My Life – CJ Beckford

Recently i was chosen to take part in a project called Reel Bollywood where we learned to dance, make music and made our own Bollywood fi lm with professional people.

Everyone on our estate aged between 11 and 20 was asked if they wanted to audition and, because I go to a drama group, I went for it and was chosen.

It was a great experience and opportunity. Although it was very challenging and hard, it was fun and exciting. And it was different as it wasn’t street dance or hip-hop or R&B, that I’ve done before, but something new.

We worked with Niraj Chag to compose the music for the fi lm and we all put our own little bits to it – like making up lyrics. Niraj has worked with people like Craig David and he was a bit bossy, but we didn’t mind because he was really good at what he does.

We also worked with Chix Chandaria, who used to be a choreographer and dancer in Bollywood. She was strict but she taught us more different styles of dancing than we’d ever done before.

At first it was hard working with people we didn’t know, but as the week went by we started to enjoy it and made plenty of friends. The rehearsals were very tense but we got through them. Everyone on the film crew was very supportive, and we were treated like superstars the whole time.

Lots of people at my school were laughing at us because we were dancing, but when they saw us in the paper they stopped laughing and were jealous.

One day I would like to be an actor and dancer. Doing things like this is really good experience. I have swapped numbers with other people on the project and maybe we will do some stuff on our own now.

CJ Beckford is 14 and lives on the Bourne Estate,central London

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