Types of Bollywood Dances

What Type of Bollywood Dance Is for You?

Learn About Traditional and Modern Bollywood Dances Types!

Types of Indian Dancing:

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Bharatanatyam is a classic southern India dance from Tamil Nadu. Bharatanatyam is inter-connected with Hindu stories, worship, gods, and mythology. It is one of the most popular forms of Bollywood dancing, and started hitting the theater stage in the 20th century. Some individuals call it the “national dance of India,” giving it slightly more importance over other dances. Initially known as a temple dance for women, people all over the world are now learning Bharatanatyam, although it takes years to study and master. Common dance moves seen in this form of dance are hand gestures, used in story-telling, as well as bending of the feet.


Originating in Punjab, in the northwest of India, Bhagra is a lively Indian dance that combines folk music and dance to celebrate the harvest season. Bhangra, unlike Bharatanatyam, was originally performed by men. Currently, Bhangra has become a very wide-spread popular dance across the world, and even women enjoy learning Bhangra. It features elements of traditional Indian dancing and also combines elements of hip-hop, house, reggae, and modern dance steps. Bhangra is slowly changing and influencing the face of modern day dancing, as it has become a part of celebrations outside of India in weddings and other festivals.


Giddha, like Bhangra, is a popular, lively Indian folk dance from Punjab, that is performed to folk music. Female performers dance across the stage with energy, creativity, elegance, and flexibility. The dancers often form a circle, and certain dancers will enter inside the circle to perform a dance. Giddha is a simple, graceful dance that unites mimics, hand movements, singing, and graceful movements to tell stories about daily life.


From Kerkala, in southwest India, comes the Kathakali dance tradition. Kathakali is performed by both men and women, even though it is normally performed by men only. Extravagant, stunning, colorful costumes are common to this form of Bollywood dance, as well as eye-catching and impressive face make-up that is applied to look like the dancer is wearing a mask. Like Bharatanatyam, Kathakali is a religious dance used in Hindi worship, that tells tales and stories of Shaiva traditions.


Kathpuli dancing is a combination of dancing and puppet-playing. A very unique form of Bollywood dancing, Kathptuli dancers act as if they are puppets on a string, and they are dancing to the commands of the puppet master. The word Kathptuli literally means puppet, and stories are told, usually about love, chivalry, and honor through these dances. Kathptuli dances are completed through swift, elegant motions to the tune of folk music.


Odissi not surprisingly comes from Orissa in eastern India. Odissi, much like Bharatanatyam, is expressively a dance for women. Odissi is a very complicated Indian dance, believed to be the oldest Indian dance still practiced, and involves many hand gestures called mudras. Women pose in positions similar to postures commonly found within temples in this type of dance.

Endless Dance Styles for Everyone!

The Bollywood style dances mentioned above are just a few of the many types of dances. There are endless Bollywood dances, with many different styles of dance steps and movements. Some common themes throughout Indian style dancing are story-telling, Hindi culture, worship, hand movements, beautiful costumes, and Indian traditions. Learning Bollywood style dancing is an excellent blend of traditional and modern dancing, perfect for both men and women, and even children! Today, many dance studios offer Bollywood dance instruction, due to the fact that it is gaining popularity worldwide. If you are interested in learning different Bollywood dance styles, explore the Bollywood dance classes that are open for registration on our website – dancingmeow.com! You can connect with other dancers, learn Bollywood dance steps, and impress your friends and family!

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