A couple of weeks ago PlusMinus bagged ourselves the chance to try our hand (or should we say hips?) at a Bollywood dance class, courtesy of London-based professional dance group ‘Bollywood Vibes’.
The first question that sprung to mind was ‘what the heck are you expected to wear to your first Bollywood dance class?!’ The answer? Anything at all. Olivia, who was running the class, was dressed in a beautiful Indian robe, others donned brightly coloured skirts and tops, and the rest of us had thrown on our gym gear. The main thing is you are ready to move!
Before the class begun, a smiling Olivia distributed bindis and belly scarves. A few of us hesitated and someone raised the issue of cultural appropriation, but Olivia explained that wearing a bindi whilst immersing yourself in the culture shows appreciation, rather than appropriation.
At this point we were ready to begin. We should probably note that we are by no means professional dancers. Drunk dancers? Maybe. Bedroom-mirror dancers? Yes. Bull in a china shop dancers? Definitely…
As it turns out, you don’t need rhythm, or even much coordination, to enjoy Bollywood dancing. The catchy, upbeat sound of a Bollywood chart-topper makes it impossible not to smile from ear to ear from start to finish.
As we jangled our way through each move, Olivia catered to all ages and abilities by offering alternative moves, and even dished out facts about the dances – a work out and a history class rolled into one!?
If Bollywood looks fun in the movies, it’s even better first hand, and the contagious nature of the music makes it difficult to stop moving. The hour flew by, and we left the room still buzzing from the positive energy, with a new Bollywood Playlist ready to download.
Our verdict? If you want a taste of Indian culture without forking out for the flights, check out London based dance group ‘Bollywood Vibes’.
For more info: www.bollywoodvibes.co.uk/