Bhangra Your Drum

Bhangra -- a form of party dancing that originated with the Punjabi in India -- has become increasingly popular in recent months, judging from the number of musicians (Jay-Z among them) who have incorporated a bhangra element into their work. “It’s got origins in the agricultural roots that the Punjabi community has,” explains Bollywood West’s Renu Kansal, “so a lot of the dances have to do with harvest or planting, crop seasons, but it’s evolved lately into where it’s more of a mashed-up contemporary dance. What’s fun about it is that the music’s really up-tempo, it’s easy to do, and it’s a wicked good cardio dance.”

What better way to sweat off those holiday pounds? Bollywood West now offers bhangra classes on a weekly basis (Mondays in the Highland neighborhood, Tuesdays in Wash Park and Wednesdays in Boulder). “In the bhangra class, you can come and go; we learn a combination, and it’s something new every week,” Kansal says.

“Because it’s a party, social-style dance, I’ve noticed a lot of people have signed up with friends,” she adds. “It seems like a really fun thing to do as a group. It’s really high-energy. It’s not intense choreography — it’s easy to catch the movement, and the music’s great. We do mash-ups and we play with props. We do all kinds of stuff.”

Bollywood West doesn’t offer drop-in rates, but four-class packages start at only $50 (and Kansal says she’ll throw in a fifth class free if you mention that you heard about bhangra at Westword online). Ten classes cost $115; twenty cost $210. For more information, visit www.bollywoodwest.com or call 303-389-9832.
Tuesdays, 2009

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