Thaneites perfect their dance moves for Navratras

Written By Unknown on Kamis, 25 September 2014 | 22.23

Navratri has begun and Thaneites are all prepared to make the most of these festive nights that are also about unadulterated fun, fashion and non-stop grooving to the resounding beats of the dhol. Our country's longest dance festival — Navratri — is celebrated with enthusiasm in Thane.

Every year, one can see small changes in the garba steps, though the traditional basics remain the same for decades. Many Thaneites take up classes right before the festival to perfect the traditional and the latest moves with ease.

Dance instructors say that people enroll for classes a few months before Navratri because they not only want to learn new steps but also add that special extra to their moves. Though traditional Garba does have some intricate, advanced moves that need to be mastered with practice, there are always some new moves that are incorporated by enthusiastic choreographers and instructors.

Sheila Mukund, a college student and a resident of Wagle Estate says, "I want to make sure that I dance well and show off all the new moves when I go out for the dandiya night. I joined special classes two months back."

Garba has gone global and international dance forms are being incorporated with the basic steps. Dance classes are opting to teach fusion garba - and are fusing hip-hop, jazz, belly dancing and even lock-n-pop with the well-known traditional garba moves like the dodhiyu, teen tali, popatiyu, raas, heench.

Ruth Gabriel, who runs a Zumba class near Teen Hath Naka in Thane, says, "Zumba is a very international form of dance, but due to my students' demand I also did a few garba classes. I improvised and did some moves to traditional garba songs." Ruth has students aged as young as 17 to those around 55 years. "Most of my students are in their 30s and 40s. There are also college students and they are the ones who want to go for the dandiya / garba nights. They have been practising to gain confidence and perform well," she says. One of Ruth's students got a ghaghra to the class and Ruth sportingly wore that over her Zumba outfit and twirled to the garba music. "It is a very high cardio dance and the entire class had a lot of fun," she says.

There are many Thaneites who are into these classes and apart from losing weight while dancing, they also want to be good performers. Anshul Gada, 27, an entrepreneur from Ghodbunder Road says, "I lost weight thanks to my dance class but I am really excited about the new steps that I have learnt here. Can't wait to hit the dandiya floor."

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