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Dance Away The Pounds At BollyArts

Bollywood and fitness collide at the Indian dance studio

With exercise classes like spinning, kickboxing, pilates, and trampoline aerobics available, working out can be so much more than 30 minutes on the elliptical. And Hicksville’s BollyArts is offering one more option for those looking to get in shape without having to step foot in a gym.

BollyArts is a Bollywood centered dance studio on Old Country Road. Their most popular offering is their BollyFitness classes which is taught by BollyArts co-owner Zol Bhaindarkar five times a week. Similar to Zumba classes, BollyFitness is high energy, fast paced and centered on dancing. What sets the class apart from others is that it is infused with Indian culture, with grandiose dance moves set to the latest Indian music.

Bollywood (which refers to the Indian film industry) dance moves make up the majority of the BollyFitness classes. However, Bhaindarkar also adds elements from other types of dance such as salsa and jazz into the routines.

“I incorporate a lot of styles while keeping in mind Bollywood as the main focus,” Bhaindarkar says. “We give you Bollywood music, salsa and the latest pop numbers so whatever your nationality, you can relate to the music. Every song will give you a different flavor so you won’t get bored.”

If you have no dance experience, no worries. Bhaindarkar says people of all ages and backgrounds can do the classes, even if you’ve never seen a Bollywood movie. He relates the dance motions to day to day activities such as driving a car, cooking or kicking a soccer ball, to help class attendees understand and pick up the moves.

“This class is a stress reliever, just come enjoy the music and have fun,” Bhaindarkar says. “You don’t have to know the dance, just get a bottle of water and a towel and enjoy the class. Your calories are burning and that’s more important than how you look.”

And more than just a way to stay in shape, taking a class at BollyArts can be a fun way to immerse yourself in Indian culture. For more committed dancers, the studio also has performance dance classes such as Bollywood dance, bhangra (a traditional folk dance mixed with elements of Bollywood) hip hop, and kids' classes. Students in these classes perform at recitals and festivals, including Hicksville’s annual India Day Parade.

If you’re looking to add some spice to your next major event or celebration, BollyArts also has an entertainment group that performs Bollywood numbers at weddings, sweet sixteens and at other occasions.

“When we perform it’s very unique, because it’s a different style of dancing and costumes,” says Bhaindarkar. “Bollywood has so much to give and the uniqueness from the costumes and colors and dancing, and it makes it feel like a movie.”

BollyArts is located at 252 West Old Country Road. Find out more at www.bollyarts.com