Bollywood dance craze

March 24, 2009 8:47:59 PM PDT
Bollywood, India's film industry is the worlds largest and produces 1200 movies each year. That's twice the number of movies coming out of Hollywood.Slumdog Millionaire stole hearts worldwide and won the 2009 Academy Award for Best Picture. But the movie did more than give us an unforgettable love story. It made us want to dance. Dance studios across the U.S. are seeing a booming interest in Bollywood dancing and those in the Delaware Valley are no exception.

So are the new dancers inspired by Slumdog Millionaire? Perhaps there is a growing interest in Indian Culture? Or it is just plain fun? The dancers at Attitudes Dance Company told us it's all of the above.

"It is a lot of fun and a lot of jumping around so it really appeals to a lot of cultures. I think the music is so upbeat everybody can relate to it," said Bidisha Dasgupta.

"You can feel it with the music its exciting its fun," said Michelle Trenholm.

We caught up with the group as they practiced at the Community Education Center in University City. They were learning new steps prepping for an upcoming competition. Among them is, Michelle who is participating in her very first Bollywood dance class.

"The dancing is so beautiful and just really intrigues me."

The movements are a mix of classical Indian dance with some African influence and even a little hip hop. But like any choreography the complex beauty is a culmination of simple step sequences. That's exactly how the Bollywood dance is taught.

Students work on perfecting the moves broken down and slowed then they put them together and speed up the tempo.

Rosalyn Reidt leads the Attitudes Dance Company and couldn't be more excited that the number of people interested in Bollywood dance is growing. She also believes that the dancing is opening some other doors.

"I think it's absolutely amazing because a lot of people have a certain mindset to them about Indian people and Indian culture. And you know a lot of it is not true. If you actually hang out with some Indian people or try the food or watch some of the movies it's got such a deep history and cultural aspects of it make the whole country of India, the people, the movies just absolutely beautiful and amazing."

Many members of the Indian community are hoping that all of this attention will encourage even more people to learn about their culture.

The Attitudes Dance Company will be participating in a Bollywood dance competition that's coming up in May. We'll let you know how they do.