From Mumbai to Finland, ace choreographer Melvin Louis is empowering dancers all across the globe. We talk to him about his passion for dancing and travelling. By Priyanka Chakrabarti

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1. Tell us about your journey as a choreographer.

It’s been tough to survive but my love for dancing kept me afloat. It took a long time to pay off but it eventually did; I’m happy to have been at it everyday. I have loved dancing ever since I was a child, and I continue to love it everyday of my life. For me, a day not danced is a day wasted. As a choreographer I face a lot of challenges – I’m expected to be creative and spontaneous at the same time, while adhering to timelines to execute projects.

2. How does travelling inspire your creative process?

Meeting and dancing with people on the other side is a fun process. In the process of imparting knowledge, I always end up taking back more in return. I will continue to travel and teach all my life; there’s nothing better than meeting new people and connecting instantly over music and dancing. Travelling has led me to meet different people and explore many cultures, which has expanded my acceptance levels. Dance unites everyone. It keeps me warm, humble and happy.

3. What kind of traveller are you?

A frequent one. I travel almost thrice a month.

4. What does travelling mean to you?

Travelling for me is knowledge. Discovering new places, exploring cultures and meeting new people help in one’s personal growth.

5. Your work may take you to many destinations. Would you share a memorable anecdote?

Here, I would like to talk about my recent trip to Finland. I was invited to be a guest at a dance festival. I saw people from different backgrounds and races dancing to Indian music, which made me feel so proud. The feeling of acceptance and love was beautiful as I didn’t imagine I would be so well received on the other side of the world.

6. When you were a child, where would you usually travel to on summer vacations?

I would travel to central India to visit my extended family. We would also visit beach destinations that made me fall in love with oceans. There’s nothing more beautiful than an endless sight of the horizon at dusk.

7. What has been your best 2018 holiday?

My NYE holiday to Dubai last year. I have been to Dubai umpteen number of times, but this time it was super special as all my friends who’ve moved to other countries flew down to jam!

8. Who is your favourite travel buddy and why?

Sana Khan is my favourite travel buddy. When you travel, you try to explore the most, which needs you to be on your toes for long hours; however, it’s boring to travel with people who want to laze around all the time and not step into the wild. She’s always up for an adventure, and there’s never a dull moment; besides she will keep cracking me up with her humour throughout the process. Time flies when she’s around.

9. Tell us about your most adventurous holiday.

My most adventurous trip has been to north India with a gang of 10 friends. We visited 10 cities in the span of 10 days in December. From animal safaris to river rafting — we checked all the boxes! And, from losing our luggages to missing our train back home — it was the most adventurous trip ever.

10. While travelling, do you maintain a fitness and skincare routine?

I have to admit, I fail to maintain a regimen while travelling as I am way too excited to see new places. But, if I’m travelling with Sana there’s no chance to miss out on a routine; she makes me follow her fitness and skincare routine.

11. If you could pack only five things for a vacation, what would they be?

I would take my passport, phone, card, underwear and a pair of denims.

12. Do you think solo travelling is more enriching than travelling with a group of people?

Solo travelling is enriching but can be boring at times. It all depends on where you are travelling to. An enthusiastic group of people with a lot stamina will be my pick!

13. Which are your favourite cities around the world?

Singapore and Dubai are my most favourite cities in the world.

14. A destination that you want to visit this year?

I want to visit Jordan this year.