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 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 its exotic, larger than life qualities. 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 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 & musical 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)
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, 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 enrolled them! Thank you, we are very pleased with your efforts -Keep it up! –members of the 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 hope 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
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 the workshop and for 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! “