Indian Cultural Association hosts free Jhoom dance clinic


Junior Anish Nagar demonstrates how to dance a traditional Indian Jhoom at the Recreational Sports Center Wednesday evening. The dance clinic was hosted by the Indian Culutral Association.

Photo Credit: Emily Ng | Daily Texan Staff

The rhythmic sounds of Indian pop music and dance filled the Recreational Sports Center on Tuesday evening as part of the Indian Cultural Association’s Jhoom dance clinic.

The clinic featured choreography by two nationally ranked dance teams, Texas Mohini and Texas Bhangra. Each team demonstrated its unique style, which included a Bollywood fusion routine taught by two of four Texas Mohini captains and a traditional bhangra dance taught by the two captains of Texas Bhangra. 

“Bollywood refers to the movie industry of India,” organization president Dhruv Goel said. “Texas Mohini tries to promote the Bollywood culture, while Texas Bhangra is more traditional. They’re very distinct dance styles.”

Rashi Agrawal, co-captain of Texas Mohini, said the Bollywood style is characterized by festive melodies and peppy, up-beat hip movements. 

“Mohini incorporates a variety of dance styles. Each girl [on our team] comes from different dance backgrounds. It’s very open to collaboration and creativity,” Agrawal said.

Bhangra is slightly more energetic, incorporating jumps and simultaneous movement of the hands and feet. 

“[In Bhangra] you’re going to be dancing and throwing your hands up in the air,” Rahul Nowlakha, the organization’s vice president, said. “It’s very energetic. You’ll definitely work up a sweat.”

The event is part of the Indian Cultural Association’s efforts to spread Indian cultural awareness. Indian dance clinics, also known as Jhoom, provide a forum for direct and lively participation within a major facet of Indian culture.

“A lot of people don’t know a lot about Indian culture,” said Suruchi Avasthi, membership coordinator for the association. “If we try to make an event super fun like a dance clinic, they get to learn about it and get to interact with us and actively experience the culture.”

The association is frequently hosting events that bring Indian culture to the University. On Feb. 27, the association will sell Indian food at the West Mall as part of their monthly event called Rasoi - an Indian Kitchen. All students are encouraged to attend. 

Printed on Thursday, February 21, 2013 as: Not the Harlem Shake