This time around on my fitness journey, I know that I can only go to the gym day in and day out for so long. I’m sorry, but the gym can get boring really quick and if I am going to be successful, I know that I have to it switch up. I figured there has to be some dance classes in the city that I can take to vary my workouts. So I went to googling and found a really great deal on a 2 week trial for ClassPass which is a service that lets you pay one flat monthly fee and you have access to tons of different types of fitness classes in your area. The fee is normally $75 a month but I paid $9 for my 2 week trial.
And I signed up for a class called Bollywood at Steps on Broadway Dance Studio.
I was 12 years old when I discovered the wonder that is Bollywood when I used to babysit a girl in my neighborhood. After she went to bed, I would watch late night TV and there used to be a TV show called Roshni that showed Indian music videos. I was so fascinated by the intricacies of the choreography (how the heck do they get hundreds of people to dance in sync?) the richness of the colors, the music and the high energy. I became hooked instantly.
I feel like the spirit of Roshni lives on and found me again over two decades later in NYC 🙂
I was looking forward to this all week so I mapped out the directions, picked out my clothes ahead of time – I was ready. But, even with all my preparation I still got lost and was running late when I rushed into class. Lucky for me, class had not quite started when I finally arrived. There were only 3 other students plus the instructor – Katie, who greeted me and welcomed me in. Now let me be honest, I was expecting an Indian woman to be teaching the class, but Katie Was. Not. Indian. So, I was a little skeptical. How authentic would this be? But, how would I even know if it wasn’t authentic? Is she appropriating the culture? Does this girl take this seriously? Let me tell you, Katie removed all of my skepticism within the first few minutes of class. She showed a genuine love, knowledge and respect for Indian culture. (Phew! I didn’t want to have to check her behalf of my Indian brethren)
Katie started off by giving a brief history of the styles of Indian dancing. She showed us some moves and explained the meaning and how they were used. It was fascinating and gave me more of an appreciation for what I was about to get into. I started getting excited again. She put a few combinations together and whoo I was sweating and out of breath. It’s been about 5 years since I learned any choreography and my bones were rusty. And that was just the warm up. Guys, I was not sure if I was going to be able to make it through this 90 minute class.
After the warm up she gathered us around her computer to show us a clip from a Bollywood movie so we could see the dance number where she got the inspiration for the routine she was about to teach. The name of the number was Bumbro, which means bumblebee.
I had so much fun learning the routine, getting back into my element and learning something new. And, I burned nearly 400 calories in that class! Katie sent us all a clip of the performance, you have to check this out. I’m the one in all black, you can see me reflected in the mirror, more towards the right of the screen.
Oh and on my train ride home, I signed up for another Bollywood class next week.