The Evolution of Bollywood Dance

If you’ve been on an Indian dance team at any point in your life, you’ve probably been a part of one or two heated debates about what classifies as Bollywood dance. And that’s because the answer isn’t exactly black or white. The sometimes confusing (but always amazing) thing about Bollywood as a dance style is that it has no rules. There is no one way to choreograph and perform Bollywood dance, and the influence of other dance styles and cultures over the years on the evolving dance form serve as evidence of this. Different global and Indian icons everyone from Elvis and Madonna to Helen, Shammi Kapoor and Govinda have greatly influenced the changes and eras in Bollywood, bringing us to the modern dance style we most commonly see today.

Within the South Asian diaspora, many dancers and choreographers (such as our very own Poonam and Priyanka, and Rajat “Rocky” Batta) are now taking these fusion elements to the next level and embracing new styles such as BollyHop and Bollymation. It’s incredibly inspiring to see fresh takes on Bollywood choreography that represent the modern blend of classical and western dance forms, and we can’t wait to see how dancers will continue to innovate in 2018 and beyond! In the meantime, we thought we’d pay homage to the evolution of Bollywood since the 1910’s that has enabled the innovation we see today!


The Early Years


Global Influences


90’s Magic


Western Influences


Here and Now