What's Your Workout: Bollywood - NBC4 Washington

What's Your Workout: Bollywood



    Bollywood comes off the big screen and into a local dance studio, where you can learn to be a Bollywood star and get quite the workout at the same time. We asked them: What's Your Workout? (Published Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2011)

    We’ve been doing these "What’s Your Workout?" pieces for a few weeks now. And still, every time I go to one of these classes, I ask, "Why do I do this to myself? Why do I submit myself to some sort of crazy workout torture? And then, allow it to be photographed so that others can see me making a fool of myself? Seriously?"

    And I’m not going to lie, those were the exact thoughts going through my head as I walked into Dhoonya Dance Company’s Bollywood dance class. I mean, we’ve talked about this before -- I don’t have much in the way of rhythm. I’ve taken a few hip hop dance classes, and let’s just say I won’t be appearing on any VH-1 reality shows chronicling my career as a rap video dancer anytime soon.

    So now here I was at a dance class, where I really didn’t know what type of dance this even was. When I think Bollywood, I think of how they all danced to that "Slum Dog Millionaire" song (Jai Ho!). Fine, I’m totally ignorant when it comes to this!

    That all being said, everyone was extremely welcoming, friendly, even bubbly. I parked myself in the corner of the studio (no need for everyone to see what an uncoordinated girl I really am) and prepared to make a fool of myself -- just another day in the life of Lauren.

    We started with a warm up -- a few stretches, some small movements of the feet, hands, torso and chest. Not bad so far. The music was really the highlight here. Bollywood is very energetic and rhythmic. You almost can’t help but move when these songs are playing.

    Next we started to learn a choreographed dance to what the instructor, Kamallata Singh, said was a very popular Bollywood song called "Ainvayi Ainvayi" by the Band Baaja Baaraat. We started slow, learning only the first few seconds of the dance. These weren’t hard movements, just a lot of coordinating hands, arms, feet and legs. As we learned bit and pieces, we’d put it all together with the music until we had the whole song choreographed.

    I actually wasn’t that bad at this. Mostly, I had trouble simply remembering what move would come next. If it wasn’t for Kamallata leading us through the routine each time, I would have been lost.

    But now comes the real question: Did I get a workout? Well, full disclosure -- I took a killer spin class before the Bollywood class. My muscles were already fatigued and exhausted. That being said, I was definitely sweating through Kamallata’s class. It’s a good amount of cardio and the cool thing is, you’re so focused on remembering the dance moves that you have no idea you’re actually getting a workout. Also, since hand and arm movements are really central to Bollywood dance, after a while my arms got really tired.

    Bollywood is definitely a good way to have fun and get your cardio in. The music is so upbeat and fun, you can’t help but smile, even if you’re like me and have no idea what you’re doing. The others in class are super supportive. They told me I did really well and that I actually had some rhythm.

    I’m pretty sure they just said that so I would write nice things about them. I guess it worked.

    Lauren Dunn is the medical producer for News4.