Bollywood Fusion Dance Club takes new steps at FIU

The Bollywood Fusion Dance Club members Syed Hassan (Left), Tasnia Arshee (Middle) and Muhammad Sial (Right) performed at a “Joy to the World” event. Photo courtesy of Tasnia Arshee

Written by Zoe Chin/Sports Director

Bollywood dance has become more than just a form of entertainment for the public. For the founders of the Bollywood Fusion Dance Club, Bollywood is something from their childhood that keeps them connected together in their culture.

“Bollywood is not just India,” said co-founder of the club Tasnia Arshee to Student Media.

Bollywood is so diverse, Arshee said, that it includes countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal. The club was founded by Arshee and Jibin Jinu during the 2018 fall semester. The fusion part of the club is how they mix Bollywood music with American or Latin music with different styles of Bollywood dance and other styles of dancing. Although there isn’t a set practice room or time, Arshee and Jinu have been working together to grow their club and get a room at the gym that they can reserve for their practices.

Currently, the club has ten to 12 members and despite conflicting schedules, Arshee makes time to meet with each member to teach them a dance routine. Jinu hopes that as the club grows, they will get to perform competitively.

“[There are] so many Bollywood competitions,” said Jinu, “And I like the competing side of things.”

There are many universities that have competitive Bollywood dance teams such as Brown University, John Hopkins University, Dartmouth College, and the University of California Los Angeles. Arshee and Jinu hope that they do get to compete in Bollywood dance competitions, but for now, they are starting with the basics.

At the “Panthers’ Got Talent Show” last year, Arshee won first place in the competition’s solo event. The club has been asked to perform for weddings, small shows, and for the FIU Relay for Life event. There has also been plans to enter the competition at the Indian Regional & Cultural Center with an eight member starting team.

For Arshee, this club is more than just a hobby. She has been dancing since she was four-years old and encouraged by her parents to not only keep dancing, but to also teach others about Bollywood. Arshee and Jinu encourage people of different backgrounds to experience what their club does.

“There are different forms of dance,” said Arshee.

One of the forms of dance that they do is called Bhangra. This style of dance is more flexible and structured. It has a lot more expression and requires a lot of stamina and endurance said Syed Hassan who is a member of the club and frequently dances with the Bhangra style.

“The best thing about it is that there is no strict movement,” said Hassan. “It is more flexible.”

Besides Bhangra, the club tries to fuse other styles of dance in their routines, but sometimes it might seem difficult to do the dance routine, according to Jinu.

“If you really like a song a lot,” he said, “you get into it.”

As the club works on getting more members, they also talked about developing the club internally through funding and being active in the university’s community. One of the events they have planned is a Bollywood workshop. Arshee has been working alongside the FIU Wellness and Recreation Center to get the workshop prepared and the fee to attend the workshop is two dollars. At the workshop, Arshee plans on teaching a Bollywood dance routine to interested participants.

The club is also making plans for an upcoming Hindu holiday in March called Holi. This is a color celebration that is usually known as the “Festival of Love.” They hope to have the event in the Graham Center where they will be selling tie-dyed shirts.

Those interested in joining the Bollywood Fusion Dance Club can email Arshee at tarsh002@fiu.edu.

Feature Image courtesy of Tasnia Arshee.

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