Zumba’ing to the tunes of Druk Jackons

Zumba’ing to the tunes of Druk Jackons

A distant dream since childhood comes a long way to become a reality two decades later

29 years ago, a small kid from Paro dreamed of dancing through the years and establishing his own dancing troupe. The journey took off in 2009 when he, along with some 17 other boys formed a dancing troupe known as Druk Jacksons. There was no looking back then, and the rest is history.

Now 29 years old, Sonam Wangchuk, popularly known as MJ, the leader of the troupe, proudly owns a Zumba dancing class in the Capital after two decades of an illustrious dancing career.
Inspired by the international pop icon Michael Jackson, Sonam named his Zumba dance class as Druk Jacksons Zumba. Established in 2021 at Babesa, Sonam currently works as a full time instructor in his Zumba class. Prior to that, he was employed as a Zumba instructor for three years at the Thimphu Muscle Factory.

Sonam concedes that the journey wasn’t a smooth sail as everybody presumed. There were many aspects like mental, physical, economic and social factors which he had to take care of. However, the passion for dancing was so strong that he surpassed each and every hurdle he came across.

As far as Sonam remembers, he started to dance at a very young age of six and as he grew up, the love for dancing even grew further where he kept dancing though there wasn’t any facility during those days unlike today.

After forming a troupe, Sonam and his group participated in various platforms and even won many prizes and certificates in group dancing and solo dancing. This kept the flame in him burning unlike most of the people who love dancing just for pleasure.

At the age of 14, Sonam earned his first remuneration, teaching dances to kids during vacations at the YDF compound which was a famous platform those days for dance enthusiasts.
Courtesy of his talents, Sonam even got full scholarship to study in class 11 and 12 at Pelkhil School where he got the privilege to serve as the school cultural captain.
With not many certified Zumba instructors in the country, Sonam is among those few certified ones teaching all kind of Zumba dance moves including aerobic dances on different music with unique steps. He even organizes different activities for his clients.

“I try my best to boost the energy of my clients which will help them not only to lose weight, but also to keep them engaged and refresh their body and mind,” Sonam said. “It has also helped cure migraines for some clients,” he added.

At the moment, his business is doing well and the positive feedbacks which he receives motivate him to work even harder. “We should never lose our focus on what we are doing or else it won’t take you any further but face failure,” Sonam says with a grin.

Despite ten to twelve Zumba classes in Thimphu itself, Sonam is proud that his Zumba class is the only one that functioned in a consistent manner.
Till date, he has trained around 700 individuals in dancing some of who have now opened their own Zumba classes across the country. Besides, Sonam has also provided choreography services in four Bhutanese movies.

Highlighting on the future scope of dancers in the country, Sonam said that it is very important for passionate individual dancers to not lose focus and work hard to achieve their goals and dreams.
Sonam expects to continue shaking his body for another 10 to 15 years by which time he intends on leaving a legacy that will serve as a testimony of hard work, dedication and passion to upcoming and future dancers.

By Sherab Dorji, Thimphu