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Dancer, actor & computer geek - Down syndrome cannot stop this young man from Kerala


Anoop Karanavar’s love for dance knows no boundaries. The numerous trophies and accolades in his shelf are evidence of his passion for dance.

22-year-old Anoop has not missed a single dance event in Mannar in Kerala, where he lives. He has won laurels back to back and is well-known as Mannar Ayyappan. His beautiful dance moves have won him many hearts!

Anoop stays with parents and elder brother. His mother says Anoop fell in love with dance quite early in life.

He loved watching movies on TV. While in play school, I remember that he used to shake a foot to the songs that came on TV. I noticed how he used to enjoy it. That is why we decided to teach him dance – Ambili Karanavar, Anoop’s mother

Won national-level dance competitions

Anoop started learning dancing 10 years ago from a teacher who would come home. Over the years, he has become quite professional. He has competed against non-disabled children and won.

He has even represented his school at a dance festival held by central government. He came fourth, beating students from 28 special schools from across India.

Over the last seven years, Anoop has been a regular face at various dance competitions across Kerala, winning top honors.

Anoop is a trained Bharatanatyam and folk dancer. Recently, he has been concentrating completely on Bharatanatyam. He is deeply in love with that dance form – Ambili Karanavar, Anoop’s mother

Anoop is also a popular actor. He has acted in many films made for TV, including two that were shown on Doordarshan. He is also passionate about playing the tabla.

Anoop is currently doing his graduation in Economics. He uses a scribe to write his exams. He is very particular about his studies. The support of teachers and classmates has made college a fun experience for this young man.

Anoop wants to pursue a career in dance. He plans to study further at a dance school outside Mannar. His parents, however, have concerns about whether he will be able to manage by himself given that he has Down syndrome.

Anoop wants to go to Kerala Kalamandalam and pursue higher courses in dance. Kalamandalam is far away from where we stay, and we cannot send him alone. He is quite good with computers too. But dance is all that is there on his mind – Ambili Karanavar, Anoop’s mother

Given his determination and confidence, Anoop seems determined to live his dream. Given that he has been dancing to his own tune since the age of seven, this young man looks un-stoppable.

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