Finnish teens crazy over B'wood tunes
In the heart of the Finnish capital a few hundred people cheer a group of teenaged girls who set the ramp afire with their "Helsinki-Bollywood" dancing - the latest fad here.
"This is just the beginning, we are expecting many more such shows. The craze for Bollywood dancing is spreading like wild fire," said Linda, owner of High Heels dance studio here.
High Heels is the first dance studio to start a six-week "Bollywood dancing" course. Many more dance studios are likely to follow suit if one goes by the response to the fashion show held last week.
Those who had come to see the show clapped as passers-by stopped to look and the crowds swelled covering almost the entire floor of the shopping mall.
"The music is really peppy but the steps are a bit difficult. I had also enrolled in this course but dropped out after a couple of classes," Laura Maanavilja told a visiting IANS correspondent as she listened to the latest Bollywood songs.
"This course is mainly meant for those who have some training in dance. We have filled up all 20 seats in this course. The response is extremely good and we are thinking of taking in more students as the demand is growing," Linda said.
Interestingly, Linda who teaches Bollywood dancing draws a blank as one tries to inquire about her views on Bollywood's mega stars, including Shah Rukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan.
"I have never heard these names but I do listen to some Bollywood music, and that is what I like. I am trying to increase my knowledge about Bollywood but that will take some time. What matters right now is not Bollywood films but their music and dance," Linda said.
Linda was trained by sports apparel company Nike under a special training course in "Bollywood dancing".
"The six-week course is also sponsored by Nike and we are not charging anything from the trainees. But going by the response of this promotional course I am sure this course has a huge market potential," she said.
"I would definitely start one on my own if the response continues to be as great."
Said Jeanette Ohman, a postgraduate in political science: "Bollywood dancing is different from all other forms of dance. The music is wonderful. I am learning some intricate steps."
Jeanette is one of the 20 girls learning Bollywood dancing in High Heels. All those who have enrolled are Finnish. Helsinki has about 500 Indian families. "No one from an Indian family has enrolled yet," Linda said.
"Right now we only have girls. In future we could enrol men too. Finnish men are a little shy but I am sure once they get the taste of Bollywood dancing, they would love it," she added.