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Dance lessons
dance lessons

Bollywood dance lessons

Thursday, April 7, 2005

For those who've seen Monsoon Wedding, The Guru and Moulin Rouge and wished you could dance Bollywood style, we can show you how and where to learn.

The dancing phenomenon is taking the UK by storm and workshops are popping up everywhere. Bollywood is a new blend of modern Indian dance, Bhangra, Arabic, western hip-hop and jazz funk. It is quite aerobic and physically demanding, so provides a good workout.

Modern Indian dance is a combination of words, music and dance. Bollywood films generally have a heroine who suddenly bursts into a song or dance for the hero.

Bhangra was originally danced on baisakhi, India's harvest festival. Now it is done for fun and a night at a disco in India is incomplete without the lively dance.

Arabic dance (sometimes called raqs sharqi, oriental dance or belly dance) gives expression to female strength and sensuality. Sharp hip movements contrast with fluid, circular motions to create a dance rich in variety and interest. It has evolved over thousands of years and the end result is a beguiling mix of reserve and sensuality. It is traditionally learned within the family and performed at social gatherings. In the west, it has become popular as an exercise and dance form.

Jazz funk has elements of classical jazz technique with funky, street-style hip-hop elements thrown in.

Farah Shah has an Indian and Middle Eastern heritage and is a professional dancer/choreographer/performer and teacher, formally trained in jazz ballet, street funk, hip hop and contemporary and classical ballet. She has more than 24 years worldwide experience. Her classes of up to 20 last for an hour. Participants are encouraged to wear lycra or gym clothing which can stretch and is comfortable, sneakers or bare feet and any Indian accessories they fancy to get into the mood.

Maya Masala is a favourite eating spot amongst the Sydney Indian community not far from Farah's studio. They serve authentic northern and southern Indian food. It is very casual with simple décor. Bollywood films run in the background.


Surry Hills in Sydney's inner city area


Dance Central classes are $16 for one or $144 for 10.

Maya Masala meals start at $7. North Indian Punjab Thali is $12.

Please note that the prices listed are valid at the time of filming.

More information

Dance Central
l/268 Cleveland Street
Surry Hills 2010
Ph: (02) 9319 2268

Farah Shar

Maya Masasla
470 Cleveland Street
Surry hills 2010
Ph: (02) 9699 8663

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