Developing People – Bollywood Dancing in Education Settings

Preston City Mela commissioned Abhinandana MK Dance Academy to work with performing artists students to coach them Bollywood dance routine with a view for the students to perform at Mela programmes.

Music was provided, and the dance routine was video to enable them to practice.

The project gave an insight into introducing South Asian culture through Indian dance to non-Asian background students.

Students also watched a few Bollywood dances on you tube for them to understand and imbibe the flavour of Indian Dance.

Bollywood to them was a vibrant and a contrasting dance form which made them very inquisitive and enthusiastic to learn with a focus.

All the students taking part in the project received a “certificate of Appreciation” from Mela for their portfolios.  

When we were on the stage it was amazing, it made us understand a different culture.


The new dance style was challenging at first but after practising it helped us expand our dance vocabulary and we started to feel comfortable doing it.


Archbishop Temple School.

During April Archbishop temple school is a secondary school based in Preston. The religious education teacher Mrs. Rigg was quite interested in our Indian Dance workshops to be offered to their students.

The students were a mixed bag of capabilities. Some had a little knowledge and exposure to dancing and some never had an opportunity to learn dancing though they were quite interested.

Students were initially accessed to understand their capability to learn basic or intermediate Bollywood dances. Based on that, the training was one Indian dance piece each week giving them time to practice for the rest of the week. Music was provided, and the dance routine was video to enable them to practice.

The group was supposed to perform at the Preston City Mela but unfortunately their exam dates clashed with the Mela date. We decided to video their dances as a way of documenting their work. Colourful costumes and jewellery was provided to the performers. They were thrilled to wear those costumes and perform for the videos hoot.

12 students took part in this project.

Shyah Stocks,

Ella Thompson ,

Amelia Watt,

Grace Stott,

Survarna Kaur Singh,

Alicia Giokabari

Liv Taylor 

Cassandra Lee

Olivia Taylor ,

Maisie Ellershaw ,

India Srivastava and 

Laura Vandome 

It was amazing, incredible, the atmosphere was spectacular. 


Cardinal Newman College 

The second group of students were from Cardinal Newman College, who offers A-level course in contemporary dance. Students have been learning Contemporary dance as part of their course. The students were extremely interested in understanding the new dance form through which gives an insight to South Asian Culture. The Bollywood dances included storytelling, fusion elements with contemporary dances and regional folk dances from India which helped student understand not only the concept of Indian dance but also promoted community cohesion through dance learning which was the main principle of Preston City Mela.

This project has 3 weekly sessions with the students to teach them Indian Dance. Each session focussed on Indian Classical, Folk and Bollywood dances. The girls being dance students picked up the dances well but needed fine tuning with the technique. Aspects of storytelling, expressions and footwork were discussed.

These students performed on the stage at the Mela 

11 students engaged with this project. 

Emily Ash, 

Lily Robertson, 

Erin McNeil, 

Alice Caney, 

Grace Horne, 

Grace Shields, 

Freya Walker, 

Isabella Houldsworth, 

Natasha Hamp, 

Ella Bowen and 

Eva Gregory.