By: Asjad Nazir
A DEEP love for Bollywood dance has always been with Soulma Hosany from a very young age.
That lifelong passion has led her towards live memorable performances and passing on dance skills with a fun weekly class in London, where students pay what they can afford.
Eastern Eye twirled towards the London-based talent to find out more about her close connection to Bollywood dance and weekly classes.
What made you fall in love with Bollywood dance?
Since I was a child, I remember sitting down to watch Bollywood movies with my grandad and trying to copy all the dance moves. I was totally transported to a different place watching the dancing. At every family gathering or party, I would do a dance! It was literally a part of my whole childhood.
What has been your most memorable moment as a dancer?
I am lucky to have had many! The ones that stand out are performing at the London 2012 closing ceremony and dancing on stage with various celebrities. I also got to be a Bollywood dancer in the recent Marvel movie Eternals.
Tell us about your dance classes?
My dance classes at CRATE in London are about giving back to the community and providing a chance to focus on participant’s wellbeing with a fun and inclusive class, affordable to all. I offer students a chance to pay what they can on a donation basis, as I know how it feels to not be able to afford dance classes. I am passionate about giving back to the community where I can and these classes enable me to do that.
Is it open to all abilities?
Yes, absolutely and that’s what makes these classes special. The classes are mainly aimed at ladies, 16 and over. However, we do have men and younger teens drop in sometimes.
What would you say to ladies who don’t feel confident or scared about attending?
Nothing great happens in our comfort zone! Be brave and do something for yourself. I promise it’s the friendliest fun class, which does help build confidence.
How much does dance benefit mental and physical health?
Dance is a great form of exercise, which improves fitness levels, coordination, memory, and flexibility! It boosts happy chemicals. I have literally seen people turn up to classes feeling down, stressed, low energy, who then leave with a spring in their step, mentally feeling boosted and positive. There’s a power in being in the moment, focusing on moves and feeling connected with your body and other people through dance.
How much does dance help you?
Dance has helped me through my darkest times and continues to boost my motivation, confidence, and mental health. I couldn’t imagine my life without dance.
Who is your own favourite Bollywood dancer?
There are so many, but my icon is Madhuri Dixit as her grace, style, expressions, techniques are all 100 percent.
Which Bollywood songs do you most love dancing to?
(Laughs) I have to admit that I love a good item song!
What inspires you as a dancer?
Bringing joy through dance inspires me a lot. If I’ve made one person happy through my dance, that’s all that matters.
Why should we attend your dance classes?
My classes have a great atmosphere, where we make everyone feel comfortable and included, bringing all styles of Bollywood with professional teaching and choreography. So, you can learn routines in the first half and then keep fit to different styles in second half with all the steps! It is the best of both worlds. Dance choreography and keeping fit to dance!
Bollywood dance classes take place Saturdays at CRATE, 35 Saint James Street, London E17 7FY. www.eventbrite.com