What? Bollyrobics

Where? The Ebisham Centre, Epsom


I was late but that was fine as there were only 3 other participants there and they hadn’t started yet. I was warmly welcomed in and styled by the Bollyrobics collective with a fuchsia skirt adorned with jingly metal discs. They thought it complimented my full Lycra ensemble well. I thought -‘Oh my god, I’m Julia Stiles in Save the Last Dance. In the club’. Everyone was so friendly it bordered on American.

DERBY SQUARE‘You’re doing great!’ yelled the woman chair dancing in the corner because of her tendonitis. I kept thinking I would probably be doing better if a woman who looked like she was playing the air piano stopped breaking my focus by sporadically yelling ‘go Ursula!’. a couple more stragglers showed up and added to the enthusiasm in the room. There was one gentleman in the class shaking for all he was worth sans skirt. At every water break, the encouragement would kick up a notch with enormous smiles telling me I was doing much better than they had in their first lesson. Within 15 minutes, I felt very guilty that I would not be returning- due to logistical issues taking me away from Epsom- I felt I was exploiting all their good will.


Not how I felt or looked.

I had been hoping that I might get to dance to music I would recognize, having dabbled in Bollywood dancing during a teaching stint in India. And by dabbled I mean, ‘been repetitiously drilled to complete the dance routines from films and music videos by 11 year old girls’.

Only in the warm down did one of ‘my tunes’ come on ‘Zara Zara touch me’, a number I had been forced to watch on numerous occasions performed in a rather age inappropriate manner by 6 year olds who had been rounded up by the 11 year old dance coaches. Unfortunately having this dormant choreography that fitted this song buried in my head, gave the embarrassing effect that I was making up my own steps! But again, this was greeted with completely sincere enthusiasm from teachers and students alike, all who thought I was just getting ‘my groove on’. I wanted to die.

But all in all it was quite a mood lifting laugh although I would have enjoyed it more if I hadn’t been able to see myself in the full length mirror!


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