One of the key things about exercising is finding something that speaks to your soul. For some, that’s whacking a tennis ball for others, it’s counting out laps in a pool, and for some of us, it’s pretending to be a Bollywood movie heroine, dancing in the rain with our eyeliner miraculously intact.
Seductive and stress relieving, a Bollywood dance class can be found at both Indian dance studios and Western-style gyms. Bollywood is the Hindi-language film industry, based in Mumbai, and the movies often feature a mix of traditional and contemporary Indian dance numbers, blended with hip hop and jazz.
Bhangra, also widely available for dance classes, is a Punjabi folk style, hailing from northwestern India and northeastern Pakistan. It is a harvest celebration dance, hundreds of years old, so it uses a lot of vigorous arm motions mimicking scenes from a harvest.
Both dance styles make for good aerobic exercise and feature Indian music as well as hip hop, reggae, and techno beats. Whichever class you choose, Indian dance is a sensuous, energetic way to work out your heart, lungs, and muscles, and increase your stamina and flexibility.
What to Wear
Dancers are usually barefoot at dance studios or wear sneakers for gym classes. Comfortable attire like t-shirts, activewear, and yoga-style clothes will allow freedom of movement. Some participants choose to wear a long, collarless tunic, the salwar kameez, with pants underneath.