middle of the tournament I became focused on seeing my team win and excel! The game affected out team spirit in our locker rooms, so when we were winning then we were happy and over the moon and on the opposite side of that we would be despondent of we were loosing. I really wanted KKR to make it to the final I believe that our team really worked hard but at the end of the day what happened needed to.

Would you like to come back in future to IPL or India in general?

What is one memory of this experience which will be embossed on your mind forever?
There are to many memories, to this day. I still look back at all the photos and the videos and just am so grateful for the opportunity. I think something that stuck with me was the morning after we lost, SRK had posted a picture of me crying after my team had lost and he said in there that he always wished the boys well but never really acknowledged us. That was something pretty special, a memory that will forever live on in my heart!

During my journey in India my step-dad passed away and it was only then and in India I realised the importance of family // Every game my family would sit and watch just to get a glimpse of me and the tradition continued after he passed away too.
I guess this journey has made an incredible mark in my life and I won't forget it anytime soon

Follow Sasha on Instagram @basticksasha

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