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As Navratri closes in, dance schools in Mumbai go garba

Dance institutes across Mumbai have been brushing up dandiya and garba enthusiasts’ dancing skills as the countdown has begun for the upcoming Navratri festival. The schools have been holding workshops, a month prior to the festival.

Rohit Poojary, dance teacher of Rohit Poojary Dance Academy in Borivli, said, “We take around 16 one-hour sessions in a month wherein we start with basic dance steps and conclude with variations and styles in garba. We have 15 students in our batch and most of them are non-dancers who are wanting to witness all three best Navratri events of the city in our suburb.”

Piyush’s Dance Academy in Kalyan also has been taking crash courses and workshops for garba and dandiya.

“We have 55 students divided into three batches dedicated completely to garba. We teach for 10 days at a stretch for an hour each day to brush up their dancing skills with a bit of western touch to it,” said choreographer Piyush Sen.

S Art and Dance Academy in Parel offers a quick one-week practice sessions as well.

Swajal Kavathkar, dance teacher at the academy, said, “We teach for two hours and cover all aspects of the garba. Since there are two weekends in this year’s festival, people are more excited to celebrate the dancing festival.”

The institutes charge between Rs 1,000 and Rs 2,500 a month depending upon the training and style the students opt for.

Mayuri Chosaliya, a dance academy-goer and a regular at the garba events, said, “It is good to take time off our busy schedules and bring out our dancing shoes and rehearse for a week or two. Classes and workshops help me polish my skills and bring my perfection back.”

Palak Desai, an MBA student, takes time off her studies and practises at one of the dance institutes. “I love dancing and especially garba. Now that my favourite singer is in my town, I would not want to miss out on anything. I can even skip a day’s college to hone my dancing skills,” she said.

Navratri begins from October 1 and will conclude on October 10 followed by Dussehra on October 11.

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