Shawn Thomas is a Christchurch boy, who we could easily say is the Bollywood Ambassador for New Zealand. With his growing dance community in Auckland, a starting role as a judge on a Bollywood reality TV Show, Shawn is creating a world of his own in Aotearoa.
The Great NZ Dance Masala
His journey started dancing at his University Indian society productions which consisted of musicals and shows that entertained the Bollywood lovers of Christchurch. He then produced his own show with Bryan Aitken (Current president of NZ Theatre) called Rose - an Indian adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
From then he went on to announce the start of his very own Bollywood Dance company which he ran for over 3 years and directed 3 Bollywood musicals over the time. Teaching more than 100 kids and receiving numerous accolades. Bollywood Dreams was the dance company that everyone wanted to be a part of!
With so much attention coming his way, Media works were soon ready to have him on board as a judge on the national TV series - the Great New Zealand Dance Masala, which streamed a season of 8 episodes over 2 months. It was then featured on Air New Zealand’s in flight entertainment which gave Shawn the motivation to pursue the screen industry in NZ!
The three judges of The Great NZ Dance Masala (pictured here with host, Colin Mathura-Jeffree), have been nothing but earnest and kind (so far).
He then attended New York Film academy to study filmmaking which gave him an opportunity to teach filmmaking full time at Yoobee Colleges in Christchurch.
Before returning to take on a full time role as a Product Manager in the Education Tech industry, he had the chance to be part of Netflix and Warner Bros Sweet Tooth production currently being shot in Auckland.
His vision is to bring back an exclusive season 2 of the great New Zealand Dance Masala with more behind the scenes of the Indian culture and information on how the dance has reformed the ethnic community. Similar to popular shows on Kpop and HipHop culture.
You can keep up with Shawn on Instagram, Linkedin and Facebook - @shawnykt
Have a look at a few recent routines from Shawn including a remake of a popular Bollywood classic.