THE BOL­LY­WOOD CON­NEC­TION

Dance your way to bet­ter health with the help of Bol­ly­wood Fit­ness, where the fo­cus is on the mu­sic and the fun, not the stress of try­ing to lose weight.

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Dance your way to bet­ter health

We­can’t think of a bet­ter way to get in shape than danc­ing to Bol­ly­wood beats. Its high energy will give you a great work­out while arm­ing you with some very fancy dance moves! Bol­ly­wood dance fit­ness has grown in­creas­ingly popular over the last few years, fol­low­ing hot on the heels of the Bhangra club craze that took Lon­don by storm. ‘Bol­ly­wood dance is the dance form used in the In­dian film in­dus­try,’ says Veena Sukha, the owner and founder of Bol­ly­wood Fit­ness CT. ‘Orig­i­nally it was a fu­sion of the tra­di­tional clas­si­cal dance styles of Bharatanatyam and Kathak, and tra­di­tional In­dian folk dances. El­e­ments of mod­ern dance, hip hop and salsa have also been in­tro­duced.’ Danc­ing boosts energy, metabolises car­bo­hy­drates and fats, and tones mus­cles. Do­ing it just once a week will also as­sist with the rest of your ex­er­cise reg­i­men be­cause it in­creases strength, en­durance

It’s lib­er­at­ing be­cause you sub­con­sciously put more em­pha­sis on the mu­sic and get­ting the steps right rather than fix­at­ing on the ‘weight loss’ fac­tor.

and flex­i­bil­ity. The mental ben­e­fits of dance fit­ness are also great – as we all know, dance is joy­ous and can lift your mood. More than that, you’ll also ex­pe­ri­ence a boost in mental sharp­ness and cre­ativ­ity, says Veena. Be­cause your rou­tines con­tin­u­ously change with dance, you don’t grow bored of do­ing the same thing. It’s lib­er­at­ing be­cause you sub­con­sciously put more em­pha­sis on the mu­sic and get­ting the steps right rather than fix­at­ing on the ‘weight loss’ fac­tor.

Veena, who is trained in a South In­dian clas­si­cal dance form called Bharatanatyam, has been danc­ing since the age of three. Af­ter grad­u­at­ing she ex­plored other dances of In­dian ori­gin, which makes her a great in­struc­tor be­cause she can change things up so much. She’s quite the fit­ness fundi – she loves spend­ing her free time hik­ing, run­ning, go­ing to the gym and, of course, danc­ing – Bol­ly­wood Fit­ness is a com­bi­na­tion of her two great pas­sions: dance and fit­ness. The class is open to men and women and usu­ally com­pro­mises an hour long stim­u­lat­ing rou­tine. ‘Time is pre­cious so the class de­liv­ers a full body work­out across the var­i­ous In­dian dance gen­res, from tra­di­tional dances of Garba/Bhangra to arm/leg and ab-ton­ing rou­tines, in one hour,’ she says. The re­sult is an en­er­gis­ing, adrenalinecharged work­out. Bol­ly­wood Fit­ness is for any­one ea­ger to work hard and get fit while hav­ing a ball. Don’t let the idea of ‘dance’ put you off if you’ve had no train­ing in it – this will be per­fect for you be­cause it fo­cuses largely on fit­ness. ‘Rou­tines start off slowly and grad­u­ally build up, so all peo­ple across fit­ness and dance abil­ity can par­tic­i­pate,’ says Veena. There’s also the cul­tural as­pect: you’ll learn dif­fer­ent forms of In­dian dance that Veena has adapted to pro­mote fit­ness so you won’t be miss­ing out on your weekly car­dio ei­ther! She’s al­ways look­ing for ways to chal­lenge the class so she has also in­tro­duced high-in­ten­sity in­ter­val train­ing (HIIT) work­outs, which in­clude burpees and kick­box­ing.

RIGHT: VEENA SUKHA, IN FRONT, OF BOL­LY­WOOD FIT­NESS DEMON­STRATES THE FLOWER POS­TURE WITH SAUFIYYA MOOKADAM JAFFER, LEFT, AND PAVITRA NAIDOO.

THE BOL­LY­WOOD FIT­NESS TEAM DEMON­STRATES SOME MOVES: A FULL SQUAT (TOP LEFT), THE DI­AG­O­NAL STRETCH (ABOVE) AND THE RAISE-LEG KICK (LEFT).

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