The art of Bollywood and Zumba is waltzing into University of Ottawa thanks to the Bollywood Fusion Workout club.
Anushka Shah, third-year health sciences student at the University of Ottawa, founded the club with fellow student Gurvir Rai, who is studying in biomedical science.
“We thought it was a niche that was unexplored because a lot of people like the culture and Bollywood is spreading really fast,” said Shah.
She added that there wasn’t any type of Zumba class specific to Bollywood or to the South Asian culture at the University of Ottawa, and this thought initiated the idea to start the club.
“We had the idea because we are both students of music and dancing and we just felt that it would be a good opportunity,” said Rai. “We know that a lot of people are also fans of Bollywood dance.”
The fusion part in the club’s name stems from the incorporation of different types of dance. Gaurav Jain, who is also studying biomedical science and teaches the workout sessions, explained that the dance is not specific to India as he incorporates hip-hop into his dancing, Rai does Bhangra dance while Shah knows how to dance Garba.
“In general Bollywood refers to the songs from the film industry but it doesn’t have to be a specific type which I think a lot of people don’t know,” said Jain. “So this was a great opportunity for us to show the different styles of dance that are present across India.”
Not only does the club infuse different styles of dance into their workout but it is also unique because it promotes fitness and exercise. .
“We haven’t found another Bollywood dance club that focuses on the exercise aspect of it and bridges different styles of it,” said Shah.
The club is open to all – young and old, students and non-students, and people from any type of ethnicity. The best part about it is that it’s absolutely free.
“Whoever is available can come,” said Rai. “We don’t have membership fees or anything.”
The club is also considerate to all levels of dancing and does not complicate the dance moves.
“We kind of make custom moves just so that people have the most activity, not like small detailed things which would take longer to teach and be less active,” explained Jain.
The club estimates that sessions will recommence next January. Anyone who is interested can follow their Facebook page for all future updates.