How to dance indian style

How to Learn Indian Dance

Once you have felt the Indian dust, you will never be free of it. - Rumer Godden

While contemporary dance, classical dance and ballet are dance students' bread and butter, many people are opting to embrace other cultures with Asian dance lessons. Bollywood remains one of the most widely-recognised styles of dance: to develop a dancer's sensuality and stage presence, it can't be beaten!

So, find out how to dance like you're in India now!

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What Are Indian Dance Styles?

Practising Indian dancing is first and foremost about discovering the great history of India, even Indian mythology!

Indian dance dates back to the 2nd century BC. Learn a traditional Indian dance with Bollywood lessons! Source: Visual Hunt

Relatively unknown in the UK, Indian dance is extremely popular in Asia.

According to Hindu mythology, dance is a creation by the god Brahma: this art form most likely appeared in the 2nd century BC, according to mythological texts.

Dance in India was an indispensable element of social, aesthetic, artistic and cultural life.

Nevertheless, the most famous form of Indian dance, "Bollywood" dance, remains quite a recent development, originating from Indian cinema. This style of dance is incredibly popular in Asia, similar to Hollywood in America.

As a general rule, Indian dance is synonymous with Indian theatre: dance is performed to a story, either told or implied, and some dancers even use mimes to express their story better!

Dance is an art that is an integral part of Indian culture and folklore. Many Indian classical dances have developed over the years specifically for special occasions such as weddings, celebrations and religious ceremonies.

There is no single Indian dance: this art varies according to its geographical and cultural origin!

To learn Indian dance and become passionate about dance, it is essential to review the customs of the subcontinent: Indian culture is indeed a major asset to teach Indian dance or even become a real pro at forms of Asian dance.

Leave your cowboy hat and boots in the wardrobe, this dance isn't the same as country western dancing!

Discover different toddler dance classes near me on Superprof.

Different Types of Indian Dance

Before starting Indian dance classes, you still have to choose the right style!

Some styles of Indian dancing are more playful while others are more melancholic. Source: Visual Hunt

Indeed, there isn't just one type of Indian dance but rather several styles of dancing. Northern and Southern India draw on their regional history to create popular cultural dances among the Indian people.

The variations of Indian dancing usually have similar elements, although the dance steps are different: some dances are performed either to a slow or fast tempo, solo or in groups or with traditional or more modern themes.

In India, dance is primarily a means of communication through both the body, but also the eyes or facial expressions!

A short, non-exhaustive list of dance styles from India:

  • Kathak,
  • Ossidi,
  • Manipuri,
  • Kuchipudi,
  • Bharatanatyam,
  • Sattriya,
  • Dandiya,
  • Kalbelia,
  • Ghoomar,
  • Indian classical dance,
  • Bollywood,
  • Bihu.

Although oriental dance is primarily associated with the countries of North Africa, Indian belly dancing also exists!

Whether traditional or contemporary, there is something for everyone with Indian dance: the method of teaching, the Indian music used and the pace of the dance are all criteria to be taken into account when making your mind up.

The best way is to attend a trial lesson to try out several Indian dances before enrolling in a class. This first lesson will also help determine the student's expectations and help them choose the class best suited to their budget (dance training, couples dancing, one-off lessons, etc.).

In the US, there are also different dance styles: madison is one of them.

Looking for dance classes near you? Check Superprof now.

Learn Bollywood Dance with a Teacher

Find an Indian dance Choreographer

Do you want to work on your dance moves and musical improvisation? Why not learn Indian dancing with a dance instructor at home?

Who better than an experienced Bollywood choreographer to teach you to dance so you can show off your dance moves to family or friends? Source: Visual Hunt

To become a professional dancer or Bollywood dancer or even to star in a dance show, nothing beats homeschooling. In private lessons, students are introduced to dance by learning the basics of Indian dance such as Maahi Ve or Chaiyya Chaiyya.

How to find an Indian choreographer:

  • Through word of mouth at a dance class or school,
  • Find a Bollywood teacher through physical ads,
  • Find a Bollywood teacher through online classifieds,
  • Take Indian dance classes online,
  • Hire an Indian dance teacher through a private tutoring agency, etc.

With Superprof, Indian dance classes cost around £20 for a one hour lesson!

It's easy to get discounted rates for group classes, intensive dance classes, or weekly dance lessons. Indian dance lessons are suitable for all levels: just take a look at our Superprof dance instructor profiles to check their availability and the conditions of the lesson.

Go from beginner to advanced level with private Bollywood lessons!

To discover another style of dance, why not try African dance?

Take classes at an Indian Dance School

Indian dance classes at a dance school are the perfect way to progress quickly and learn a dance routine in just a few sessions!

For exercise, a love of music or desire to learn, there are different types of Indian dance classes to suit everyone. Indian dance can be enjoyed by the whole family. There are dance classes for children and teenagers as well as adult dance classes (classes for couples) and even senior classes!

Here are some dance centres where you can learn Indian dance in the UK:

  • Annapurna Indian Dance in Halifax,
  • ABCD Bollywood Dance School in Chelmsford,
  • Nachle Bollywood Dance School in Basildon,
  • Bollywood Dance Worldwide in Reading,
  • Dance n' Beats Bollywood Dance Academy in Drayton,
  • Absolute Bollywood, London
  • Bollywood Vibes in London,
  • Karan's Bollywood Masterclass in Harrow,
  • Dance Ihayami in Edinburgh,
  • Nandanam School of Dance in Aberdeen,

For those on a tighter budget, we recommend that you inquire at your local or regional cultural centre. Indeed, these centres, funded by the region, offer discounted rates.

Perfect for taking Indian dance classes at an affordable price!

From Indian dance to oriental dance, they aren't worlds apart.

Teach Yourself Indian Dance

Videos for Learning Indian Dance

In the age of the Internet, why not take advantage of vast digital resources at your disposal to learn Bollywood dance moves (and online Zumba classes)?

Even though to real progress quickly in dance we recommend that you take dance classes in person (London or across the UK), it is still possible to grasp the basics of Indian dance through a comprehensive video library of dance lessons.

These videos, freely available on the web, allow you to take online Indian dance lessons for children or for more advanced levels.

Discover the most popular Indian dance youtubers:

  • RSU Dance Company,
  • Bollywood Dance,
  • Columbia Missouri,
  • Good Indian Girl Videos,
  • Pop Sugar Fitness,
  • Dance with Abby,
  • Devesh Mirchandani,
  • Manpreet Toor,
  • Lasya Dance,
  • Akshay Yogesh Bhosale,
  • Bharat Yoga, etc.

Remember: videos available for free on Youtube are recommended for beginners, but don't let you improve your Indian dance moves that well.

Bollywood videos are perfect for in between traditional dance lessons, but do not replace face-to-face instruction from a native dance teacher!

Just like Irish dancing, it's possible to find tutorials online.

Apps for Learning Bollywood Dance

Being able to work on your dance steps with your smartphone: that's the dream, right?

Techniques, advice and videos: apps are your best friend when it comes to teaching yourself Bollywood dance! Source: Visual Hunt

Kathakali, Kuchipudi, Odissi or Bharatnatyam: educational apps offer Indian dance classes for all styles and levels of dance. The apps offer both modern as well as traditional dances from different parts of India.

Some free apps even contain Sanskrit recitations so you can really immerse yourself in the language and culture of India!

Here are some recommended apps for learning to dance like a native:

  • Indian Classical Dance,
  • Indian Wedding Dance,
  • Indian Dance Choreography,
  • Bollyshake,
  • Bollywood Dance Workout,
  • Khatakali Hindi Dance,
  • India Folk Dance,
  • Bollywood Punjabi,
  • Hindi Dance Tutorials,
  • Bollywood Dance Fitness, etc.

For your smartphone or tablet, there are also apps specifically dedicated to traditional Indian songs.

The Bollywood enthusiast can teach themselves all the basics of Indian dance with the help of the Internet!

Even better, learning through apps allows you to broaden your musical horizons and even adapt the choreography to suit you: perfect for creating your own tailor-made dance routines!

So, put your Sari on and start learning some Indian dance moves today!

Remember to check our platform to find a dance instructor for Indian dance, Spanish dance or even Zumba class!

Now you know all you can about learning Indian dancing, you no longer need to trawl the Internet for 'dance classes near me'! Whether it's dance classes glasgow, dance classes London or dance classes Leeds you're after, you know where to look!

Find interesting hip hop dance classes here on Superprof.

15 Dances of India | Classical Dance Forms of India & States

India has many dances, coming from every state in the country, although there are only six forms of the classical dances recognised by India on a national level. They are Bharatnatyam, Kathak, Kathakali, Manipuri, Kuchipudi, and Odissi. The folk dances of India are much more than mere body movements, from the very ancient times the classical dance forms of India is considered as a discipline and a way to devote yourself to God through art. 

Here are the 15 dance forms of India:

1. Bharatnatyam

Tamil Nadu, South India


Performed on the celestial tunes of the Carnatic music, Bharatnatyam comes from the state of Tamil Nadu in South. The origins of Bharatnatyam can be traced back to 1000 BC, and it originates from the ancient temples of Tamil Nadu performed by the women of the classical period. The dance form is known for its beautiful body movements and gestures which are called Mudras in the traditional language. It focuses on the hand gestures, leg movement and the facial expressions of the dancer. This dance form was very prevalent before the British era but was profoundly depressed during the colonial period. However, India kept the dance form alive in the houses, and today it is recognised as one of the most respectable art forms in India especially in the Southern region of the country where it is a moment of pride for the women of the house to learn the classical dance form of Bharatnatyam.

2. Kathak

Uttar Pradesh, North India


Coming from the northern part of the country from the state of Uttar Pradesh, Kathak comes from the word 'Katha' which means "story" in Hindi. It isn't a very smart guess for one to make that Kathak is performed in the form of storytelling through the body movements used by the dancer. Kathak is often referred to as the dance of love, and it can be performed by both by the male and female dancer together. This dance form focuses highly on the ankle movements complemented by the ankle that has to match the beats of the music. Ankle bells or gunghroos as they are called in the traditional language is an important part of the discipline of this dance form. Various distinctions can be witnessed in this dance forms as it is performed in various places in the country which includes Jaipur, Benaras, and Lucknow.


3. Kathakali

Kerala, South India


Kathakali is another traditional dance form of India which relates to the storytelling. Kathakali translates to the 'storyteller' in the country's language. Coming from the Southern region of the country from Kerala, Kathakali is one of the most renowned and religious dances forms of India. It originates from the tales of Ramayana and Shiva stories. Kathakali includes the intriguing face movements and the heavy costumes which include the traditional face masks and body paints (generally green). The music which includes only the vocals is called Soppanam. The storytelling of the epic Hindu mythology tales depicting both evil and good is shown through the conversation between the dancers only through their body gestures and facial expressions. Simply fascinating to watch!

4. Manipuri

Manipur, North East India


As you stroll towards the North-east India which is brimming with the rich tradition and their unique culture, Manipuri comes as an important symbol to represent the state of Manipur from the region. This dance form is performed to narrate the romantic relationship between the Hindu gods Radha and Krishna, which is famously known as RaasLeela. This art form is performed in a team with the traditional Manipuri costumes and makeup to narrate the tale of the two gods. The dance is performed on the narrative chanting and the music created by the Indian classical instruments.

5. Kuchipudi

Andhra Pradesh


Belonging to the Andhra Pradesh, Kuchipudi is probably the toughest form of classical dance in India. Kuchipudi is not just considered as the dance but a whole religious procedure dedicated to God which includes certain rituals such as sprinkling the holy water, burning the incense sticks and praying to God. Kuchipudi includes both singing and dancing by the performer which is why it requires both the skill and much more dedication than any other art forms in India. In the earlier period, Kuchipudi was only performed by the male dancers in the temples, specifically the Brahmins( Upper caste of the society) but with the passage of time, it became famous amongst the women and nowadays it is mostly performed by the female dancers.


6. Odissi

Odisha, East India


Odissi dance form comes from the state of Odisha in the eastern part of India. The traditional dance has been derived from the Hindu temples in Odisha. Most of the gestures and movements (Mudras) are inspired by the sculptors and idols belonging to the ancient temples of India. The dance is performed as a way to express the mythological tales of Hindu gods, including that of Shiva and Surya. The dance is accompanied by a mythical story, Hindi poem in the form of music by the musicians. Odissi is considered as the oldest dance forms of India which are surviving till today. Odissi dance is performed mostly by the women dancers, and it includes more than 50 intriguing mudras (body movements).

7. Bhangra/Gidda

Punjab, North India


Belonging to Punjab, Bhangra is a heart-pumping dance adorned with the loud beats of dhol( traditional Indian instrument). It is very prevalent in traditional Punjabi festivals.

8. Garba

Gujarat, West India


Garba comes from Gujarat which is a traditional dance form dedicated to Goddess Durga. It is performed in a couple on the typical Gujarati music, and the sticks are used to perform this art form.

9. Rouf

Kashmir, North India


Performed by the Kashmiri people to celebrate their festivals and important occasions, Rouf is a soothing dance form generally performed by the female dancers on the traditional Kashmiri music.

10. Ghoomar



Wearing heavy jewellery and the beautiful costumes you will find the people of Rajasthan dancing on the beats of music to give away their traditional dance form. Ghoomar includes the intriguing circular movements complemented by the hand gestures.

11. Chhau

Mayurbhanj, Odisha


The beautiful women dressed in the elegant attire performing the dance form of Chhau is what you see during the festival time in Kolkata. The popular art coming from eastern India is considered as the dance in the form of martial arts.

12. Bihu

Assam, North-east India

Source: Wikipedia Commons

Young men and women mostly perform this joyous folk dance from Assam during the Bihu festival. The dancers follow a pattern of rapid hand movement, quick steps and a rhythmic swaying of hips wearing the traditional Assamese clothing with beautiful accessories.  Marking the beginning of spring season, Bihu recites the happiness and heritage of Assam and is performed on the occasion of Rangali Bihu. The dhol, Xutuli, Toka, Baanhi, Gogona are the instruments used to play the traditional tunes for the performance. The origin of Bihu is not very known, although the records profoundly state that it is originated from the Bisu dance performed by communities of Upper Assam like the Sonowal Kacharis, Deoris, Moran, Chutias and Borahis. The dance form isn't just known in India but globally popular. This popular Indian Dance was performed at the London Olympics in 2012.



Maharashtra, West India


Originated from the state of the Maratha empire, Lavani is a dance form of Maharashtra. The female-oriented dance is a blend of traditional music and tales of deities. The origin of Lavani comes from the word Lavanya which means beauty. Apart from helping in the upliftment of the Marathi folk theatre, the dance form was also a morale booster during the war in the 18th century. Lavani has two forms; One that's philosophical - Nirguni Lavani and the other that's sensual- Shringar Lavani. With the powerful and quick foot-tapping tempo, the dance form is performed along with the beats of the Dholak. The stories or subjects this dance is based on revolves around topics of religion, politics, society and mostly romance. Dancers are dressed in nine-yard of saree with golden jewellery. The dance was initially staged at local temples in the form of worship, but now it's a sensual dance performed to the pulsating beats rendering a socio-political satire.

14. Mohiniyattam

Kerala, South India


In Indian mythology, Mohini is the female avatar of Lord Vishnu, and the meaning of Attam in Malayalam is rhythmic motion hence adhering to the dance of the divine enchantress. It is the second most popular dance form of Kerala. This classical Indian dance form roots from the age-old Sanskrit text - Natya Shastra. It is traditionally performed by women following a repertoire of Carnatic music, singing and acting a play. At times, the song, a typical hybrid of Malayalam and Sanskrit also called Manipravalam, is sung by the performer herself. With a repertoire of instruments such a Mridangam, Madhalam, Flute, Idakka, Veena and Kuzhitalam; the music is rendered in ragas and performed in a slow melodic style. Although the Lasya dance is often portrayed as gentle, graceful and feminine, it also exhibits a vigorous dance of Tandava relating to Lord Shiva. Besides its popularity, the dance was ridiculed by a series of laws as a devadasi prostitution system during the colonial British Raj. A ban that was protested repealed in 1940 and with the help of the locals of Kerala, Mohiniyattam was revived and reconstructed.

15. Sattriya Dance

Assam, North East India


Mahapurusha Sankaradeva, a Vaishnava saint and reformer of Assam, introduced Sattriya dance in the 15th century AD. This dance form was preserved in the Sattras or the Vaishnava Maths; therefore, it remained a living tradition. This dance was an artistic way of presenting mythological teachings. Traditionally this dance was performed by the male monks or bhokots. However, today, the practice has changed in many ways. The theme is not just related to mythology, and the performances are not limited to the Sattras. Even women can perform Sattriya dance and on the stage. 

Origin of Indian Dance Forms

Indian dances can be traced back to ancient times. In the cave paintings of Bhimbetka rock shelters in Madhya Pradesh, one can see dancing figures. The sculptures that date back to the Indus Valley Civilization also portray dancing figures. The text related to the origin of dance in India can be found in Natya Shastra, which was written by the sage Bharata. This text dates back to the 2nd century AD. In this text, the creation of dance is credited to Lord Brahma, who takes its knowledge from the four Vedas.

Other Dance Forms in India & Their States

Andhra Pradesh

Kolattam, Vilasini Natyam, Dhimsa

Arunachal Pradesh

Aji Lamu, Roppi, Phoning


Bagurumba, Ali Ai Ligang


Kajari, Jhumari


Dandari, Gendi, Panthi, Karma, Damkach


Mando, Talgari, Suvari, Dasarawadan, Kunbi, Fugadi


Raas, Bhavai, Tippani


Gugga, Khoria

Himachal Pradesh

Kullu Nati, Namgen, Hikat, Chham


Dumhal, Kud, Bhand Jashan




Krishna Parijatha, Nagamandala, Bhootha Aradhane


Kaikottikali, Thumbi Thullal

Madhya Pradesh

Karma, Gaur Maria, Kaksar, Ahiri


Pavri, Dhangari Gaja


Khamba Thoibi, Pung Cholom


Khuallam, Nongkrem


Cheraw, Khuallam


Changlo-Sua lua


Ghumura, Ruk Mar, Goti Pua




Kuccgi ghodi, Kalbelia, Bhavai, Sapera dance


Singhi Cham, Khukuri, Talachi

Tamil Nadu

Karagaattam, Mayil Attam, Kolaattam, Kummi, Kavadi


Garia, Hozagiri

Uttar Pradesh

Raaslila, Charkula


Barada Nati, Chapeli, Langvir

West Bengal

Gambhira, Kalikapatadi, Domni

It's downright astonishing to notice how many unique dances of India are hidden within each state of India. With endless varieties of cultural art forms adorned with traditions, dances reflect the cultural richness. Our nation is indeed united in diversity.


Kathakali is one of the oldest theatrical forms in the world.
The Katakali dance originated in the southwestern region of India, now known as the state of Kerala.
Kathakali is a dance drama where the actors portray characters from the epic Ramayana and scenes from ancient scriptures. The declarative part of Kathakali is long and talks about the feelings arising in the courtyards of the Kerala temple.
The traditional temple dance Kathakali begins in the evening and continues throughout the night, culminating at the auspicious hour of dawn when Good triumphs over Evil.
Today the dance lasts for about a couple of hours and is adapted for a religious service in an urban environment.
The dancers perform in wide skirts and a headdress, applying the most intricate style of cosmetics. They perform a dance to music with drums and vocalists to create different moods and emotions in the process of showing a rather long dance. The Kathakali dance has many elements of drama and dances with elaborate masks and costumes.

Bharatha Natyam - South Indian classical dance has been around for three thousand years.
The name Bharatha Natyam was given to him in 1930, shortening the names of the three main elements of Bharatha dance - bhava (facial expression), raga (melody), and tala (rhythm).
Originally the art of this dance was known as sadi or dasiattam and was performed in Hindu temples by female dancers. Brahata Natyam dance was a part of daily rituals and religious or holidays.
Bharatha Natyam is distinguished by rhythmic, strong footwork, precise movements, sculptural postures. Indian dance Bharatha Natyam in a modern performance is a dynamic dance with bright expressive facial expressions and emotional mood

Kathak - widespread in North India.
The name comes from the word katha, story or fable. The origin of the dance dates back over 2000 years ago.
Bards, wanderers and minstrels told the villages about the sacred scripture through songs and dances with comments.
The Mongols introduced this dance as a court dance and its performance became a popular refined entertainment, where it acquired an accent of secular ceremony along with the complex rhythmic development of the theme
Modern Kathak is the art of the theater, in the presentation and refined movement of the face and hands and the mimicry of stories of all kinds, recitation and classical dance, combining elements of Muslim dances and culture of India.

Kuchipudi - Kuchipudi takes its name from the village of Kuchelapuram in India.
As a classical form of dance, drama and music, Kuchipudi is unique among Indian classical idioms.
Originating in the 7th century BC as an ascetic yoga dance, Kuchipudi was originally a male traditional dance. Groups of men portrayed the roles of women in performances from Indian mythology. The
Kuchipudi features fast rhythms and restrained movements, creating a unique blend of control and power and exquisite precision.

Manipuri - Manipuri originated from the picturesque valleys of northern India. Until now, it is danced in temples and at religious holidays, this form of dance is a very living tradition.
The Manipuri dance style is soft and feminine, a dance of love and cheerfulness.
According to legend, Shiva and his consort danced it in the green valleys of India invoking the merciful light of Mani (jewel)
The Manipuri dance is a generic name and unites all dance forms of this land.
- Manipuri - Ras style is the lyricism of many small hand gestures.
- Chooloms style is another form of Manipuri that includes strength exercises and fast beats.
- Poong Choolam danced by men holding drums
- Kartal Choolam, close by both men and women with cymbals
- Lai Haraoba - another form of Manipuri that depicts the creation of the universe. The costumes used in this dance form are decorative and rich in colours.

Mohiniattam is the distinctive dance form of Kerala. The god Vishnu according to Hindu mythology took the form of Mohini, the divine sorceress.
This is how the dance form got its name. This dance form is different from other arts of India in that the religious atmosphere of other classical dance styles is absent from the Mohiniyaattam dance.
The swinging movement of the torso from side to side is a feature of the Mohinites dance. Rhythmic variations on rhythm syllables are an integral part of vocal accompaniment. And this is done gracefully by the dancer with beautiful gestures and footwork.
Mohiniyaattam - charm dance, its purpose is to show feelings.
Mohiniyaattam is primarily a solo female dance filled with drama and emotional intertwining of partings and reunions, clash of characters in love

Odissi - a classical dance form with conversations - perhaps the oldest classical dance form of India, it dates back to the 2nd century BC .
Odissi - - a form of dance of the temple of devotion to hrayu and the religion of India. This style of dance from the East Indian state of Orissa was traditionally performed as a devadasi or temple dance.
The dances were dedicated to Lord Krishna. This dance style was suppressed and virtually exterminated except in a few distant villages where it was supported by young male dancers.
Odissi's revival began in 1949 with the independence of India. The dance form was revived after the exploration of temples in Orissa, where the intricate positions of the dance were preserved in sculptures.
Like other dance forms in India, Odissi has two main aspects: conversational and expressive dance (Abhinaya). Curved positions of the body and stylization of the dance under sculptural compositions, restrained modest movements of the torso in combination with small clear movements of the lower body - this is the character of Odissi.

Nritta, Nrittya, Natya
There are three varieties of Indian classical dance. First, Nritta, or pure dance. Consisting only of the dancer's body movements, it is performed at ease and cheerfully, and is devoid of other shades of mood, except for joy. Then Nrittya, which combines pure dance and the transmission of emotions through gestures, facial expressions, eyes. Nrittya embodies a variety of feelings and moods, using poetry and the entire lexicon of gestures, where each position of the fingers (Hasta) carries a different shade of meaning. The third type of classical dance is Natya, a kind of dramatic art. The dancer tells a story or develops a specific theme.
The most frequently used theme is the relationship between a man and a woman (Nayaka-nayika Bhava), which at the philosophical level is revealed as the aspiration of the human soul to the Beyond. In order to properly perform Nrittya and Nattya, a deep knowledge of the human soul, an understanding of emotions is necessary. In Indian cultural tradition, they are divided into nine categories called Navaras - nine entities. These are love, joy, compassion, courage, anger, fear, disgust, surprise and peace. Each dancer strives to convey these emotions through Bhava, i.e. external manifestation of emotions on the face and in body movements.

Somewhat apart from the great classical styles, there are many semi-classical and folklore varieties of martial arts and traditional dramatic forms derived from the same source as the classical styles. Various ritual dance forms, closely intertwined with musical performances, are often displayed at festivities and worship. For example, the magnificent art of Chhau, a masked dance that originated in Bengal and Orissa, is on the rise. This and other styles, scattered throughout the country, form the treasure trove of the Indian dance tradition.

The dance art of rural India differs in costume coloring, make-up, language, music and performance style. Each village has its own professional and folk holidays, its own customs and traditions, favorite poems and its own unique perception of music and dance. And against the backdrop of the land that gave birth to them, they represent a highly spiritual spectacle, for in them the beating of the heart of India is heard, a part of her soul lives.

The style of film dances has changed and developed along with the art of cinema and India itself, but not a single element of the dance has disappeared without a trace. On the contrary, a new one was added to the previous one, and the dances were enriched with new movements and ideas. Today, Indian film dances are known as Bollywood style dances. In India itself, this style is called “Bollywood masala”, which means “Bollywood spice mix”. Bollywood directors use everything acquired by Indian civilization (numerous folk and tribal dances, classical styles, martial arts), the countries of the Middle East (belly dance, folk and classical dances) and the Western world (hip-hop, jazz, rock and roll, everything possible forms of Art Nouveau, Latin American dances), and create a unique “Bollywood” style. He is instantly recognizable, because all movements are saturated with Indian expression and performance.
Naturally, stage productions of Bollywood Masala differ from film productions. They are richer choreographically and more diverse in the base of movements. "Bollywood masala" is the most popular among Indian youth and all those who are fond of Indian dances. This style leads to perfect control of the body, teaches you to express emotions in motion, introduces you to the bright and unforgettable world of Indian cinema.


Sapna is a dream

Indian dance is said to be one of the main attractions of India. But I think that for some time now, not only this mysterious and wondrous country. The magic of Indian dance has long attracted the attention of the inhabitants of Belarus, it has taken root in our land, won the love of Belarusians. At the same time, I will say only one word - “Sapna`”, which is translated from Hindi as “Dream”.

"Sapna`" is one of the brightest and most unusual choreographic groups of the Republic of Belarus. It was created in 2002 and headed by Elena Sipach: it was her dream - that's how the name was born, but in Hindi. She lived in New Delhi for several years and studied at the local university. Elena Petrovna lovingly studied the culture of India, its customs, language, and yoga. She was awarded a 1st Degree Diploma from the New Delhi State Institute of Classical Dance. But she dreamed that Indian dance could be performed in Belarus as beautifully, gracefully, organically as in his homeland.

Her dream came true. For almost 17 years, “Sapna`” has been telling stories of love, passion, joy, sadness through dance, introducing the audience to the mysterious and amazing India. Today artistic director Anna Kurinova works with the performers. Elena Sipach recently became a mother and cannot yet devote herself to creativity.

The "Sapna`" team operates and develops with the support of the Indian Embassy in the Republic of Belarus. The ensemble participates in events organized by the diplomatic corps.

There are two groups - youth and age groups. In the age group - from 54 to 68 years. But, it should be noted, the older generation is not much inferior to the younger.
Well done? Still would!

The Ensemble's repertoire includes more than fifty dances: Indian folk, pop and classical in the Kathak style. "Sapna`" acquaints the audience not only with the choreography of India, but also with the culture of its various states, the way of life of people. After all, according to Anna Kurinova, Indian dance is a story. Every gesture, eye expression, movement conveys a story, reveals secrets, shows the path to happiness and love.

- The vicissitudes of fate, the joy of victory, the will of man, the pain of loss, a romantic story, a bright holiday - these are the main plots of Indian colorful dance, always sensual and attractive, bewitching and providing room for imagination, - said one of the members of the ensemble Natalya Shupilova, who once danced in the folk ensemble "Rainbow".

Each style of dance in Indian culture has its own costume. This is due not only to ancient traditions, but also to the convenience for the performer. Beautiful wide movements should not be hidden in uncomfortable clothes. Those who have long been a member of the ensemble already have a dozen or even more outfits. In what to perform this or that number, at one time the dancers were taught by Elena Sipach.

Women make suggestions, discuss the details of costumes, movements, music, but the final decision is up to the leader - this is the law. It is a discipline without which it is impossible to create a single group action.

In the age group of the ensemble there are representatives of different professions: teachers, doctors, financiers, engineers, confectioners... People are very different in character, temperament, mentality. But dance, like any joint work, unites. Heated disputes concern only creativity and are its stimulus, engine.

Rehearsals are held at the Republican Palace of Culture of Trade Unions twice a week for an hour. Plasticity and sense of rhythm do not depend on age. And skill comes through hard work. And women are looking forward to the appointed day with inspiration.

- They say to me: “Don't you get tired during the day? How will you crawl to this rehearsal?” I answer: “I will crawl? Yes, I’ll fly!” Margarita Runets admitted.

The art of Indian dance appeared 5000 years ago. The population of India considers him the patron god Shiva.

All Indian dancers worship him because he gave humanity a means to feel how the soul is filled with the holy spirit. Thanks to the dance, Indians improve spiritually, develop aesthetic feelings and mind. In addition, body flexibility and artistry develop.


Technically, all Hindu dances are more difficult than hatha yoga. They have a significant beneficial effect on the body and the entire human body. Complex dance combinations, performed quickly and with extreme concentration, strengthen the body and have a positive effect on the psyche.

It turns out that there are two such positive means of influence in India - traditional Indian dance and yoga, which are often compared with each other. And this is not surprising. Many dance poses (karanas) repeat asanas. Gesticulation code - hastas and mudras - signs formed by fingers folded in a certain way - this is a kind of alphabet.

It consists of 24 basic character units.

Many ancient peoples believe that a person's hand is a kind of key to his soul and body. On the surface of the palm there are energy outlets from all internal organs, as well as a pattern of specific lines. The dance uses a certain set of gestures with the fingers, which has several meanings and is associated not so much with healing the body, but with a deep philosophical awareness of one's own "I".

In general, mudras are special healing movements and combinations of finger positions that help to balance the energy potential, save from physical and emotional overload, and even out the character. With their help, you can cope with various diseases, get rid of the state of constant irritation and chronic fatigue, achieve the desired and harmonize the whole body as a whole. There are many guides on the use of this ancient technique for healing and healing. There is no mysticism here.

On the surface of the palm there are energy outlets from all internal organs. Correct practice can greatly help a person, strengthening his body and developing his spirit.

Hindus call dance bhakti-marga, the path of love. Yoga is considered by them as a way of knowledge, jnana-marga. Now Indian dances are performed everywhere, and not only in temples, as before, until Islam joined India. However, they have not lost their spiritual significance.

Indian dance is the pleasure that female performers experience when they please the audience. And that they bring pleasure to people is beyond doubt. "Sapna`" is always on the wave of success with the audience, at the peak of an even positive mood, which is the key to physical and psychological health. The team is led to this not only by rehearsed choreography, but also by amazing costumes, as if you were in a fairy tale.

What lines, what colors! Sari, shalva`r-kameez, lehenga-choli (skirt - lehenga, short blouse - choli), dupatta` (shawl) ... Bracelets, rings, necklaces, earrings, kunda`n (decoration hanging on the forehead) - everything is bright, but with a twist. Expressive makeup in Indian style is also an art. What about b'ndi? This is a bright spot in the middle of the forehead and just above the eyebrows, which we have had the opportunity to see more than once on women (and men too!) In Indian films. What color should it be?

How many of these important details you need to know and be able to manage them in order to recreate the inimitable charm of Indian dance! Ask the dancers of the ensemble "Sapna`". After all, they studied these issues for a long time, including in India. This is their element, love, an important part of their life...

It's time for a rehearsal. First, a warm-up (here, as in sports), then practicing synchronous movements. Nothing mechanical! Everything is subject to the process of creativity, which is unthinkable without a soul. The warm-up alternates yoga breathing exercises, elements of gymnastics, dance using mudras (special combinations of fingers that affect the physical and emotional state, they can be used to relieve stress, get rid of feelings of anxiety or fatigue, gain inner strength and peace of mind).

"Sapna`" is a real team of creative people. Some of the participants write poetry, some are fond of vocals
or breeding beautiful flowers. Others create masterpieces of culinary art. These women complement each other
friends. They travel together (including around India), celebrate holidays and birthdays, go to the cinema and the theater, and drink tea a hundred times. Except dance. With dance. And together this "Sapna`" is a common dream of wonderful people and its no less wonderful embodiment.

Hasta prana, "the life of the hands" - these are the movements of the hands and fingers that fill gestures with meaning:
- moving fingers show the light of the moon, love passion, sparks;
- shaking the hand with flexion of the wrist - this is the elephant's ear, the flight of a bird, the river, the cry "out of the way!";
- wave-like vibrations of the hand with the movement of the wrists - these are waves, fish;
- opening hands - giving, offering flowers, flowering, flower arrows of the God of Love;
- unclenching fingers - talking, emphasis;
- shaking hands - the flight of a bee, anger, radiance, lightning, flying hair;
– circular movement of the hand relative to the wrist – vine, naked weapon, peace, etc.

Each of the fingers belongs to a certain element and is responsible for the work of one or several organs.

Big - Wind, associated with the root chakra and the brain. The first phalanx controls the gallbladder, the second - the liver, and the massage of the entire thumb helps to improve brain function and regulate the functioning of the human lymphatic system.

Index - Fire, throat chakra. The first phalanx is associated with the small intestine, and the second with the heart. Massage of the index finger helps to improve the functioning of the intestines and other digestive organs, as well as the functioning of the nervous system, brain and spine.

Medium - Earth, solar plexus chakra. Impact on the first phalanx will affect the functioning of the stomach, spleen and pancreas. Massage of the middle finger stimulates the proper functioning of the intestines, circulatory system, brain, removes manifestations of allergies, nervousness and anxiety, inspires a sense of calm and security.

Unnamed - Metal, forehead chakra. The first phalanx is responsible for the large intestine, the middle - for the work of the lungs.

Massage of the ring finger helps to improve the functioning of the endocrine system and liver, forget about melancholy and depression.

Little finger - Water, heart chakra.

The first phalanx is connected with the bladder, the second with the kidneys. Massage helps to improve the functioning of the intestines, duodenum and heart, and also affects the psychological balance, removes fears and phobias, relieves panic attacks.

Our information
Classical Indian dance, in addition to aesthetic pleasure, promotes healing and rejuvenation of the body and helps to heal the soul of not only the dancer herself, but also the audience.

The combination of physical activity and stage skills develops both cerebral hemispheres simultaneously.

And the need to memorize a large number of movements and gestures trains the memory (for example, there are about two hundred of them in the dashavatar dance).

Indian dance classes help relieve emotional stress, work out unbalanced states and even improve relationships between people. They reveal the inner potential, allow you to gain strength and a sense of inner fullness.

Do you feel resentment or other feelings, but do not dare to discuss the sore? Try doing it in the form of a dance, or dance your abuser. Experiences awakened or transmitted by dance raise the unconscious from the depths of the soul and give vent to accumulated complexes and resentments. All pent-up emotions are released and relief comes.

• The alternation of fast movements and a phase of complete rest in Indian dance gives a comprehensive load on the body. Active movements contribute to better blood circulation and ventilation of the lungs. Static poses train endurance and develop stabilizing muscles.
• Active movement of the legs and arms helps to work the muscles and strengthen the tendons, is the prevention of varicose veins and arthritis.
• While maintaining posture, dancers strengthen their back and pelvic muscles.
• Indian dance accelerates metabolism and promotes natural weight loss, and numerous body bends reduce the waist.
• Promotes concentration and coordination of movements.
• Movement with bare feet allows you to massage the active points of the feet and thus affect the entire body.
• The dancer's eye movement system is a kind of gymnastics that improves vision and helps prevent some eye diseases.
• The artistic element of the dance - the active inclusion of facial expressions - trains the muscles of the face, which prolongs the youthfulness of the skin. That is why Indian dancers do not have wrinkles for so long and the oval of the face does not sag.
• For women, the basic dance position "chouk" is very useful - a low plie, in which the space between the legs forms a rhombus. "Chuok" strengthens the muscles of the abdomen and spine, develops the eversion of the hips, which effectively helps to prepare the body for childbirth, as well as quickly restore the figure after them.

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