Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

 Do Dance Masala classes operate on public holidays?

Yes! Dance Masala classes are operational on all public holidays (during the term)!

 Where can I find class information like prices and location?

You can find out everything you might want to know about Dance Masala, our classes, prices, and other services on this website! We also present one-off specialised workshops in various styles. Want to know more? Hover your mouse over the “classes” button and click the menu option suitable for you. Or use these handy links to find your way even faster!

Juniors Classes | Adult Classes | ICONIC ‘Femmepowered’ Hip Hop Classes | Special Workshops

 Why a 6-week term?

Dance Masala adult classes operate as a 6-week term. This is the perfect amount of time to learn some technique, learn a routine and polish it for future performances.

 What is Bollywood?

Bollywood is India’s Hollywood – known for it’s epic tales of love and betrayal, punctuated by fast paced, high-energy dance sequences. Bollywood is the city of dreams, Eastern escapism through the silver screen. Bollywood dance mixes Classical Indian influences, and folk dance with all other styles, creating lively fusion. The style is cheeky, energetic, emotive and theatrical.

 What is ICONIC and 'Femmepowered' hip hop?

Read more about our ICONIC classes by clicking here. ‘Femmepowered’ is our answer to the term ‘girlie hip hop’. We don’t like this term as ‘girlie’ is diminutive and seems to imply that it’s not ‘real’ hip hop. Our style is very feminine and empowered, so therefore femmepowered just made sense!

 Which Bollywood class is best for me?

At Dance Masala, we prioritise gradual technique development in our Beginner and Intermediate classes; whereas the Advanced class focuses purely on artistry and choreography.

We recommend starting with Divya’s Monday night 7:00pm ADPI, Albion or  Tuesday night 6:30 Fortitude Valley Beginners classes, if you have no dance / little class experience. This is simply because beginner teaches you your key techniques, and allows you the space to focus on developing these through simple and fun routines.

If you have dance experience or have done intermediate Bollywood dance classes before we would recommend that you go straight for Drea’s Intermediate classes on Monday nights at 7:00pm and Wednesdays at 6:30pm; and bypass the Beginner level. Keep in mind that Beginner helps you find your confidence in our classes, before testing it in Intermediate or Advanced.

Advanced is quite a step up from our Intermediate class. We would recommend this class for people with significant dance experience.  It is masterclass level. The choreography is advanced and the music is fast. Dancing fast without the foundations of technique, can result in injuries, which we want to avoid.

Eastern Dance has different fundamental techniques from Western Dance, so if you are still unsure as to which level you would fit into with our classes call us on 0422 512 991, we can have a chat about it!

 How shall I pay for classes? Do you accept pre-payments?

You can pre-pay for the full term in advance, either via bank deposit or at the desk on the night of the first class. If you wish to do this, you must request an invoice for the full term.  We also have eftpos and credit card facilities.

 Do I need to enrol in Dance Masala classes?

All Dance Masala students must enrol, even if you’re just coming along once. Enrol here!

 Can I just drop in casually to a class or do I have to register for the whole term?

You are welcome to drop in, but if we are in Week 4 of the term or later, it can be incredibly tricky to catch up and may not be as enjoyable as starting from week 1! Check our timetable here to see where we are in the term, or give us a call on 0422 512 991

 What should I wear?

Comfortable exercise clothing with some stretch that can breathe. If skirts are worn, bike shorts or leggings underneath is recommended. Bollywood dance is done in bare feet. You are welcome to wear socks or jazz shoes.

 What should I bring?

A bottle of water, a small towel, a can-do attitude and a sense of humour!

 Does Dance Masala do other styles of dance?

Dance Masala are Brisbane’s Bollywood specialists, we also offer bhangra, and ‘femmepowered’ hip hop classes.

Bollywood dance incorporates a wide range of other related styles including folk, hip hop, mujra, semi-classical and more! Dance Masala’s mission is to create inspiring Bollywood-fusion, while actively engaging in classical roots of Bollywood and the influence of regional specific folk-dance.

 Are Dance Masala dancers all Indian?

Dance Masala is proud to be a multi-ethnic dance community, we have students from a wider range of cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Our Mission and Values reflect our strong commitment to Indian culture, dance and the Indian community. We invite you to read our Mission Statement found here.

 Are Dance Masala classes for women only?

Dance Masala classes are for absolutely everybody! We provide classes for adults of all ages and kids of all ages and abilities! Please come along to one of our many classes to give it a try, all you need is a can-do attitude, a great big smile and a love of dance.

 Can I hire a Dance Masala instructor to teach at my school or event?

Yes! Dance Masala instructors are taking bookings now! We have workshops for all occasions, please refer to our Workshops & Festivals page for more information about the different kinds of workshops we do. We also offer Kids Birthday party packages; and workshops / incursions for Schools & OSHC.

 Can I hire Dance Masala dancers to dance at my party?

Yes! Dance Masala offers a range of other dance services including private performances, workshops for school and children’s birthday parties. We have a performance company of professionally trained dancers that are available for parties and private events. For an authentic and entertaining Bollywood experience, hop onto our contact page and let us know about the event you have planned. We will get back to you within 1-2 working days.

 I want to keep on top of what Dance Masala does, but I don't have Facebook. Do you have a newsletter?

Yes! You can sign onto our Mailchimp newsletter at the bottom of this page! Our regular newsletter will help you keep up to date with important information about classes and upcoming performances. 

 What are the different classes you offer?

We offer Adult Bollywood dance classes in Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced.  Our Junior Bollywood classes are split up by age and ability.  Thumkas – aged 3.5 – 6; Mini-Masalas – aged 6 – 7;  Rising Stars Ages 7 – 9;  Junior Emerging Performers – aged 10-13; Ages 13+ can either join the JEP or any of the adult classes. 

We also offer Beginner and Intermediate ICONIC  femmepowered hip hop dance classes to harness you inner queen/king.  Open to all abilities. The classes include a mix of Hip-Hop, Jazz, Dancehall and other styles depending on the style of the ICONIC legend chosen!

 What should I NOT bring?

Work and stress. Leave these at home – we promise you won’t miss them!

 What is the Drop Off/ Pick Up procedure for kids?

Parents are to drop off their children by checking in with the teaching assistant at the front desk. If this is your child’s first time at Dance Masala, please arrive early to register, receive a welcome pack and settle in. If your child is a regular, you will still need to check in with our teaching assistant so your child will be marked off. We are in a busy area so for your child’s safety we prefer to see you pick up your kids, and not have the kids run out the door unsupervised.

 How are the Juniors grouped?

Juniors are grouped according to age and progression through the Dance Masala curriculum. Dance Masala have a unique syllabus for Bollywood dance, where children learn and refine key techniques as they progress. Thumkas – aged 3.5 – 6; Mini-Masalas 1 – aged 6 – 7 entry level; Mini-Masalas 2 – aged 6 – 7 intermediate level;  Rising Stars Ages 7 – 9;  Junior Emerging Performers – aged 10-13; Ages 13+ can either join the JEP or any of the adult classes. 

 What do junior students learn?

Our teaching philosophy focuses on teaching Bollywood fundamentals. Technique-wise, we prioritise musicality, development of body alignment and technique, building dance abilities, more technical movements and faster choreography as your child progresses. We introduce basic classical mujras, and develop expression and theatricality through drama-based games. We also encourage the kids to create some of their own steps, and choreographies; fostering ownership, pride  and developing confidence, while learning to work together in a group.

Each session (from Mini-Masalas), begins with a 10-minute theory component which includes watching and analysing dance; feet, hands, eye, and arm positions; as well as interpreting music and performance.

In Thumkas, we focus on simple mudras; a combination of easy and energetic steps; basic musical interpretation; group / partner work; mirror work; and right / left brain thinking. We introduce basic Bollywood foot positions, and steps. We also discuss the sort of dance it is, the meaning, and the context.

In Mini-Masalas and Rising Stars, we add more complex mudras, arm positions, leg positions and eye positions, as well as more semi-classical techniques and expressions. The children also learn basic Tatkar (footwork). We also further explore group / partner work, and engage in many different styles from Folk-inspired Dance (Garba and Bhangra), to high energy modern Bollywood jazz. We also learn several different walks; further develop the children’s musical interpretation skills; and develop expression and story-telling through games and exercises.

In Junior Emerging Performers (JEP), we add more complex jazz, hip hop, semi-classical techniques. We also push the children in how they interpret a variety of music, and through the sort of solo / chorus group work they engage in at this level. In Juniors 1 we do many theatre exercises and games to develop expression, and bring out the performer in your child. Children are also given opportunities to make and create by interpreting lyrics and creating their own steps.

 What performances do students do?

Dance Masala does several major performances throughout the year. We have a annual Queen St Show in Term 2, India Day in August, Diwali in October or November, and the Dance Masala concert in November/December. Not all classes will participate in every performance opportunity, but there will be ample opportunities to showcase what you have learnt throughout the year.

 What is your policy on bullying?

Dance Masala has a zero tolerance policy on bullying of any kind. If we see your child being put in an uncomfortable position, or if your child informs us that they are being bullied, we will actively have a conversation about it with both children. If a parent is heard talking negatively about another child, this is strictly against the values of shared respect that we hold dear in Dance Masala, and they will be asked to leave.

 What is your teaching ethos for children?

Dance Masala strives to create an environment where children can explore their own abilities while developing confidence and pride; as well as coordination, strength and focus. Our commitments for children’s classes are as follows: – To nurture as well as teach, and encourage children of all levels; – To encourage by focusing on the positive aspects of each child’s development, and by giving them the tools to assess what needs further improvement; – To create classroom leaders and role models, so that children have a framework of peer support; and – To motivate our students in class with excellent teaching, and outside of class with online videos that we send through the newsletters

 What are the values of your studio?

The following Values underpin Dance Masala’s Vision and Mission; Cultural Responsibilities; Respect; Diversity & Acceptance; Accessibility; Homage; and Constant Skill Development. 

 What about sickness? Do you make up missed classes?

Dance Masala do not offer credits or refunds if a student misses class. However we do offer make-up classes where you may attend the other class of your level in a different location that week (if the routine is the same). We support our students through practice videos, and (for adults) access to our Facebook student group. We encourage and welcome students arranging their own practice sessions and can introduce you to students in a similar position, to help each other. If a large number of students have missed class, an additional workshop will be offered. Additional workshops are not included in the term fees and an extra fee will be charged. Alternately, a student can book a private session to catch up (or share the costs of a private with another student or two). Privates are $90 for ad hoc private sessions.

 What do I need to know about performances?

Performances are the best part about Bollywood! Bollywood’s history in Indian cinema makes it an ideal dance style to perform. You will need access to a Bollywood costume. You can purchase one through Dance Masala costing around $120AUD, although this does depend on the exchange rate. Bindis and bangles are also encouraged! It’s all about the bling. Juniors classes have special costumes for each level and it is a requirement of enrolment that students purchase the correct costume. You will only need one costume and these costumes will be used for multiple performances.

 What do you do with the videos taken in class?

Videos of classes are uploaded to our private Dance Masala group pages: Juniors, Adults and ICONIC. These are private pages, with only other Dance Masala students and is a supportive space with no judgment. You are your own biggest critic. The difference between a beginner dancer and an experienced one, is the experienced ones expect to make mistakes, and it’s all about knowing how to hide them.

 How long have you been teaching and how long has the studio been running?

Dance Masala was founded in December of 2012. It has grown massively since then. Divya has been choreographing and performing Bollywood with family and friends for 6 years. She commenced teaching with Dance Masala in September of 2013. Erika has been dancing since she was a child, and has been with Dance Masala since July 2014. Nisha has been dancing since she was a child, she has been teaching with Dance Masala since 2015. Aditya has been choreographing, and performing since he was three years old! He has been teaching since 2012, joining Dance Masala in April of 2015. Kalpana joined the Dance Masala family in 2015.

 How are you different from other Bollywood teachers and studios?

We pride ourselves on fantastic choreography as well as excellent teaching. You will walk out of our classes sweaty, smiling and ready to show off your Bollywood moves. Students are supported online, with practice videos and tools to take their dance to the next level; as well as full access to the Dance Masala community; to organise independent practice session and meet-ups. Dance Masala prioritises technique development, and can provide many opportunities for you to take your Bollywood to the next level. Dance Masala strives to create an environment where our younger dancers can explore their own abilities while developing confidence and pride; as well as coordination, strength and focus. Dance Masala is invested in creating a, fun-filled learning environment. We are confident that she can get you and anyone dancing, Bollywood style! We want our students to realise their full potential, and to do it through a solid foundation of good teaching, encouragement and positive affirmation.

 What is expected of me as a student?

As a student you are expected to attend all classes ready to participate, to learn the routine and commit to practicing if you intend to perform. We encourage students to use the videos as a reference but learn to not rely on them for the steps. You’re also expected to keep on top of the communications from the Dance Masala Facebook group and newsletter as these will keep you up to date with any changes to our schedule, term dates, performance information and much more. We encourage you to use these amazing resources, painstakingly put together for you. Our teachers will be focusing on classes during class time, not performance details.

 What is the general outline of a lesson?

All our classes follow the same basic structure. We begin each class with a namaskar, which is a traditional welcome to give thanks and ask for permission to stomp on the earth. The class then moves into a warm up with grooves (for the beginner and Juniors 3 classes); and isolations for the other classes. The central element of the classes focuses on learning new movements and building them into a new dance each term. The end of the class is a cool down and stretches to ensure that dancers are caring for their bodies.

 What results can I expect?

As a student you can expect to learn a dance and make friends. We hope that you’ll also be excited to join the Dance Masala community and be open to discovering more about Bollywood dance and Indian culture. Most of all you can expect to have smile, laugh, have fun and enjoy this exciting style of dance.