Bollywood dance for fitness
Getting fit through Bollywood dancing
Bollywood dancing is an exotic and exciting way of getting your body fit and healthy through Indian exercise. It offers a fun and expressive workout, incorporating classical, folk and funk styles of dance. Here’s our guide on how Bollywood dancing can put you on the road to a healthier and more active lifestyle.
An introduction to Bollywood dancing
Bollywood dancing is an expressive form of movement based around the popular Indian film genre. Fusing classical Indian steps with folk, Latin and hip-hop styles, it offers a fast-moving and vivacious dancing workout that is great for enjoyable group exercise.
The most popular type of Bollywood dancing is Bhangra, a folk dance that stems from Punjab in northern India. Bhangra bears similarities to funk and Latin dance, consisting of strong beats and driving rhythms. Needless to say, it’s a fine way to get your body on the right path towards better fitness.
Key fitness benefits of Bollywood dancing
Bollywood dancing has many key health and fitness benefits, in addition to those already associated with dance exercise. Benefits of Bollywood dance include the following:
- Boosting coordination and rhythm - Bollywood dancing requires the participant to fully engage with the musical beats they are moving to. This develops the body’s natural rhythm, as well as its balance and coordination skills.
- Developing aerobic exercise - Bollywood dance is incredibly active and provides the body with some great aerobic exercise, boosting the oxygen supply to key muscles and therefore improving muscular resistance over time.
- Toning the body - The outgoing and expressive beats of Bollywood dance music can’t help but get your body moving quickly. This is great for burning off calories and toning key muscle groups such as the calf muscles.
- Relieving stress - Bollywood dancing provides a happy and fun version of traditional Indian dance. As a result, it’s great for helping you forget your worries, with dance routines refreshing the mind and blowing cobwebs away.
Key styles of Bollywood dancing
Bollywood dancing can take a number of different forms, with Bhangra being the most popular in Europe. Here are some of the key Bollywood dance styles:
- Classical Bollywood dance - Based firmly around funky folk rhythms and pounding beats, this traditional version of Bollywood dance sticks to old-school traditions with sensual, gliding movements.
- Kathak dancing - This classical North Indian and Pakistan dance features fast footwork and quick spins. It is often accompanied by live musicians and may follow a narrative or story. Kathak performances usually follow a progression from slow to faster tempos.
- Modern Bollywood dancing and Bhangra - Fusing traditional Bhangra folk rhythms with aspects of hip-hop, Latin and jazz dances, modern Bollywood dancing is a frantic and fun activity perfect for enjoying with friends or family members.
What to expect from your first Bollywood dancing class
Bollywood dancing can be difficult to pick up at first and is definitely not for the faint-hearted. However, its fast-paced energy is well worth some initial effort and hard work. Although teaching styles can vary, early lessons may feature a range of musical accompaniments, from Bollywood film songs through to R ‘n’ B, and remixes of traditional Bhangra folk songs. Classes generally start with some slower warm-up routines but often burst into life at short notice. Be prepared for anything and have plenty of energy before you begin.
Key Bollywood dancing tips and more information
When starting out in Bollywood dancing you may be concerned about embracing another culture, which you have no previous experience of. Fear not though. Bollywood classes are designed for everyone and feature a wide range of people from all age groups and ability levels. When it comes to clothing, don’t feel the need to wear anything too elaborate. Some jogging bottoms and a t-shirt will do it.
Sources of further Bollywood dancing information include:
- Honey Kalaria's Bollywood Workout – ‘Bhangracise’ Your Way to a Better Body (book)
- The Bollywood Dance Workout (DVD)
- Dance Like an Indian Presents... Bollywood Dance (DVD)