Bollywood dance is the dance-form used in the Indian films. It is a mixture of numerous Indian folk & classical dance as well as popular world dance elements!
The term ‘Bollywood’ comes from the combination of the names of Bombay (city now known as Mumbai) and Hollywood. The Bollywood film industry, based in Mumbai, is the largest film industry in the world in terms of ticket sales and the amount of films made per year.
Bollywood films are mostly musicals with very few movies made without at least one song and dance sequence. The films feature love interests, comedy and action thrills. The plots are often melodramatic and often feature star-crossed lovers, corrupt politicians, twins separated at birth, conniving villains, angry parents, courtesans with hearts of gold, dramatic reversals of fortune, and convenient coincidences.
While the acting and sound tracks that accompany these movies are fantastic in themselves, Bollywood is often known in the western culture for its awe inspiring dance sequences, often featuring large numbers of dancers in perfect co-ordination and ornate costumes.
The term ‘Bollywood’ in dance covers almost any style of dance featured in these extravagant musical movies. Some of the numerous styles of dance featured in films, either in fusion form or in pure forms, include Kathak, Bharatnatyam, Garba, Bhangra, Lavni as well as Belly-dance, Latin, Hip hop, Contempory and Jazz just to name a few! Bollywood dance itself is a style which encompasses all of these styles and more, as well as having its own unique flavour and merit.
Bollywood dance is now so popular in western culture that Bollywood dance classes are offered in most major cities around the globe. Superstars such as Shakira, Madonna and Britney Spears have been so inspired that they have added Bollywood costumes and moves to their stage shows and video clips. Bollywood dance has also gained recognition in the world of western dance and is now featured on shows such as ‘America’s Got Talent’, ‘So you think you can Dance’ and ‘Dancing with the Stars.
It is not unusual to see Western pop and pure classical dance numbers side by side in a Bollywood film. The international appeal of Bollywood dancing is something that has been in the making for many decades. Originally it was found only in places that had a significant consumption of Indian films. But today it is rising in popularity in the US, Canada and Europe. With the success of films such as the Oscar winning movie “Slumdog Millionaire”, Bollywood films and dance have taken the world by storm & has now come into the global spotlight. Much of this is due to the ever expanding Indian diaspora, but a significant proportion also comes from non-Indians who are fascinated by the exotic, larger than life qualities inherent in it. Be it their lavish sets, production value, or extravagant costumes, stars like Madonna, Shakira, Britney Spears have incorporated the Bollywood style of dance or music into their songs, videos and stage shows.
Bollywood Dance Benefits:
- Confidence on the dance floor- execute signature Bollywood moves with flair!
- Interpret and express on a diverse variety of popular Bollywood songs
- Improve your social or stage presentation
- Enjoy learning to dance on uptempo, lively music.
- Learn graceful movement, and how to execute with energy.
- Understand lyrical context and “tell a story” – with eloquent expression!
- Attune to foreign musicality, Incorporate an international dance style into your repertoire.
- Develop better coordination using all your faculties, upper & lower body, face, eyes and hands!
- Develop rhythm & timing.
- Unlock the technicality of many dance steps- familiar or new
- Show off your skills at the next Indian do! Surprise friends & family!
- Most of all : Feel happy with the joyful peppy nature of the upbeat songs, get exercise and relieve stress!
Watch a playlist of dances for our Teen-adults – and see how students fare under the expert guidance of Priya Chellani
Bollywood dancing is today synonymous with fusion and countless individual interpretations. When learnt and executed properly, students can retain the integrity of distinctive hallmarks of the style, which are : expressing the lyrical context of the song and effectively conveying its original flavor through movement & mime. Bollywood Dance has become an almost ubiquitous, fun free-spirited, social dance found at many a cultural, social & festive gathering today.
Please see links below to find out more about our classes offered for children and adults:
Bollywood Dance Classes for children at Raleigh (Brier Creek)
Bollywood Dance for Teens/Adults at Raleigh (Brier Creek Community Center)
The highlight of the evening was a BOLLYWOOD STYLE show choreographed by Priya Chellani of Indigo Dance. It was very impressive! Absolutely incredible! I couldn’t get over the number of Dance scenes and well choreographed pieces… Wow! For me it was as if Bollywood had come to life right before my very eyes. All involved did a fantastic job. Members from Atlanta’s Bellydance Community also had major dance roles in the purely Bollywood style routines. There was very little “crossover.” Awesome job! The plot was a dance teacher tries to teach a 1st time dance student some moves. He’s terrible at it but soon learns. But that’s not all…as with every Bollywood Film there were twists and turns and all sorts of drama accompanied by fabulous dance scenes and costume changes. If anything it showed the capability of Priya Chellani who put this enormous act together. Im putting together a montage soon and will post a link to it on Raqs Atlanta. Big thanks to the IFMG for being so welcoming…And mega zaghareets to Priya for putting the fine touch on the event ! It was incredible. *Priya’s picture is on our Raqs Atlanta page cover. More videos and albums from the show will post Friday.”-Andinha Atughone, RAQS ATLANTA Belly-dancing Group Event Coordinator & Dance Journalist, 2009
Priya, you made a big difference in my life, and I’m very proud that you brought this side of me. I’m sure you’ve touched hundreds of other lives. Keep dancing and keep teaching people to dance. You did an awesome job of training our large group for the Diwali show organized in Atlanta. contributing in almost every aspect of the whole dance performance, including identifying a place for practice, selecting the songs, planning the story, scripting, burning CDs for our practice, help with identifying the costumes, organizing the makeup artists and good choreography . At the end, all your hard work paid off and you did deliver outstanding dancers in the show – the crowd simply loved it ! and this despite that most of our group members had NO prior dance experience before this ! It all changed because of you and our friends who supported us all the way to make this happen. Thanks Priya!”– Selva Arunachalam, Atlanta 2009
Priya, Awesome choreography! ! Start touring and spread it all over US. Your moves and steps are unique and very good! Each step, each move is so well-choreographed, you do not allow our eyes to steal away even one moment! – Geeta Khanna, Atlanta, 2015
Priya, we have enriched out lives more with your classes , this is on behalf of my whole family. Atlanta needs more like you !” Dr.Savita Velluvil Atlanta,2010
Dear Priya, Many thanks for volunteering your precious time and your Bollywood groups’ talents towards the Whanau (Family) Day Out which was a huge success with over 1000 multi-cultural families from Greater Auckland joining in the fun. We welcomed your representation of the Indian community with your Bollywood showcases and thank all the members of your group for their presence on stage” – Ezekiel.nz.org “Whanau Day Out” Auckland 2007, New Zealand
Dear Priya,Thank you for taking time out to come and judge the sixth Annual Bollywood Dance Contest 2003. We were grateful for your presence” Organisor, Jhoom ! Contest, at the Logan Campbell Theatre Auckland NZ
Miss Priya, so very good to find you after many years! I happened to see the video you uploaded of mine on You tube. I was so happy and touched to see the 7 year old me dancing away, brought back such fond memories. You have been in our thoughts and memories for the longest time. I fell in love with dance because of you and idolized you so very much. You will be happy to know that l am just starting to teach dance to youngsters back here in Bombay. Both Purva my sister and I have you to thank for giving us such amazing opportunities to dance and building our confidence at such a tender age. You are a rockstar and we miss you loads. Lots of love always!- “Your biggest fan” Tanvi Mehra (Student circa 90-96- now dance tutor in India and founder of Yoga Station, Mumbai)
Dear Priya, Thank you for your accepting my request to be on our Judges Panel for the High School dance contest on 19th April at Beaumont Centre Auckland – Organisor, Rockerz., Logan Campbell Theatre Auckland 2007, New Zealand
Dear Priya, Thanks a lot for all the hard work for the Bollywood dance show by your team. It was fantastic! Also the very well-attended Bollywood workshop you took during Mela in the Town Hall- I hope you enjoyed yourselves. Thanks very much again. Look forward to your presentation at the Wellington Indian Association Diwali next week!. – Manisha Patel, Asia 2000 Wellington Diwali Mela, 2004, New Zealand.
Priya, thank you for the electric performance where I saw your energy, passion and your discipline with how you conducted the team of children all through the rehearsals and final stage presentation. Thoroughly enjoyed the workshop too! My daughter Naomi really enjoyed working with you and I wish you the very best for the future!- Rachel Simon-Kumar, Professor, University of Hamilton, Journalist and Editor, New Zealand
Priya,You are sorely missed. I am continuing my third term into Bollywood dancing but I had really enjoyed your teaching the most. No-one to replace you suitably after you’ve gone , but I wish you the best and know you’ll shine in the United States ! –Kerri Howard, Rutherford Adult Ongoing Community Education College, Auckland New Zealand, 2008
Priya, we were very surprised at our children’s ability when we saw them on stage next to you in the Diwali event. In one session of Bollywood itself, you won them over, and have lit their hearts afire for dance, something we couldn’t quite achieve with other classes we enroled them ! Thank you, we are very pleased with your efforts -Keep it up! –members of Junior Student group, Freyburg Community College, Auckland, New Zealand
Hi Priya, thank you so much for your workshop yesterday. I mentor teachers and model how to teach music drama and dance so I was simply fascinated with your Bollywood moves. I think I would like to have a one on one session with you ! Avon Hansen-Beadle, http://www.thearts.net.nz
Hi Priya, Thank you for your workshop, also hopefully we can find a way to bring your Bollywood class to our school or community. You would be most welcome to stay overnight and enjoy our beautiful beach town while you are here. Cheers, Karine Spencer 0272496981,Whangamata Area School, Coromandel Peninsula, NZ
Hello Priya, was given your name from Avon, who recently attended your very enjoyable Bollywood dance workshop. ONZA (Orff New Zealand Aotearoa) runs workshops for teachers regularly. Our next Professional Development day is the 30 May at TAPAC Performing Arts Centre in Western Springs. We would be very interested in running your Bollywood dance movement workshop. Claire McCormack, The Auckland Performing Arts Center NZ, 2007
Heya Priya, Thank you for very helpful emails. I will be repeating this unit every term with the different classes I have during the year.. I’m excited about Bollywood! Thanks so much for your help again. Tupou Kolofai’I – Sutton Park Primary, 2007, NZ
Hi Priya, I am very excited about you coming in so are the students. I am sure will be fantastic and well received! Looking forward to it!- Molly Nicholas- Marcellin College, 2007, NZ
Hi Priya, Thanks for coming in today to give the girls a glimpse of your dance and session on dance presentation. -we really enjoyed it! – Naseem Ali- Kelston Intermediate School, NZ
Hi Priya, Thank you for coming out to the Fickling Center for workshop and making it such a runaway success! Following the feedback from participants, we wish to hold more such events and incorporating Bollywood style in their dance structured classes. – Sincerely, Susan Battye, Drama Teacher & Professional Workshop Coordinator, Auckland, NZ
Priya, I am not Indian by birth, but learning from you in class, watching and participating in your show was like a dream come true. I was almost “desi” for a night!! I wish you happiness the same way you touched our lives with happiness. Thanks for everything and God bless you- Shanno Pimentel Atlanta 2010
Trivia : Indigo launched its academy in North Carolina in the same year 2013, that also happens to be the 100th Anniversary of this mammoth movie industry!
“Happy Birthday Bollywood
You’re a 100 and still lookin’ good
We salute you like we should!
Gaao, Nacho, Yaaro, c’mon Raise a Toast
To the cinema we love the most!
100 years ko hum karey sub host
Lekin Picture ab baaki hai , Dost! “