Bollywood dance is the topic of this feature article in our series of pages about different team bonding activities.
Other options range from wine tasting to extreme adventure activities. Here we focus on the benefits of dancing your way to team togetherness!
If you’ve reached this page but bollywood dancing isn’t right for you, see our index of other corporate team building activities.
Dance is slowly gaining recognition as an effective team building activity. It can work well, partly because it’s a little unusual. Most of us don’t regularly go dancing with our colleagues!
It's a dance-form found in most Indian films. It is a peculiar mix of kathak, bhangra, Indian folk dance, a bit of belly dance, and some western pop 'n jazz moves.
The term 'Bollywood' refers to the Hindi film industry rooted in Mumbai, India. However, with the recent popularity of Indian cinema abroad, it has come to symbolize the entire South Asian film culture.
To the Westerner, films with songs and dances are a separate genre called 'musicals'. But, for most Indians, a movie without a song and dance is unwatchable!
A typical Bollywood number is not confined to the actual dance moves, but also includes the glitzy and glamorous costumes worn by the dancers.
Over the years, routines have changed dramatically with the times.
Bollywood dance workout sessions and classes are now popular in countries such as the U.S.A, U.K, Canada, and Europe.
Most Bollywood dance workshops involve simple dance steps that participants learn and perform as a group.
It involves hand movements, hips and shoulders shaking, facial expressions, and footwork to catchy Bollywood music. Individual steps are taught first and then they are performed in sequence as a choreographed routine.
Workshops typically begin with amusing warm-up exercises, stretching, and balancing.
Although there are many dance moves, from simple to complex, the instructors will choose routines based on the participants' profile and abilities.
Most workshops end with a live dance performance by the group, using the moves they learned during the workshop. Teams may be formed to compete against each other in a dance-off!
When performed as teams, it can create great camaraderie, boost self-confidence, and generate a collaborative spirit.
Dance is a creative medium of expression that involves a lot of hand-body coordination, gracefulness, and fitness. It’s a wonderful way to share your thoughts and ideas through your body language and facial expressions.
For teams, a Bollywood dance workshop can be a stand-alone group event, or part of a training or team bonding activities program.
There are 3 common uses in team building:
Bollywood dancing is a good method to 'break the ice' at the beginning of a training session. It’s performed to peppy Hindi film music, and can help participants let go of their inhibitions and apprehensions.
Fun group activities, such as Bollywood dance, can also be used as an 'energizer', to get the participants on their feet after a prolonged period of sitting. This gives a quick burst of life and energy to the group.
Icebreakers and energizers may take as little as 15-30 minutes and bring focus back to the training or meeting.
Team bonding activities such as Bollywood dance sessions can be used to enhance morale in the workplace. A fun shared experience like this sets aside differences in culture, age, gender, and language.
A Bollywood dancing ‘class’ is normally held for an hour or so, and can suit groups of 20-100 participants.
This is a more intense dance workshop, where participants will learn to develop new skills, and discover how to let go of their limitations. As it is a lively and fun learning environment, participants aren’t under pressure to perform.
However, I suggest you think carefully whether an extended session is right for your team. I believe nearly anyone prepared to try something different will enjoy a Bollywood dance experience of up to one hour. But more than that may get a bit overwhelming for some people.
It could, however, be a good option in combination with other diversity training. The dance format may be another way to build appreciation of cultural differences.
Corporate team bonding activities are created for various purposes: building trust in the workplace, creating unity within a team and among teams, breaking down barriers among team members, or just as a fun group activity.
A Bollywood dance routine is great for:
The cost will vary, based on the duration of the activity/workshop.
Workshops can be customized to suit different training objectives, and participant profiles. They are the kind of team bonding activities that can be held anywhere, indoor or outdoor. At the workplace, in conference halls, or even a dance studio.
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