HYDERABAD: Dance has always been a major part of the Indian culture, what with almost every state having a regional dance to boast of. But our borders have been opening up and there has been a more widespread craze for non-Indian dance forms. Testimony - the dance routines we see on the growing number of dance shows on television. Picking up on that, the city has embraced the trend and has on offer a variety of dance styles to choose from. While most would think that dancing is just a fun activity, denizens in the city are taking to it for a variety of reason.
Dancing the kilos away
Kicking those two left-feet around is now the fun way of losing weight. Besides picking up a social skill, it’s a healthy habit. Says Mohit Shrama, a student at Boss Bounce your Steps academy at Yousufguda, “Earlier I was obese and weighed about 80 kgs. But ever since I started doing Hip-Hop, it has been a roller-coaster ride towards weight loss.”
Afshan Habeeb, another dance enthusiast who’s been jiving the Salsa way, says, “Dancing has been real fun for me; it’s also the best way to keep yourself fit and busy, especially during holidays.”
As the vacation time is the peak season for dance schools and workshops around, the timings are flexible; so if you want to squeeze in some time, that hardly is a problem. Most school kids engage their morning hours learning to groove while the younger gen go to steam off at the end of the day.
Under the spotlight
Following on the heels of many reality televised shows, series like Boogie Woogie, Nach Baliye, Dance India Dance and so on, have become the latest ticket for people to get their 15-minutes of fame on national prime time. Watching people from similar backgrounds make it ‘big’ has inspired many to take to the activity.
Besides that, picking up something like free-style or salsa has a more glamorous ring to it than the usual Bharatanatyam or Kathak. Says Mona Khan, a class VI student who is learning Hip Hop at Rang Manch, Himayatnagar, “Learning any kind of dance demands a lot of physical energy and is exhausting, but it’s all worth it as it makes you stand out among your friends.”
On the other hand, there are people like Shweta Gupta, who have fun watching dance. Says the student of Steps Academy, “I like watching the show ‘Nachle Ve with Saroj Khan’ as I find it very helpful, I practice the steps while watching the show and that’s how I learn.”
The social factor
Dancing workshops and classes is also a great place for people to meet, especially among the lesser specialised and beginner groups, as more advanced batches are a lot more serious with their work.
Says Kamal Kiran, a dancer with the Shiamak Davar institute, “A lot of people do take to dancing because its a great way to socialise and meet people. But that only happens among the beginner groups who just come for the fun of it and want to stay fit.” There is also a growing trend of engaged couples and partners taking up Salsa, not to mention the Indian version, where friends and families go through dance rehearsals for sangeets and barats.
Agreeing, Neha Palan, a professional choreographer says, “I take charge of many Sangeet programmes and bridal showers around the city. Dancing is a very integral part to a wedding and many couples hire us to get that special day of theirs just right.”
The cost of learning western dance forms like Free Style and Salsa for the age group of five to 15 is around `800 to `1000 and for people above 15 years is around `1300 to `1500 for a month. Dance styles like break dance, Hip Hop and Contemporary are a little more intensive as it costs around `1300 to `1700 for five to 15 year olds and around `2500 for people above 15 on a monthly basis. Classical dances cost around `1500 per month for all age groups.