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7 ways a Choreographer can give your wedding a Bollywood boost

With over 15 years’ experience teaching wedding dances – from the ultimate bride and groom showstopper, to family performances at wedding events and interactive sessions for guests – London-based Bollywood choreographer and dance supremo Jay Kumar knows his stuff when it comes to giving a wedding a Bollywood boost.

Here, he rounds up his top tips for how to ace your first dance, why it’s worth getting family and friends involved for other performances (eg flashmobs) and also how to get your guests moving…

1. Bride & Groom’s First Dance

Pehli Nazar Mein, Kaise Jaadu Kar Diya …

One of the most frightening and stressful aspects of a wedding for many couples is the Bride & Groom’s First Dance. You and/or your partner may not have any idea how to dance to a slow song, for starters. You’ll always recall going to a wedding where the bride and groom awkwardly shuffled their feet for a few minutes – as you prayed for them that the song would finish quickly to put them out of their misery!

To feel more comfortable and confident about performing a first dance, it pays to hire an experienced choreographer. Choose one who will work with your skill and confidence level, and teach you dance steps that are as simple and effective as you want. The services of a good experienced choreographer are invaluable in taking away the stress of performing a first dance.

When planning your first dance, here’s what you need to consider:

Song Choice
Some couples do have a song that they both like for their first dance but many require some help in deciding. The song is usually a slow song but on occasion can be something very different! Many Asian couples like to go with a slow Bollywood Song. I always suggest the option of adding a faster song or a fun song that relates to their personality as this can make guests cheer even louder.

Length of performance
If it’s just a single song then I’d suggest it should not be longer than 2 minutes. If the couple are doing a medley, then 3-4 minutes is a good amount of time.

Creation of final music
Many choreographers like myself have the ability to edit songs to create a version that works for you and sometimes without extra charges. You would receive the music in the form of an mp3 file that you can hand over to your DJ for the wedding.

Number of Lessons required
I always tell the couples that I teach that they require 3-5 hourly lessons with me to be able to learn a simple choreographed dance, and to be able to have enough confidence to perform it. They also need to find time on their own to practice the routine and to perfect the steps. If more complex choreography is required, then more lessons may be necessary.

2. Family & Friends Dances

Mehndi Laga Ke Rakna, Doli Saja Ke Rakna …

One of the most fun aspects of Asian weddings are the dances performed by family and friends, usually at a pre-wedding function such as a Mehndi Night or Sangeet Night or sometimes at the Wedding Reception.

A lot of fun and bonding takes place between friends and family when they are learning a group dance. It gives them all the sense that they’re part of the celebrations and adds some extra excitement and build up to the big day.

A good experienced choreographer can take control of many of the aspects required to make it a success and more enjoyable for those taking part as well as those watching, including navigating some of the family politics that may be present.

For over 15 years, I have had the pleasure of teaching many family group dances across UK and some internationally as well. I have taught from the smallest of groups (2 or 3 people) to very large groups consisting of over 50 people from different countries, ranging from small performances of 2-3 minutes to larger scale productions of upto 30 minutes.

3. International/Destination Weddings

Aaj Blue Hai Paani, Paani .. Aur Din Bhi Sunny, Sunny …

Having a choreographer attend Wedding events has so many extra benefits, especially if guests are attending from across the World. I also have been fortunate to be invited along to choreograph and oversee the dances at high profile destination weddings including across USA and India as well as the lavish millionaire playground of Monaco.

The added benefits of having a choreographer available in the lead-up to and at the event are:

  • The opportunity for rehearsals with all the participants, especially ones from overseas that may not have had a chance to be taught face-to-face
  • The possibility to have last minute additions and changes, including relatives or friends that want to perform a separate dance as well
  • There’s the possibility of a rehearsal at the venue, which makes it easier for the participants to understand the size of stage/performance area in relation to the position of the audience. Any adjustments can be made there and then if necessary
  • The ability to liaise with other suppliers such as the wedding planners and the DJ to ensure everything is in place for the dance performances
  • The choreographer can give much-needed confidence to the participants with last minute pep talks and assurances
  • The opportunity to also have some fun interactive dance entertainment (see next point) at the wedding.

4. Interactive Dance Entertainment

So Come And Dance With Me, Jai Ho, Oh Ho Oh Ho …

One of the most enjoyable and memorable entertainment acts you can have at events is when an entertainer interacts and involves members of the audience.

For Bollywood themed-events (including weddings) it would be a Bollywood Choreographer or Entertainer teaching the guests some fun Bollywood dance steps. Sometimes this is known as a “Dance Workshop” but I prefer to call it Interactive Dance Entertainment to emphasise the fun side rather than the “work’ element.

This is my USP as I have been performing my unique Interactive Dance Act for over 18 years and am regarded by many as a pioneer and Interactive Dance Specialist.

My Dance With Jay Kumar Session is my unique Interactive Dance Entertainment where mass audiences join me (and sometimes I’m accompanied by my dance teams) in my fun easy-to-follow choreographed dance routines of popular Bollywood songs, creating a lively energetic atmosphere. It is very inclusive as its suitable for a people of all ages, abilities and ethnicities – everyone can join in.

Over 250,000 people have experienced a Dance With Jay Kumar Interactive Session over the years at all types of events including Weddings, Festivals, Corporate Parties and Bollywood Themed Parties. The sessions ideally range from 20-40 minutes and multiple sessions can be scheduled to fit the event programme.

5. Professional Bollywood Dancers

TV Pe Breaking News, Haye Re Mera Ghagra …

Bollywood dance performances by professional dancers can add extra glamour and authenticity to many Bollywood Themed events.

Many choreographers are linked with Bollywood dance groups and I have my own dance troupe, DanceAsia, consisting of extremely talented and passionate dancers. DanceAsia perform dynamic Bollywood dances to hit Bollywood songs in colourful and dazzling outfits and also join me in making my Dance With Jay Kumar Interactive Sessions even more spectacular.

Check Out the DanceAsia showreel on YouTube …

6. Flashmob Dance

..Chalo Chalo Ji Nach Laga Lo, Pakad Kisi Ki Wrist, And We Twist, We Twist …

A flashmob dance at a wedding event will add an element of surprise and if done well it can become a memorable highlight.

A choreographer can help in creating the dance steps and teaching all the participants the routines and their specific role, especially if there is some sequencing required.

The flashmob dance can typically be at the end of the bride & groom’s first dance or even before or during the speeches to create a buzz! I would suggest the dance is no longer than 3 minutes to have the best effect.

7. Hen Party activity

All Hot Girls Put Your Hands Up And Say, Om Shanti Om

Many hen parties look to have some sort of activity that is fun for all to take part – and a Bollywood Dance Session with a choreographer is just that.

I have provided many hen parties with two hours of fun participating in my Dance With Jay Kumar Sessions as well as learning a specific dance routine, especially if required to perform at the wedding.

I can also provide some Bollywood outfits/belly chains and props to wear and use for those memorable photos remember the night and of course put on social media. I have also provided some of my colourful Bollywood Costumes to wear in a short performance of one of the dances learnt in the session, which can be recorded to take back as a memento.

Tel : +44 7866 571298
Web : www.dancewithjaykumar.com
email : jaykumardance@aol.com
Instagram : @dancewithjaykumar
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