Inside Bollywood: Lisa Meenan

City Academy dance courses sharing at Laban.

Lisa performing with the Bollywood Company at Laban.

I’ve always loved dancing – over the years I’ve been involved in everything from Irish soft and hard shoe, Irish set and ceili, to ballroom to belly dancing. I’ll always be one of the first on the floor in family gatherings!

I’m very lucky that my Irish grandfather is a master fiddle player – in the traditional Irish style (Sliabh Luachra) – and he’s been a wonderful guide to me over the years.  I’ve never stuck at any instrument, but I have an ear for music and it has helped me find my rhythm when dancing.

I know nothing about the genre in terms of the films, culture or music – I actually chose Bollywood dance because I wanted a cardiovascular workout! I’m not a fan of gyms – instinct has always guided me towards music and dance.

I decided to sign up to a Bollywood class with City Academy with a friend and colleague. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it so much, let alone that I would still be doing it four years later. I love the expressiveness, and it is more than just about fitness now: I’ve developed a new set of friends; a new family if you like.

Dancing with the company is very different to my office environment, where I spend a lot of time at a computer and managing committees of volunteers. Friendships have developed between all – past and present – in the Bollywood group; when we hone a routine, we really do move in sync with each other and we have true connection to the music. I’ll never forget my first show – it was at Toynbee Hall in December 2012. I was so nervous, but I still remember most of that routine!

If you are interested in learning Bollywood in a London dance studio, see our range of classes here >>