Bollywood and Bhangra dance classes are the latest trend in fitness classes which makes sense seeing how desi music has steadily made its way into mainstream America, whether it was Bhangra Empire killing it at the NBA halftime show, or Davis and White’s Bollywood Medley at the Olympics. And then there was Cornell’s Bhangra on America’s Got Talent. And who can forget Nina Davuluri bringing Bollywood to the Miss America pageant?
Desi dance and music has captured the collective American curiosity and the popularity of it is not only growing but is showing up as cardio classes in gyms and studios across the US.
What’s more, Bollywood dance style classes are proving to be a fun and effective way to burn calories. You can burn 600 calories in just 45 minutes in a Bhangra or Bollywood class. Even Zumba classes are incorporating Bollywood song numbers in their classes!
Bollywood and Bhangra classes share a similarity with Zumba classes in their ability to break down dance moves in easy-to-replicate patterns. Some instructors may teach whole routines whereas other instructors may teach a set of moves recycled throughout class in different levels of intensity. Essentially it’s making a type of dance more approachable. Bollywood and bhangra classes are sometimes an equal measure fusion of desi dance forms and hip-hop steps packed with a synergy of dynamic arm and leg movements.
Many desi dance and fitness instructors are taking the US by storm for their unique brand of teaching. Take Shivani Bhagwan and Chaya Kumar. They’ve created their signature dance styles called Bhangra Funk and Bolly Funk which has allowed them to travel around the world teaching classes to masses.
Bhagwan brings the Bollywood flare in the music and dance moves while donning typical Western exercise gear. The hip-hop feel to each class creates a wonderful atmosphere of inclusivity which entices men and women of all races to participate in regular classes and even BollyFunk dance battles. Dance battles are short choreographed steps that follow a particular theme. It’s usually between 1-4 people. If there’s a team, it’s two on two. Those who are not battling form a circle to cheer on those showing off their moves.
There’s also Bollywood Groove in Chicago that offers a wide range of Bollywood classes for people of all ages. Bollywood cardio classes are taught by Ajanta Chakraborty and the rave reviews point to many reasons these classes are thriving.
In Houston, there’s Naach, a studio that offers Bollywood Fusion, Hip Hop, and Bollywood contemporary classes. You can select which class best fits your workout needs. Each class will leave you drenched as they have you constantly moving.
Dooyna, a Bollywood workout dance fitness program is offered in select cities in New York, DC, California, Texas, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Rohan Sheth, the CEO of Dooyna has incorporated dance moves with stretching and moves that target problem areas. There are leg lifts, standing crunches, dancing, and, again, tons of sweating.
Taking these classes is a great way to get cardio in, sure, but they also provide a wonderful experience in letting loose to remixes of songs you listened to growing up. Look up your local dance or fitness studio to see if Bollywood or Bhangra-style classes are offered and get to sweating!