The Coast News Group
The Bollywood dance style is coming to Encinitas with San Diego-based Bollywood Steps led by Payal Nanavati. Courtesy photo
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Bollywood classes start in Encinitas

ENCINITAS — Seven years after the end credits of “Slumdog Millionaire” sparked a Bollywood dance craze in the U.S., the fever has arrived in Encinitas.

Bollywood Steps, a San Diego-based dance company run by Payal Nanavati, recently expanded to Encinitas and is offering weekly classes in the dance rooted in 1950s India that has evolved into a melting pot of dance styles.

“It is a mixture of different styles, you have classical moves, and at the same time you have hip hop, salsa and theater,” Nanavati said. “It is really cool to get a flavor of each and every dance.”

The Bollywood dance style has its roots in the eponymous Bombay film industry’s golden age from the late 1940s to the 1960s. Originally, the dancing in the movies incorporated traditional Indian dance styles, but over the years it’s become more choreographed and theatrical.

The dance style delved into the mainstream in December 2008, fueled by the success of Slumdog Millionaire and it’s dance scene in the closing credits. The song, “Jai Ho,” won the Oscar for best song in 2009.

Since then, Bollywood dance has become a staple at weddings, corporate events, large choreographed “flash mobs” and exercise courses such as the one in Encinitas.

“If you want to exercise while having fun and get a taste of Indian culture, Bollywood is the way to go,” said Nanavati, who’s company also choreographs dances for weddings, corporate gatherings and other events.

The hour-long classes are held at 4 p.m. on Sundays at the Performing Arts Workshop at 1465 Encinitas Blvd., Suite A102. Classes are $15 per class or $60 for a four-course block. Visit the website for details.