Thursday, July 2, 2009

Staying Fit, the Bollywood Way

“Staying fit in Mumbai, with all its heat, humidity and lack of green space, can be a challenge. Enter a new way to stay in shape: Bollywood dance. Gyms and dance studios across Mumbai are now offering Bollywood inspired fitness classes as a fun way to lose pounds and beat gym fatigue. I arrived at Gold’s Gym expecting to be intimidated by sequin clad teenyboppers, but my class is reassuringly normal, mostly 30-somethings in track pants and loose T-shirts. As Bollywood hits boom out, my classmates swivel their hips and rotate their shoulders with enviable ease. I am reminded of the scene in the Gurinder Chadha film “Bride and Prejudice,” where a nervous modern-day Darcy attempts to dance Bollywood style at a wedding. “Just pretend you are screwing in a light bulb with one hand and patting a dog with the other,” his Indian friend suggests. Accordingly, I try to keep up, and screw in light bulbs and pat dogs with gusto, if not finesse. Luckily, everyone is too polite to comment on my style, or lack of it. ‘Toss your hair,’ our instructor shouted at one point. ‘Smile!’ she yelled. It’s not all smiles and hair tossing though. We begin our hour-long class with a punishing warm-up routine: 30 minutes of push-ups, kick-boxing and upper body workouts. ‘Anyone can do Bollywood dancing, even the over-40 or the really obese, but you do need to be fit,’ said Ruchita Mehta, an instructor at Gold’s. ‘That’s why I call this a dance workout.’”

No comments: