Bollywood Jollywood: How Bollywood Dance Society is keeping up its fun and glamour

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By Sanjana Idnani, Wellbeing Sub-Editor

The Croft // With university life looking a bit different this year, societies are finding new ways to get together to do what they love. Sanjana reflects on the challenges the pandemic poses to societies and how Bollywood Dance hopes to keep the community connected.

I remember seeing Bollywood Dance Society perform at Freshers’ Fair and feeling my heart burst with joy.

After a fun, but overwhelming week of navigating living on my own, it was exciting to hear a duet mix of Bekhayali and Sun Saathiya and feel reconnected with my home and culture.

Keen to get stuck into university life and improve my physical wellbeing, Bollywood Dance looked like an appealing option for me to try out, especially because I was (and still am) far from a gym person.

The intense rehearsals leading up to each performance made it clear that those who squat together, stick together!

Being a part of Bollywood Dance Society was animating and busy from the get-go. BDS had seen a massive increase in members and opportunities to perform which kept both my weekends busy and my Instagram topped up with snaps of us in our colourful costumes!

'It was exciting to feel reconnected with my home and culture' | Kolab Studios / Alastair

What especially stuck with me was the unique bond we formed from rehearsing and performing together. The intense rehearsals leading up to each performance made it clear that those who squat together, stick together!

It was this sense of community that inspired me to join this year’s committee to help create a similar experience for the next generation of dancers. However, Coronavirus quickly threw a spanner in the works.

Societies bring many students a sense of community | Kolab Studios / Alastair

After already having East Meets West cancelled in March, it was disheartening to think that our Freshers’ Fair performance and potentially others in the autumn term were also out of the picture.

However, every cloud has a silver lining and Covid-19 encouraged us to think outside the box about how we could make an impact.

We contributed to Modern Jive Society’s charity danceathon in support of Black Bristol Carers and NHS charities together and worked with Asian Society and LGBTQ+ society on a panel event about the South Asian queer identity.

It has been so inspiring to help others out through movement and to start conversations on current issues and we are very excited to continue this work at Pakistani Society’s panel event on mental health in the South Asian community.

'Covid-19 encouraged us to think outside the box' | Epigram / Sanjana Idnani

So, while Covid-19 might have changed the game, BDS is still very much in play! We’ve got our virtual lessons lined up and while Zoom may not be the Dance Studio, the lessons can still be a great way for incoming freshers to connect and make Bristol their home and Bollywood Dance Society their Bristol family.

Find more information about Bollywood Dance Society here.

Featured image: Kolab Studios / Alastair


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