September 24, 2019 | 73° F

Rutgers implements Bollywood dance, virtual cycling classes to fitness centers


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Photo by Cindy Xie |

 Bollywood dance is a style of dance that fuses together aspects of Hollywood, hip-hop, urban choreography and Indian classical dance. Classes are every Friday from 2 to 2:50 p.m. in the Livingston Recreation Center. 


Recreation centers at Rutgers have recently implemented two new fitness classes: Bollywood dance and virtual cycling. 

Manahil Chaudry, a building manager at Sonny Werblin Recreation Center, said the process of adding a new class consists first of someone recommending a new approach to fitness. Then, they would need to get certified in what they are teaching, do a recording and send it to the training board. If they are approved, they can then implement the classes into a fitness schedule.

Teaching the new Shiamak Bollywood dance class is Vinita Hazari, a School of Arts and Sciences junior. 

Bollywood dancing is a style of dance that was born out of the Indian film industry, and has been formed by combining decades of different styles and genres from Hollywood, hip-hop and urban choreography. Hazari said, though, that there were also elements of Indian classical dance, giving it a more distinct style, so she thinks of it “more like an Indian-hop or Bollywood hip-hop.”

The new class was recently added to the Rutgers fitness schedule at the beginning of this semester. Taught only at the Livingston Recreation Center, the class consists of a 15 to 20-minute workout to a Bollywood song. Then, the steps used in the workout are introduced and implemented into the choreography, which makes up an entire routine during the rest of the class’s duration, Hazari said. 

Some students, such as Fan Zhang, a graduate student specializing in computer science, like the combination of both dance and a workout routine in the class.

“I joined Bollywood dance class because the class combines dance with a workout and the time of the class was okay for me,” she said.

Students are not the only ones taking the new class. Rutgers faculty members come as well to learn Bollywood dance, such as Colleen Lord, a senior program coordinator at the School of Management and Labor Relations. 

“I came (to) Bollywood dance class because I was excited to try a new kind of dance. This is my first class. And I’m also trying to get back into working out, so I came for fitness, fun and spend(ing) time with my friends (to) just do something different,” she said.

The second newly introduced class to Rutgers Recreation is virtual cycling, which combines the traditional spin class with technology. Virtual cycling was also implemented at the beginning of the semester, and classes take place at Sonny Werblin Recreation Center. 

Chaudry said the class was keeping up with the digital age and was also convenient for both instructors and students.

“We are in a digital age, (so) a lot of people who do take the classes would appreciate more of an approach to technology. Also, virtual fitness classes allow more to be done since fitness centers don’t have to rely on someone’s availability to teach the classes,” Chaudry said. “It allows for more openness in the schedule along with more of an appeal and sense for the people who take the classes.”

There are typically 15 to 20 people per class.

“For virtual cycling, it was assumed to be a regular spin class. Spin was one of the popular classes, so we did need more openings for that, which is one of the reasons why we allowed for the virtual fitness class,” Chaudry said.


Cindy Xie

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