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Bollywood Dance

Bollywood is a theatrical Indian dance style that combines elements of numerous other styles, including Kathak, Bharatnatyam, Odissi, Garba, Bhangra, belly-dancing, Indian folk dancing, and jazz. When performing Bollywood dancing, timing, energy, rhythm, and sharp controlled movements are important elements. Specific hand movements are used as a form of sign language in depicting stories and demonstrating themes of life. Movements of the neck in multiple directions, known as “the pigeon head”, is used to add fluidity to the movements and aids in creating strong facial expressions. With respect to footwork, dancers use flat, flexed feet. The bounce that is often seen in Bollywood dance is also known as the chicken step and it is a prominent characteristic of the dance form. Traditional Bollywood costumes involve the use of bells around the ankles called a Ghunghroo. Some dancers can have up to 100 bells tied onto their costumes. The use of elaborate and extravagant jewelry is used to further accentuate the elegance of the Indian culture.

Is this activity known by any other names?

Bollywood Masala

What are the origins of the activity abroad and in Canada?

Bollywood derives from the Hindi culture and film industry from Mumbai, India.

Who takes part?

Although many participants in the GTA are of Indian heritage, and many children from Indian backgrounds learn this form of dance from a young age, Bollywood is now practiced by participants of diverse ethnocultural backgrounds. While it used to be a male-only dance form, Bollywood is now open to females and males.

When does it occur / How often do you take part?

Bollywood is performed for celebratory occasions, such as weddings, during pregnancies, and family gatherings. It is also performed at numerous festivals throughout the GTA.

Are there any organized clubs, groups, organizations or leagues?

Shiamak Davar International (SHIAMAK Toronto); Joy of Dance Centre & Teachers College; Tarana Dance Company; danceShala

Cultural Significance

Bollywood is a significant form of Indian physical culture, including for some GTA residents of Indian heritage. Traditional Indian dance forms incorporate the Gods and deities, and many of the movements and poses used in Bollywood dancing are inspired by Nataraj, the lord of the dance.

Is there anything else we should know?



  • Shiamak Davar International (SHIAMAK Toronto)
    16 Yonge St.
    Toronto, ON M5E 2A1
  • Joy of Dance Centre & Teachers College
    95 Danforth Ave
    Toronto, ON M4K 1N2
  • Tarana Dance Company
    589 Middlefield Rd.
    Scarborough, ON M1V 4Y6
  • danceShala
    808 Britannania Rd. W.
    Mississauga, ON L5V 0A7
  • Hershey Centre
    5500 Rose Cherry Pl
    Mississauga, ON L4Z 4B6
  • Orchid Nightclub
    82 Peter St
    Toronto, ON M5V 2G5
  • Dance TEQ Centre
    226 Queen Street West
    Toronto, ON M5T 1V5
  • Mississauga Celebration Square
    300 City Centre Dr
    Mississauga, ON L5B 2G6
  • C Banquets
    300 City Centre Dr
    Mississauga, ON L5B 3C1
  • Michael Power St Joseph
    105 Eringate Drive
    Etobicoke, ON M9C 3Z8
  • Chandni Convention Centre & Gateway
    5 Gateway Blvd
    Brampton, ON L6T 4X2

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