Whoever said ‘exercise isn’t fun’ hasn’t tried Bollywood dancing! This month I had the pleasure of attending two classes at Bollywood Dance Studio in Vic Park for an authentic experience of this dance inspired workout. Read on to find out how I went!
Bollywood dance is a form of story telling with lively music, intricate costumes, large gestures, symbolic body positions, head movements and facial expressions. It consists of many different styles and influences, from classical and Indian folk styles to all kinds of modern and western dancing. If you’ve seen Slumdog Millionaire or Bride and Prejudice you may have an idea of what Bollywood dance involves.
When I arrived at Bollywood Dance Studio on a Tuesday evening for my first Bolly Active class I was greeted with a beaming smile by Maitri, the gorgeous founder of the studio. I immediately felt welcomed and at ease. I was shown into the studio where other students had gathered eagerly awaiting the start of class. I was introduced to the two instructors, Cate and Sri and they showed me where to stand for the start of class. As soon as the music started for the warm up track I knew I was in for some fun! I am not the most coordinated person, but I found the instructions easy to follow and the repetition of moves allowed me time make adjustments. Some tracks were faster and involved lots of jumping around which really got the heart rate up while other songs were slower and allowed me to catch my breath! There was also one arm track that we used small dumbbells for and a core block to finish off the class which had lots of moves similar to pilates. Overall the Bolly Active class was lots of fun and is suitable for all fitness levels, you get out of it what you put into it, so the more you move the more you sweat.
The following Saturday morning I attended a Bolly Masala class. Once again I was greeted by Maitri and showed myself into the studio now that I knew where everything was. Bolly Masala classes actually run in 5-week blocks in which students learn a full dance routine. I was joining class 3 of a 5 week block as I had been unable to make it to the first two weeks but I really wanted to try it before I wrote this article. I was a little nervous as my lack of coordination mean I am not the best dancer but I was made to feel welcome by all the other students and by the teacher, Sri. I chose to stand at the back of the class so that I could follow along and not bump into anyone if I got a move wrong. Class started with refreshing what had been taught in the first two weeks and I was VERY impressed. In two weeks they had already learned over 2 minutes of the routine and were all moving in sync (except for me haha). By the end of class we had learned another minute of the routine and I was (almost) moving in time with everyone else! I actually found this to be more of a workout than the Bolly Active class and I really appreciated the dedication of the other students. I had a lot of fun learning the ‘Bolly stomp’ and how to ‘pluck the apple’. I would love to see the class perform at the end of year concert all dressed up in costume showing the full routine! I left class with a big smile and full heart.
Bollywood Dance Studio offer more than just dancing, they offer a cultural experience, a fun calorie burning workout and a chance to show off your new moves at the annual concert. They offer a range of classes – some are more dance inspired and some are more fitness inspired – from basic to advanced levels for adults, teen’s and children. You can trial the Bolly Active class for free by signing up on the Bollywood Dance Studio website and selecting the free trial. Prices and timeline for the Bolly Masala classes are also on the website. So if you are looking for a fun way to workout, that guarantees laughs and smiles, give Bollywood Dance a try!