With its eight Oscars, including one for Best Picture, Slumdog
Millionaire has become one of the most successful independent movies of
The closing sequence - with its Bollywood-style dance - is inspiring Americans in Virginia to try something new.
Mehta, from the Dhoonya Dance School and Performance Company, says
attendance at her classes has increased dramatically since the film
"...people just listening to that music and seeing the
dancing at the end got everyone really excited," she says. "It just
created a bigger interest, not only just in dance and music, but in
India as a country as well."
Many of the new students are looking to spice up their normal fitness class or gym program.
Alex Mateo is learning the dances for the first time. She says traditional Indian steps are trickier than they look.
am definitely fascinated with Asian culture," she says. "I've been
fascinated since college and definitely I've seen Slumdog Millionaire
many times, and so it seemed like a really fun cultural thing to do."
Seema Khadar is at the advanced level. She says she is reviving a childhood interest.
years, I didn't do anything, except the mom thing - big mistake! You
need something for yourself, and this is just, this is me. Bollywood is
Khadar says the dance class provides her with an opportunity to express both the American and Indian parts of her identity.
"It's just like me because I'm from India, but I was born and raised here, so it's melding me together, too."
refers to Indian cinema created in Mumbai, formerly Bombay. Many of the
movies feature dance extravaganzas and melodrama.
Now some Indian production houses have signed deals with Hollywood studios.
Dance instructor Kajal Mehta says that's making her feel upbeat.
think the more people see, people in the U.S. kind of embrace it all,
it's going to be better for us as a business, but it's just more
exciting to see."
She hopes the rising popularity of Indian
music and dance will push U.S. movie studios to integrate Bollywood
elements in some of their productions.