Bringing Bollywood to life with dance in South Tyneside

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Young girls are being given the chance to sample the world of Bollywood dancing thanks to a successful funding bid.

Hindu Nari Sangh has been teaching women the art of classical Indian dance and Bollywood since 1992.

Bollywood dancers from the Hindu Nari Sangh group at The Customs Space, South Shields.

Bollywood dancers from the Hindu Nari Sangh group at The Customs Space, South Shields.

Now, after a successful bid to the Community Foundation, the group is opening up its doors to young girls from the age of nine – with a class dedicated to them.

The move aims to increase the number of girls taking part in the classes, helping to boost their fitness, confidence and overall wellbeing.

The sessions, led by teacher Shelly Vinayak, also provide a place where mothers and daughters can take part in a hobby together.

President of Hindu Nari Sangh Shobha Srivastava said: “The funding we received is to help us to encourage more young girls to join us.

It’s also a good session for mums to bring their daughters along too

Shoba Shrivastava

“It’s such a great way to help improve health and fitness.

“We’d love to see more young girls coming along. It’s also a good session for mums to bring their daughters along to.”

Hindu Nari Sangh was started in 1992 to make South Tynesiders aware of Indian culture and Hindu festivals.

Dancer Ailsa Javan, who has been with the group for 10 months, said: “I was persuaded to come along by Elaine. I already do line dancing, so wasn’t sure if I wanted to get involved with something else, but then I came along and instantly got hooked.”

Bollywood dance teacher Shelly Vinayaki and founder Shobha Srivastava with dancers Jiya, Mehreen, Sairah and Safa, from the Hindu Nari Sangh group at The Customs Space, South Shields.

Bollywood dance teacher Shelly Vinayaki and founder Shobha Srivastava with dancers Jiya, Mehreen, Sairah and Safa, from the Hindu Nari Sangh group at The Customs Space, South Shields.

The group performs at events and festivals throughout South Tyneside and across the region.

However, for those going along to classes, performing in public is an option.

Elaine Crompton, secretary of the group, said: “It’s good fun and the music is great. The girls get on so well, they get to dress up and you meet some fabulous people – it’s exercise without feeling like it’s exercise.

“I’ve been doing this for four years now and we perform in lots of different places.”

The classes, based at Customs Space in Captains Row, South Shields, are open to people from across the community.

Sessions for women are from 10am to 11am, with classes dedicated to children being held from 11am to 11.30am.

Cost of sessions for youngsters is 50p and people can just turn up.

For more information, email ellecrompton@yahoo.co.uk or shobhas@talktalk.net or call 07808334071.