Bollywood gold glitters through dance


By Kailee Dunn, Eagle Life Writer

Jhan Ja, Odissi and Kathak may not sound like familiar dance, but in Bollywood, they are all the rage.

Sapna Basy, a freshman who grew up in India, shared her Bollywood dance techniques during a workshop in the PUB MPR on Feb. 28.

Basy has been practicing various dance moves for six years.

“I hated when people go on stage and would perform, and I always wanted to be in the back and was shy,” Basy said. “But, I wanted to get rid of stage fright.”

The workshop consisted of three sessions, in which Basy would teach a Bollywood style dance.

“Bollywood is a mixture of all the dance forms around the world. We always mix all the styles,” said Basy

Her first performance was a mixture of Bollywood freestyle and classical dance. Basy wore a traditional Indian style dress, which was intricately designed.  The long dress, rich with color,  had vibrant pops of blue, red and gold and was paired with blue pants.

“This [dress] is one just like in Indian dress, like what we wear usually. If I were [in India], I would wear them every day,” Basy said.

The second dance was a combination of Bollywood freestyle and classical dances, in addition to Arabian and hip-hop. For this performance, Basy changed into a black and gold sequin dress and leggings with a coin scarf around her hips to accentuate the Arabian portion of the dance.

Finally, Basy performed a Pakistani dance known as Gujarati.

“The most basic move is moving your hips,” Basy said about Bollywood style dancing.

Following Basy’s performances, students had the opportunity to learn a simplified version of her dance.

Freshmen Chelsea Phillips, Anna Pack, Meleane Moala and Kelsey Eslick, who all participated in learning the dance moves, agreed the event was really interesting.

“It was fun, kind of hard. It felt like Zumba,” Pack said.

According to secretary of the organization, junior Holly Frazier, the Anthropology Society hosted this event to share the traditions of Bollywood, like dance and posters with traditional Indian food, with EWU students.

“We thought it would be really cool to bring that culture to campus,” Frazier said.

Frazier added that the Anthropology Society allows students the opportunity to get involved in the community and with cultures they may not typically experience.

“We have opportunities to go around the area and do cultural events and go out to cultural dinners,” Frazier said. “We also have science nights … and talk with middle schools in Spokane.”

President of the EWU Anthropology Society Tiffany Kittilsted invited any students who are interested in anthropology to join the club.

Meetings for the Anthropology Society are held Tuesdays from noon to 1 p.m. in the Isle Hall library.

“Anyone can come, you don’t have to be an anthropology major. It’s really about going out and learning about different customs,” Kittilsted said.