BellyWood is an interesting unification of Bollywood dance and belly dance. Bollywood dance refers to Indian film dance that takes inspiration from various dance forms including traditional folk dance, Indian classical (for instance, Kathak and Bharatnatyam), belly dance, Western popular, jazz and disco. Over the years, Bollywood has developed its distinctive style. BellyWood, a recent innovation in dancing, is an amalgamation of Bollywood with belly dance, which has roots in diverse ancient cultures ranging from the orient to India to the mid-East. Belly dance that often focuses upon isolating different parts of the body, moving them independently in patterns and weaving together the entire feminine form, is generally performed barefoot. So are traditional Indian dances. This is thought by many to emphasize the intimate physical connection between the dancer, her expression, and Mother Earth.
This dance form increases flexibility of the upper body and strengthens the spine and helps strengthen the back and stomach.
BellyWood classes are fun classes that will make you rejoice on some exciting Indian party, festival and wedding songs, while at the same time learning the technicalities of belly dance and Bollywood. During the beginners’ course, students will learn 12 basic belly dance steps, walks and chest movements, a few variations and amalgamations, basic Bollywood hand movements and footwork, and choreographies on songs such as Genda Phool, Navrai Majhi and London Thumakda. Interesting elements such as surya namaskars are added to the course to make it holistic. A special session on dancing with the sword can be conducted, provided a sword can be arranged.
Divyanshi is a trained Indian belly dancer who has previously taught at the Delhi Dance Academy. She has learnt this form of dance from many dance instructors including those from India’s premier belly dance institute i.e. Banjara School of Dance. She has been dancing since the age of 4 and has won more than 20 awards. She was one of the finalists at Channel [V] IndiaFest in 2012 and was honored by Swar Rang for her dance recital in 2005. As a child she learnt Bharatnatyam, classical Indian dance form and many Bollywood and folk styles. As a belly dance teacher, she, thus, likes to create creative fusions of Egyptian classical dance with Indian semi-classical forms and Bollywood. Divyanshi feels belly dance is an amalgamation of elements – it has the flow of water, the earthy base, the aggressive shimmys and the air-like mudras. From her experience, she thinks that this strong and soft form of dance makes women comfortable and confident in their bodies and with their sexuality.
To get a feel for our class, a video of our wonderful teacher.