Jain Fonda and Bhangra Beats

Reverse Bird
Photo courtesy of BhangraBeats.org

If you think the term “reverse bird” has something to do with Thanksgiving, you’re going to want to keep reading.

With his debut fitness DVD Bhangra Beats, dancer and seasoned choreographer Jay Patel hopes to get you off the couch, and onto the (living room) floor. Moves like the reverse bird, the shoulder twist and (my personal fave) the pump, mimic the stuff of bhangra music videos and, Patel promises, will make for one helluva workout.

Patel, a University of Pennsylvania grad, used to head up the successful dance group Dhamaka while on campus (American Public Media recently featured the troupe here). Since graduating, he has joined the DC-based desi dance school and performance company Dhoonya.

“I started teaching these bhangra workout classes and they really took off. People loved it,” Patel tells . “The classes were very diverse, men, women, different ethnicities and races. That’s when I started thinking ‘there’s potential in this’.”

“I wanted to give people a fun way to exercise and feel good about themselves.”

Bhangra Beats joins the growing market of desi workout videos. Fitness veteran Sarina Jain, often called the “Jain Fonda of India,” teaches bhangra and Bollywood-inspired classes at Crunch and the New York Sports Club. With five DVDs to her name, Jain’s latest release is a workout video for kids.

“People are starting to notice they do lose weight after my workout,” Jain told New York One earlier this week. “They do feel great after it. And at the end of the day, you’re also learning about Indian culture as well as this is what we do at our family gatherings.”

Really? Wow. If that’s the case, I’ve so been going to the wrong auntie-uncle dinner parties.

Balle Balle Burn, October 2004
Sarina Jain, founder of Masala Dance and Fitness
British Bollywood fitness queen Honey Kalaria
Bhangra Beats

April 26, 2007
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