When they danced their blues away

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When they danced their blues away
Winners of the Smart Idols 2016 talent show pose for the shutterbugs with their prizes at Shaikh Rashid Auditorium at Indian High School in Dubai on Friday. - Photo by Juidin Bernarrd

The show is an initiative to find talent from the working class in Dubai, mentor them and give them a platform to showcase their talents.

By Ankita Chaturvedi

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Published: Tue 26 Apr 2016, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Tue 26 Apr 2016, 2:28 PM

She grew up singing at Church and she dreams to record her own songs and become a professional singer one day. Diana Namayanja from Uganda who works as a bus conductor at a school in Dubai, seemed to have moved a step closer to realising her dream of becoming a singer after winning the first prize at the Smart Idols 2016 talent show for blue-collar workers.
The show is an initiative to find talent from the working class in Dubai, mentor them and give them a platform to showcase their talents.
Also, Fahim Khan from India, along with Diana, was announced the Smart Idol 2016 amongst breathtaking performances by 14 finalists in Shaikh Rashid auditorium on Oud Metha Road.
From the past last two years, the previous winners of the talent show have signed deals with television channels and have been performing shows across the country.
Diana won the first prize in the singing category, whereas Fahim Khan took the first place in the dancing category. "I started singing when I was a young girl, I love Celine Dion ... Smart Idol has given me a chance to prove my talent to the world." Fahim who hails from Gujarat, India, loves hip hop and Bollywood dance style said "My inspiration in dance is Bollywood actor Shahid Kapoor and I wish that may the best one should win this competition."
The second place in the singing and dancing category was awarded to Morries Mana from Pakistan and Rajesh Gugula from India, respectively. An evening full of power packed performances made the show one of the biggest day in many blue collar worker's life in Dubai.
"Smart Idols 2016 began with a big bang in Shaikh Rashid Auditorium with more than 1,000 people gathered to witness the highly talented singers and dancers performing live. Attraction of the event remained a special appearance by a famous Bollywood singer, Vinod Rathod.
Winners in both the categories were honored Dh5,000 and Dh2,500 were given to each who stood second in the competition. Also, they were showered with gifts and presents from the sponsors of the show. Apart from this, all the four winners got the golden opportunity to become a part of smart band and the chance to perform in the functions happening in Dubai.
The electrifying show
Rigorous training sessions and mentoring by professionals prepared the 14 finalists to participate in the Smart Idol 2016. Finale was sensational and the stage was fired with each performance of seven vocalists and 7 dancers. Panel of the 3 judges included Bhakti Harish a Dubai based choreographer, Dr.Mohammed Shakeel, trained in Hindustani classical music and Soumya Datta, Director and founder of the music institute Sargam.
Overwhelming response to the show contented Vinod Mehra, President, Smart Life Foundation. He said: "Five years back we started this competition for the upliftment of the society. There is tremendous talent around us but due to financial constraints they don't get the opportunity to prove themselves. We fetch talent from labor camps in Dubai, we went to 15 labor camps from where 25-30 people from each camp were selected and mentored. Its a transformation for them".

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