Last night, I hornswaggled my husband into going to a Bhangra class. Hubby usually hates dancing but he had such a good time at an Indian wedding that I decided to try him out in Bhangra. Also, learning a new dance step would give me a sense of how well learing new dance steps in the real world would look like.Image via Wikipedia
For those of you not familiar with Bhangra, Bhangra is an Indian dance from the region of Punjab which is now shared between India and Pakistan. Bhangra is a folk dance celebrating the harvest and like all good folk dances is pretty lively. Like a lot of things, East meets West and Bhangra's traditional strong drum beat is getting mixed with rock beats and hiphop. If you saw the movie, Slumdog Millionaire, you'll get the idea. If you didn't see the movie, here's a bhangra video.
Image via WikipediaWe had a lot of fun. Bhangra involves a lot of hip shaking like Middle Eastern belly dancing and a lot of "drama" so you can really ham it up with seductive looks and "come hither"/"no, go away" arm movements. I had a scarf with lots of jingling coins wrapped around my hips so whenever I shook, I made a lot of noise. Hubby had a scarf tied around his chest so he jangled, too. It's quite tiring so after a two hour lesson, we were pretty pooped out.
I found I could keep up with learning new moves pretty easily. Unlike previous efforts at learning a dance movement, I wasn't zigging while I should have been zagging. When the group was all going one way, I was with them. I don't think I was quite on the beat as much as I should have been but I noticed a number of people in the class weren't either. I did have some difficulty periodically getting my hands moving with one movement while my feet were doing something else.
Hubby was bouncing along to the beat and was having a lot of fun. He jumped up and down and was waving his arms. Unlike other dance classes, he looked like he was having fun. Maybe we will try zumba next as he seems to like bright spirited dances. I don't think he has moved his body with such abandon and release since he was a child.
I have also been doing DDR (dance dance revolution) on the Xbox 360. DDR is a lot more work as I do get feedback when I am not on the beat. So I do less dance and more footwork just to stay on the beat. I think I don't worry so much about being on the exact beat in real life class but DDR gives you the feedback when your foot doesn't hit the floor at the exact moment. In order to start passing the dances in game mode, I am working through lesson mode in order to get my feet moving around a lot better. At times I feel like a centipede who can't move because his feet are all going in the wrong direction. Oh Well. I keep the game programmed on basic and just try to keep hitting the beats with my feet. Well, maybe, like a lot of things, if I work at it, I will get better at it.