• DANCE - Classical | Folk
    dance steps

    Different dancing styles and forms of dances in India are very ancient and highly developed performing arts. The classical and folk dance styles in India usually have the devotional nature associated with them. All classical dance forms in India have two main aspects - Nritta and Nrittya. Divya music presents details on a few major classical and folk dance styles – solo dances / group dances practiced in India. Divya Music offers dance training courses / online dance lessons for the following dance styles:

    Indian Classical Dance Styles

    The term "classical" ("Shastriya") denotes the 'Natya Shastra' (Drama theme) based performing art and dance forms / dance styles. The classical Dance form of the Indian culture is very important, unique and different from all over the world, Indian classical dance is a relatively umbrella term for various art forms rooted in Natya (Drama) and the sacred Hindu musical theatre styles, The Natya shastra theory by Bharata Muni can be traced and accordingly a dance style is classical to the extent it incorporates the Natya Shastra steps and expressions. Divya Music and Dance school offers Indian classical dance classes for learning classical Indian dances. Certificate / Diploma level dance courses based on teaching dance through regular dance classes and online dance lessons are available at Divya Music.

    Bharata Natyam Dance

    learn bharatnayam Bharata Natyam : Originated from Tamil Nadu state in Southern India, it has style that boasts strength & beauty. Bharat Natyam style has balanced and dynamic positions too. In dance, Bharat Natyam dance is like a diamond and has many steps to be in rhythm and expressive positions. It’s the combination of melody & rhythm, poetry & drama, expression & sculpture, color & traditions. These all aspects make it world’s most popular Indian dance.

    Manipuri Dance

    learn manipuri Manipuri : It originated from Manipur state in North East of India. It’s a devotional & regional dance where Manipuri dancers devote themselves to Lord Krishna or Lord Vishnu. Traditionally, this dance style has been taught to the devotees by the local priests. If a person wanted to learn Manipuri dance, there was no special Guru for teaching Manipuri dance, just visiting a regional priest called ‘Ojha’ was enough to start learning Manipuri dance at priest’s home. Manipuri dance style is very smooth, simple, clean and elegant. The dance is performed by male dancers & female dancers both and the difference is visible very clearly. The female dancer is very poised and gentle and the male dancer is powerful and energetic. Overall, this dance is never aggressive and loud. It’s main theme is for the Shirngar - Bhakti (love & devotional aspect) dance dedicated to God.

    Kathak Dance

    learn kathak Kathak : It originated from ‘Braj’ region in Uttar Pradesh state of northern India. The word ‘Kathak’ means ‘Katha’ (story in Hindi) – a story being narrated through the Kathak dance. Everyone like stories and in Kathak dance stories the facial expression and style does matter and in that manner to tell a story by dance is called ‘kathak’. In Kathak dance style the dancing skills included are recitation, singing, acting & dancing. This dance originally developed close to Lord Krishna’s birth place in 15th century AD through ‘Ras-leela’ – the divine dance in ‘Braj’. With the passing time the meaning and aim of this traditional devotional dance format has also changed and the devotional lyrics have been replaced by very fast rhythm.

    Odissi Dance

    learn odissi Odissi : Originated from Orissa state of India, which is located on the eastern coast of central India. This state is very old and rich in culture, traditions and religious beliefs. In India, dance are always related to devotion towards God and devotee pays their devotion through dance.
    Today, in present “Tabu” & “Pallvi” is most famous sculptural poses and dance style practiced in Odissi dance. The ‘ashtapadi’ is a great part in Odissi dance, ‘Moksha (salvation) is also an important part where a Odissi dancer pays homage to God, to the Guru and to audience before ending her performance. In the Odissi dance style, the sacred verses from the ‘Gita-Govind’ are narrated as the main part of lyrics.

    Kuchipudi Dance

    learn kuchipudi Kuchipudi : Kuchipudi dance belongs to a little village by the name Kuchipudi itself in the southern Indian state of Andhra pardesh. It’s based on stories from the Puranas. In Kuchipudi dance style, the Kuchipudi dancer is required to sing, dance and deliver the dialogue. This form is still prevalent and popular. In the Kuchipudi dramas male dancers impersonate the female characters. Women are not permitted to take part in this dance drama at all.

    Mohini-Attam Dance

    learn mohiniyattam Mohini-Attam : Is the dance style developed by the women in Kerala state of southern India. Mohiniattam dance has the ancient history, which belong to Hindu mythology. The drums called edakka and maddalam are used in this dance like the Kathakali dance style but it has no harsh movement like kathkali.

    Sattriya Dance

    learn sattriya Sattriya :It is much unknown form of Indian classical dance, relates to the beautiful state of Assam in north east India. It was originated by Srimant Sankaradeva, the man who started the “bhakti movement” (devotional movement) with the Assameese people and was the well known poet, playwright and artist of his time. The name of the Sattriya dance style is also related to the name of ‘Sattra’ village in Assam.

    Kathkali Dance

    learn kathkali Kathkali : Kathkali dance is very exciting and is the traditional dance form the southern Indian of Kerala. “Katha” means a story and “kali” is play. It’s also based on Hindu mythology story. Of the masked dance forms in India, Kathkali dance is the most vibrant, colorful and the most intricate one. The Kathkali dance troupes became famous for their presentation of “Epic tales” taken from the Puranas.
    This dance also faced the bad days, but in 1930, the poet Vallathol Narayana Menon saved this art and established a wonderful Kathkali dance training school for dancers performing Kathkali dance in a place called Shoranpur. Later this was called the “Kalamandlam”. “Kathkali dance” teachers are called “Ashaans”. Kathkali dance is always performed in the night. For performing this art only two things are required a wooden stoole and a small curtain, it called a “therashila”. Allover, Kathkali dance style is very magical, vibrant and colorful, easy and dramatic art.

    Regional / Folk / Tribal dance styles in India

    Indian folk dances and Indian tribal dances are simple dances styles performed to express joy. Indian Folk dances performed by Indian folk dancers and Indian tribal dances performed by Indian tribal dancers are for every possible occasion, to celebrate the arrival of seasons, birth of a child, a wedding and festivals etc. The folk and tribal dances are extremely simple with minimum of dancing steps or dance movements. The regional folk and tribal dances burst with verve and vitality. Male dancers and female dancers perform some dances exclusively, while in some performances men and women dance together. Divya Dance school teaching faculty offers dance classes for learning folk dances / tribal dances / regional dances.

    Bihu Dance

    learn Bihu Bihu : The Bihu dance is a folk dance from the Indian state of Assam which is related to the festival of Bihu. This joyous dance style is performed by both young men and young women, it is characterized by brisk dance steps,and rapid hand movements. Dancers wear traditionally colorful Assamese dancers dresses when perform the Bihu dance.

    Garba Dance

    learn Garba Garba : Garba is a form of group dance that originated in the western Indian state of Gujarat. The name 'Garba' is originated from the Sanskrit term 'Garbha' (womb) and 'Deep' (a small earthenware lamp). Many traditional Garbas are performed by the Garba dancers around a central lit lamp or picture or statues of different avatars of mother Goddess 'Shakti'. Garba dance is usually performed during the nine day festivals called 'Navratri' dedicated to the mother Goddess and celebrated twice a year, The circular and spiral pattern of Garba dance have similarities to other spiritual dances, such as those of Sufi dance culture.

    Raas - Dandiya / Garba Dance

    learn Garba Raas - Dandiya / Garba : Raas or Dandiya Raas dance is the traditional folk dance form of Vrindavan region in northern India, where it is performed depicting scenes of Holi, and 'lila' of Krishna and Radha. Along with Garba dance, the Dandiya dance is the featured dance of Navratri festivities in India. The word "Raas" comes from Sanskrit word "Ras". The origins of Raas can be traced to ancient times. Lord Krishna performed Rasa lila" (Lila means Lord Krishna's playful dance. The word "Lila" also refers to the things that God does that we do not fully understand).

    There are several forms of Raas including 'Dandiya Raas', 'Dang Lila' and 'Rasa lila'. In Dandiya Raas dance, men and women dance in two circles with sticks in their hands, generally, in a four beat rhythm, opposite sides hit the sticks at the same time, creating a nice sound, using the stick in their right hand. One circle goes dancing clockwise and another dancing counter clockwise. In the west, people don't form full circles, but instead often form rows.

    Originating as devotional Garba dances, which were always performed in Durga's honour, this dance form is actually the staging of a mock-fight between the Goddess and Mahishasura, the mighty demon-king, and is nicknamed "The Sword Dance". During the dance, Dandiya dancers energetically whirl and move their feet and arms in a complicated, choreographed manner to the tune of the music with various rhythms. The dhol is used as well as complementary percussion instruments such as the dholak, tabla and others. The Dandiya dance sticks (dandiyas) of the dance represent the swords of Durga. The women wear traditional dresses such as colorful embroidered dance choli, dance ghagra and bandhani dupattas (traditional attire) dazzling with mirror work and heavy dance jewellery. The men wear special turbans and kedias, but this varies regionally.

    Garba is performed before Aarti (worshipping ritual) as devotional performances in the honor of the Goddess, while Dandiya is performed after it, as a part of merriment. Today, Raas is not only an important part of Navaratri festivities but extends itself to other festivals related to harvest and crops as well.

    Bhangra Dance

    learn Bhangra Bhangra : 'Bhangra' in Punjabi (Gurmukhi) is a form of South-Asian form dance and music highly influenced by the culture and language of Punjab state of northern India. Bhangra dance also refers to a traditional, energetic and vibrant festival celebration dance. Bhangra dance began as a folk dance performed by farmers in 11th century to celebrate the arrival of the harvest season. The specific moves of Bhangra reflect the manner in which villagers farmed their land.

    Gidda Dance

    learn Gidda Gidda : Gidda dance(Punjabi-gidha) is a popular folk dance of women in Punjab region of India. The Gidda dance is often considered derived from the ancient dance known as the ring dance and is just as energetic as Bhangra and at the same time it manages to creatively display feminine grace, elegance and elasticity. It is a very colourful dance form which is now performed in different local adaptations in all the regions all across the country.

    Lavani Dance

    learn Lavani Lavani : Lavani folk dance is a genre of music popular in Maharashtra and southern Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu States of India. Lavani dance is a combination of traditional song and dance, which is particularly performed to the enchanting beats of Dholak, a percussion instrument. Lavani dance style is noted for its powerful rhythm and erotic sentiment. Lavani has contributed substantially to the development of Marathi folk theatre In Maharashtra and southern Madhya Pradesh.

    Singhi Chham Dance

    learn Singhi Chham Singhi Chham : Singhi Chham folk dance is also known as Kanchendzonga Dance. It is a folk dance native to Sikkim Region. The word 'Singhi Dance' means the 'Lion Dance'. This masked dance is performed during the worship ritual of snowy range of Kanchenjunga and the local people use this majestic dance as a way to display their cultural symbol.

    Kamandi Dance

    learn Kamandi Kamandi : 'Kamandi' or 'Kaman Pandigai' folk dance is celebrated in Tamil Nadu State in southern India. It is celebrated to commemorate the puranic event when 'Manmada' the God of Love was burnt to ashes by lord Shiva in anger. The villagers separate themselves into two dancer groups as Erintha katchi and Eriyatha katchi and a heated debate ensues represented by the consorts - Kaman and Rathi, being the main characters.

    Kummi Dance

    learn Kummi Kummi : 'Kummi' is a folk dance popular in Tamil Nadu and Kerala States of southern India, practiced much by the women of Tamil Nadu state forming a circular dancing pattern. It is usually a festival dance, the dancing pattern may be differ at different places, in some places it is very simple, with rhythmic clapping whereas in other places Kummi dancers imitate various harvesting activities. Kummi is often accompanied by songs, called "Kummi songs".

    Kalikapatadi Dance

    learn Kalikapatadi Kalikapatadi : Kalikapatadi dance form is mainly performed in West Bangal state of eastern India, more prevalent in the Howrah region, The theme story of this Kalikapatadi Bengali dance form is 'how Shiva calms down angry Kali after killing Asura (demons)' and on the coronation of Shiva on Neelpuja Day (Chaitra Sankranti) the performance of this dance is a must.

    Jawara Dance

    learn chhauchhau Jawara : Jawara folk dance is performed in the Bundelkhand area of Madhya Pradesh state in central India. It is essentially a harvest dance reflecting the gaiety and pleasure of the peasants who have reaped a good harvest in the season. The dance is performed by men dancers and women dancers together.

    Dumhal Dance

    learn Dumhal Dumhal : Dumhal folk dance is performed in Jammu and Kashmir state in India. The Dumhal is a dance performed by the menfolk of the Wattal tribe of Kashmir on specific occasions. The dance performers wear long colorful robes and tall conical caps studded with beads and shells. The dance party moves in a procession carrying a banner in a very ceremonial fashion.

    Yakshagana Dance

    learn Yakshagana Yakshagana : Yakshagana folk dance is a musical theater popular in the coastal and Malenadu regions of Karnataka state in southern India. 'Yakshagana' is the recent 250 years old scholastic name for what are known as "Dasavatara" (Ten Avatars or ten incarnations of God Vishnu). It is believed to have evolved from pre classical music and theatre during Bhakti (Devotional music) movement. Yakshagana is popular in the Uttara Kannada, Udupi, Dakshina Kannada and Shimoga districts of Karnataka and Kasaragod district of Kerala.

    Panthi Dance

    learn Panthi Panthi : Panthi tribal dance is one of the prominent dance forms of Chhattisgarh state in central India. The Panthi dance reflects the rich cultural heritage and traditional legacies of the indigenous tribal groups of the region. Representing the vibrant and dynamic cultural life of the local inhabitants of Chhattisgarh Region. Panthi dance epitomizes the unique dance styles of the state.

    Kalbelia Dance

    learn Kalbelia Kalbelia : Kalbelia dance is the one of the most sensuous dance forms of Rajasthan region and is performed by the Kalbelia tribe. The Kalbelia musical dance is performed to celebrate any joyful moment within the community as community dance. It is an integral part of their rich culture. Male dance participants take care of the musical part of the dance. They use the different musical instruments like Pungi, Dufli, Been, Khanjari, Morchang, Khuralio and Dholak to create the rhythm and dancers perform.

    Mohiniatam Dance

    learn Mohiniatam Mohiniatam Dance : 'Mohiniyattam' also Called Mohiniattam is a traditional South Indian dance from Kerala State, developed by the Tamil Nattuvanar Vadivelu, one of the Thanjavur Quartet. It is one of the eight Indian classical dance forms of the India. It is considered a very graceful dance meant to be performed as a solo dance recital by women. The term Mohiniatam comes from the words "Mohini" meaning a woman who enchants onlookers and "aattam" meaning graceful body movements.

    Manipuri Dance

    learn Manipuri Manipuri Dance : Manipuri dance is one of the major Indian classical dance forms of the India. It originates from Manipur state in north eastern India on the border with Myanmar. In Manipur, surrounded by mountains and geographically isolated at the meeting point of the orient and mainland India, the Manipuri dance form developed its own specific aesthetics, values, conventions and ethics.

    Odissi Dance

    learn Odissi Odissi Dance : Odissi dance is one of the eight classical dance forms of India. It originates from the state of Odisha (Orissa), in eastern India. It is the oldest surviving dance form of India on the basis of archaeological evidences. The classic treatise of Indian dance, Natya Shastra, refers to it as Odra-Magadhi.

    Kuchipudi Dance

    learn Kuchipudi Kuchipudi Dance : Kuchipudi or 'Koochipoodi' is a classical Indian dance form from Andhra Pradesh state of southern India. Kuchipudi is the name of a village in the Divi Taluka of Krishna district that borders the Bay of Bengal and with resident Brahmins practicing this traditional dance form Kuchipudi dancers are quicksilver and scintillating, and rounded and fleet footed, performed to the classical Carnatic music, it shares many common elements with Bharatanatyam Dance Form.

    Kathakali Dance

    learn Kathakali Kathakali Dance : Kathakali Dance is a highly stylized classical Indian dance noted for the attractive make-up of dancing characters, elaborate dance costumes, detailed dance gestures and well-defined body movements presented in tune with the anchor playback music and complementary percussion. It originated in the state of Kerala in southern India during the 17th century and has developed over the years with improved looks, refined gestures and added dance themes besides more ornate singing and precise dance drumming.

    Kathak Dance

    learn Kathak Kathak Dance : Kathak Dance is one of the eight forms of Indian classical dances, originated from Uttar Pradesh State, India. Kathak dance form traces its origins to the nomadic bards of ancient northern India, known as Kathaks, or storytellers. These bards, performing in village squares and temple courtyards, mostly specialized in recounting mythological and moral tales from the scriptures, and embellished their dance recitals with hand dancing gestures and facial expressions.

    Bharatnatyam Dance

    learn Bharatnatyam Bharatnatyam Dance : Bharatanatyam or Bharata Natyam is a classical dance form from the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, nowadays practiced predominantly by girls.It is held as the national dance of India. The dance is accompanied by classical Carnatic music. Its dance inspirations come from the sculptures of the ancient temple of Chidambaram. Bharatanatyam proper is a solo dance, with two aspects - 'Lasya', the graceful feminine lines and movements, and 'Tandava' - Ananda Thandavam (Tamil - the dance of Shiva), masculine aspect - which is identical to the Yin and Yang in the Chinese culture.

    Chhau Dance

    Chhau learn chhau Chhau : Chhau has its origin in the martial art form of Eastern India and has branches in three different places. In Chhau style dancers also use real masks. All branches have dance names related to the names of places.

    1. Mayurbhanj Chhau dance, developed at the palace named Mayurbhanj in Orissa state of India
    2. Seraikela Chhau dance, this dance was developed at a place called Seraikela in Bihar state of India
    3. Purulia Chhau dance, it was developed in Purulia in West Bengal state of India

    These all three Chhau dance style have their own identity and integrity. Chhau dance is also based on Hindu Mythology and actors play their character of mythological heroes & heroines like Durga, Shiva, Ganesha & kartikeya etc.

    Global / Western Dance Styles

    Different Global dancing styles and Western forms of dances are the highly developed performing arts. Divya Music and Dance school in India offers Global / Western dance classes for learning global dance styles. Hobby and Certificate level dance courses based on teaching dance through regular dance classes and online dance lessons are available at Divya Music.

    Salsa Dance

    learn Salsa Salsa dance originated in Cuba and is the most popular and pleasant social dance form and a romantic dance style involving side to side couple dance movements requiring a lot of coordination and weight changing between the Salsa dance partners. Salsa dance involves two basic movements; the forward basic movement and the backward basic movement combined with several other small movements and body positions. While dancing, the basic steps can be modified significantly as part of the improvisation and stylings of the people dancing. The different Salsa dance styles are named after the countries or cities – Cuban ‘Casino’ style, Columbian ‘Cali’ style, Miami style, Los Angles style, New York style etc.

    Hip-Hop Dance

    learn Hip-Hop Hip-hop dance refers to wide range of dance styles primarily performed to hip-hop music or that have evolved as part of hip-hop culture. Diverse cultures like Tap, Jazz, Rock and Latin American have contributed in the development and evolution of this fascinating form of freestyle natural dance offering great flexibility in body movements. Most of the dancing moves in hip-hop dance are performed standing up and the performers are free to add their own original dancing steps and dance moves as they desire, learning hip-hop is not to follow fixed and pre-defined dance steps because the charm of original hip-hop is freedom.

    Ballet Dance

    learn Ballet Ballet dance is a type of performance dance form which originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th century and was further developed in France and Russia as a concert dance form further evolved as a highly technical form of dance with its own vocabulary. It is primarily performed with the accompaniment of classical music and has been influential as a form of dance globally. Ballet dance works (ballets) are choreographed and performed by trained artists, include mime and acting, and are set to music (usually orchestral but occasionally vocal). It is a poised style of dance that incorporates the foundational techniques for many other dance forms. The broad classification includes – Classical Ballet, Neoclassical Ballet and Contemporary ballet.

    Jazz Dance

    learn Jazz Jazz dance includes dance styles originating from vernacular dance with African – American origin and the modified modern version with origin from Caribbean traditional dance style. The popular jazz dancing follows no rigid rules and prescribed dance steps offering freedom to the jazz dancers to perform with their own unique dance style maintaining the individuality giving utmost importance to the essence of originality. The balanced, graceful Jazz dancing involves fine dance footwork, typical dance moves, variable leaps and a number of quick turns.

    Fitness Dance

    learn Fitness Fitness dance or dancing for complete fitness is performed with an aim of physical fitness, body exercises and holistic health benefits and may include an aim of losing weight – slimming, maintaining body flexibility, keeping active or managing lifestyle disorders. It may include practicing a particular dance style for targeted benefits or a combination of dancing styles - freestyle dancing and other practices like Yoga, Diet therapy etc. Fitness dancing or slimming dance can be performed as a hobby or as a therapy and helps in getting better health, fitness and shape.

    Swing Dance

    learn Swing Swing dance includes dance styles originating from vernacular dance with African – American origin and broadly divided into Ballroom swing and Jazz dance swing styles involving competition dancing by couples and social dancing on popular music. With time, Swing dance style has developed many different forms with each local swing-dance community having a distinct local culture and thus defining swing dance and the appropriate music to accompany it, in different ways.

    Tap Dance

    learn Tap Tap dance with an African – American origin is a form of dance characterized by using the sound of dancer’s tap shoes hitting the floor as a percussive music instrument and has two major variations - rhythm (Jazz) tap dance and Broadway tap dance. Broadway tap dancing focuses more on the dance and is widely performed as a part of musical theater. Rhythm tap dancing focuses more on musicality, a part of the Jazz tradition. The Tap dance sound is made by shoes with a metal "tap" on the heel and the toe.

    Ballroom Dance

    learn Ballroom Ballroom dance is a set of partner dances, which are enjoyed both socially for recreation and competitively around the world. Ballroom or smooth dances are normally danced to Western music -often from the mid-twentieth century and the couples dance counter-clockwise around a rectangular floor following the line of dance. The two Ballroom dance styles - International Ballroom style allows only closed dance positions, whereas American Smooth style allows closed, open and separated dance movements. In competition ballroom, dancers are judged by diverse criteria such as dancing poise, the hold or frame, dance posture, musicality and expression, timing, body alignment and shape, floor craft, foot and leg action, and presentation.

    Street Dance

    learn Street Street dances formally known as vernacular dance are the dance styles that evolved outside of dance studios in any available open space, such as streets, dance parties, parks and school grounds. They are often improvisational and social in nature, encouraging interaction and contact with spectators and the other dancers. Wide variety of fast, dramatic and energetic dance moves like clapping of hands, variable head movements, rigorous hand movements and stomping feet are used in this style of free styled dancing as an effective and wonderful means of expression to release ones emotions in a non-violent manner.

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