Bollywood Bhangra, New Dance Sensation, Offered at Middlesex County College

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Sonalee Vyas

EDISON — A new dance class, called Bollywood Bhangra, is being featured at Middlesex County College this fall. It will run from 7-8 p.m. on Mondays from Sept. 27-Nov. 22 (no class on Oct. 11). It is part of the college’s non-credit offerings.

“Indian dance is becoming very popular,” said the instructor, Sonalee Vyas, who operates a dance studio in Edison. “It is powerful and energetic, providing fitness, fun and a unique experience.”

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Vyas said while the class will be challenging, people with limited dancing experience will find it rewarding.

“It is really for everyone,” she said. “Indian dance is becoming more and more popular because of movies like ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ and because of the increase of Indian immigrants and their influence on the culture. Bhangra is energetic and fun. It is unique and it keeps you fit.”

Lynn Lederer, the director of the college’s Community and Professional Programs, said Bollywood Bhangra is sweeping college campuses all over the nation; some even feature competitions.

“It’s an international dance craze that fuses hip-hop, Latin, jazz and Indian folk and classical movements,” she said. “The music has a strong drum beat. It is exciting and I think the course will be very popular.”

Vyas comes to Middlesex with 20 years of teaching experience.

“I want to take the fear out of dance,” she said. “I want to share my experience with my students. When I was young, I was very shy and dance helped me open up to people.”

Lederer also notes the social aspect of Bhangra.

“In this fragmented world, people are looking for ways to connect,” she said. “Dance is a way of communicating, of being social.”

The cost of the class is $125. For more information, visit www.middlesexcc.edu/profcom or call 1-732-906-2556.


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