It’s no secret that Indian weddings are lively, active, and filled with celebration! During the Sangeet and Reception, two events that involve dancing the most, all guests are encouraged to join the bride and groom on the dance floor. Don’t be surprised if you see guests dancing at other events you attend too. Either way, you’ll most likely be pulled to the dance floor, so make sure you wear comfortable shoes, and loose, flowy clothing so you can enjoy the full experience. Some Indian weddings also encourage dancing barefoot - check out what the wedding party and other guests are doing, and you’ll fit right in.
Here are the top 5 Bollywood dance moves to break out when the time comes!
1. Thumka AKA The Hip Shake: A classic Bollywood dance move that you can do to any beat. Place one hand on your hip and the other on your head, then shake (or Thumka) to the rhythm of the music! You can even add a playful facial expression while you’re doing this step.
Learn here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7GjiD0HFbw by DanceWithAbby
2. Twist the lightbulb and Pet the Dog: Not only is this dance move one of the most well known, it’s also easy! With one hand, pretend to screw in a light bulb and with the other, pretend you’re petting a dog. Don’t forget to shake your hips while you're doing this!
Learn here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5mqziVUaSE by Quest for Education
3. Clap and Turn: Just like it’s written, all you need to do is clap to the right, put your hands on your hips, and turn to the left. Then, clap to the left, put your hands on your hips, and turn to the right. This dance move would look perfect with a LUKH lehnga!
Learn here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJ0maICKKEI (1 minute 8 seconds mark) by Manpreet Toor
4. Windshield Wipers - The Thumka will be useful for this step. You will hip shake and wave your arms up and down like windshield wipers. You can lift your skirt an inch or two off the ground, if you are wearing a lehnga, and move it left to right. Add a little attitude to this step to spice it up!
Learn here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJ0maICKKEI&t=210s (8 minutes 38 seconds mark) by Manpreet Toor
5. The Side Step - This step can be done on the left or the right! Let’s start with the right side. Step your right foot forward and bring your right arm up. Shape your hand like a flower. Step your right foot back, and bring your arm back down. On the left side, step your left foot forward and bring your left arm up. Step your right foot back, and bring your arm back down.
Learn here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJ0maICKKEI&t=210s (10 minutes mark) by Manpreet Toor
Although there are endless dance moves to groove to on the dance floor, these steps are some of the most common you will see at Indian weddings. No matter what Bollywood dance move you do, your energy and your facial expressions will be the real crowd pleasers! Just remember to have fun, and as always, add your Thumka to enhance your movements!
Mir Anwar Studios
About the Author
Kruti Malkan is an MBA candidate at the Kellogg School of Management. Her background lies in supply chain and operations, but she has a passion for marketing. In her free time, she loves to Bollywood dance, practice yoga, and explore new fashion trends!