Bollywood Dance at the Library

Shaw (Watha T. Daniel) Library

Bollywood Dance at the Library

The Watha T. Daniel/Shaw library recently offered an eight-week course on Bollywood Dance by dancer/teacher Mrs. Kumud Mathur.

Dancing woman 1Picture of a woman dancingThe term "Bollywood" comes from the words Bombay (the Indian city now known as Mumbai, where India’s film industry produces its large number of movies each year) and Hollywood (the historical center of movie studios and movie stars in the United States). India produces the largest number of films in the world.  Bollywood films have theater, music and dance, like any musical film. Indian audiences are used to seeing songs and dances, a generous mix of love, comedy, dare-devil thrills, melodramatic plots with star-crossed lovers, angry parents, siblings separated at birth, rags to riches sagas….

Bollywood dancing is a commercial name for modern Indian dancing. It combines classical Indian dance (which is the base), folk dances such as Bhangra, and sometimes includes elements of Latino, Arabic and hip-hop dance. It's fun! It is exotic, expressive and easy.

People dancing at the library The Shaw community responded with an overwhelming interest in these classes. More that 30 children, teens and adults attended these classes, returning enthusiastically every week. The teens found greater self-confidence with the mastery of new and exotic dance moves, and the adults enjoyed the challenge of mastering intricate body movements of the face, the fingers, the hips and the feet, often comparing dance moves from across cultures with one another. 

The classes ended with a grand finale where the participants “dressed up” for the occasion, some in their native costumes, some bravely attempting to wear Indian dresses!  There were additional performances from participants  who were accomplished in other dance forms such as belly dancing, African dance and more. 

Because of the enthusiastic response, we hope to bring this program back to the library in the spring.  Stay tuned! 

In the meanwhile, for those of you who wish to keep in touch, check out books and DVDs on Bollywood dancing from your local library.

Cover Image of Bollywood Dance Workout   
Or watch these videos on YouTube: