STU Arts Workshop: Bollywood

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Hello! How’s it going? Welcome back to another STU Arts blog. It is nice to have you. If you have been dancing with us, or you are currently learning more about STU Arts dance, you may have seen that we are currently hosting dance workshops this semester. Our upcoming workshop is Bollywood dance. And what better way to prepare for your upcoming class than by learning more about Bollywood dance! So if you have signed up yet, or are thinking about joining us, keep reading to learn some cool facts about Bollywood dance while also getting you ready for the next class!


To start off, it is important to mention the world of Indian cinema. Full of rich costumes, elaborate sets and colours lighting up the screen, the Indian film industry is one of the largest entertainment markets in the world! It holds some of the most unique and instantly recognizable aspects of dance which developed into its own productions called Bollywood dance. The name “Bollywood” comes from the western nickname for the Indian film industry mixing the words “Bombay” (the old name for Mumbai( and “Hollywood”. Through this connectivity, Bollywood dance has increasingly become appreciated world-wide, whom many have enjoyed the dances themselves creating a love of it outside its films,

Culture on the big screen

Starting at the roots of Bollywood dance, the origins of it are derived from classical Indian dance which is a collection of 8 distinct geological dance forms often performed during religious story-telling’s and rituals in Ancient India. Within the mid-20th century, Hindi-speaking Indian film producers took stylized versions of this dances and fused them together with more informal Indian folk dances to create silver screen performances. These dances celebrated a unified version of Indian culture for all to see. This formula was celebrated across India and was then quickly adopted by other Indian film producers immersing other languages, culture and tradition within India. Bringing in aspects of Hollywood in the mix, choreographers started adding elements of Western dance, such as ballet, ballroom and jazz into their productions, by the 1970’s, pop music made its way to mainstream media, and dance heavily reflected this genre. The hit dance song combination “Mehbooba Mehbooba” from the film “Sholay” (1975) is a prime example of the immersion of Hollywood and Indian folk dance, creating what we know today as Bollywood!

Bollywood as Art.

Like Hollywood, and many avenues within the entertainment industry, Bollywood is constantly evolving. Choreographers and producers alike are creating new approaches to already existing styles leaving many to feel inspired, translating to new dance productions being made. From the 1980’s to today, Bollywood dance has incorporated elements of hip hop, Jazz, and classical rock within its choreography. For example, choreographer Prabhu Deva has expressed their influential approach inspired by Michael Jackson and Beyonce.

Can I learn Bollywood dance?

As mentioned earlier, Bollywood is inspired by western influences. Because of this, much of the choreography can be broken down to the familiar western approach of an 8-count structure. At the heart of it, Bollywood dance is about performance and feeling the motion. You will feel strong Indian culture by the movements, and with practice you will look effortless in your dancing! If you are interested in learning Bollywood dance, STU Arts Dance is offering a Bollywood dance workshop. You will be taught by our very own ECD member Kushboo! Not only will you be learning how to dance, but learning some beautiful culture along the way!

To learn more about our Bollywood workshop check out our page here. Dates announced soon! Check out how to get registered here. We hope to see you out there dancing with us soon!

Thanks for reading!

The STU Arts Dance Team

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