At one of the busy dance academies in the Capital, Zumba holds sway even as other dance fads come and go
It worked for Tiger Shroff, and quite interestingly, for Delhi Dance Academy (DDA) too. A few days after Heropanti hit the theatres, DDA’s director Arjun Sandhu’s phone was ringing with eager enquiries. “They all wanted to know if we could teach them to dance like Tiger.”
DDA remains one of Delhi’s most sought after dance academies, and established in 2008, it underwent a management change in 2012, and is now run by Arjun and Anant Sandhu. Over the years, It has grown to accommodate students for thirteen different dance forms, including Zumba, Salsa, Bollywood, Jazz, Contemporary and B-boying. With three centres in Delhi-NCR, with the Gurgaon branch having opened only last week, DDA has become a hub of sorts of Delhi’s changing dance trends and preferences.
“It’s not static, and the enquiries come in waves. A few years back, Belly Dance became popular, and people kept calling to find out more. Then Salsa happened, and in the middle, gymnastics was popular,” says Uma Bawa, studio manager at DDA’s Amar Colony centre. Sandhu adds that while certain dance forms gain and lose popularity, some have remained consistently in demand. “Zumba is our most sought after class. Of course, it’s more a workout and less of a dance form. Bollywood dance remains very popular too.”
And it seems like what’s on screen affects a lot of choices Delhi dance enthusiasts are making. “Dance shows on TV have also become aspirational. People watch shows like Jhalak Dikhlaja and want to be able to dance like that.” The number of dance forms DDA offers classes in has grown, and so has the number of private classes. “After people saw Aamir Khan tap dance in Dhoom 3, quite a few of them wanted to learn it, and so we have private classes for tap dance available too,” says Sandhu.
What started with one basement and one instructor has changed hands and now grown into a company that serves as a one-stop shop for both trained and amateur dancers. “We have almost 600 people enrolled in the two Amar Colony centres, and 45 students have already registered at the Gurgaon branch.” Carefully hand-picked instructors, while not all of them certified, are required to undergo training classes with structured curriculums. “We have designed the curriculum after studying curriculums from dance schools all over the world, and holding intense discussions with experts.”
Of course, while only a few students find their way to the small or big screen, many of them do make it to the stage. DDA holds frequent shows at venues all over Delhi, as well as outside, showcasing their students’ talent and their own expertise as instructors.
The glitter- and drama-filled sequences crowding our TV sets showcase what is already one of the most enjoyable ways to stay fit. With the convenient timings that go easy on working professionals and the variety of classes on offer, institutions like DDA are making things easier for anyone who likes to shake things up a little bit.