Connecting Kids To Indian Culture Through Dance


By Anita Badhwar

Trying to find an appropriate type of Indian dance class for your child that will allow them to connect to their culture?

We’ve put together a list of some of the most popular Indian dances along with some tips to help you make a decision.


Bharatnatyam is an ancient Indian classical dance that originated in Tamil Nadu in South India. Bharatnatyam was originally performed in Hindu temples therefore many of the dances (even today) have elements of Hindu mythology. Dancers use facial expression (abinaya) and hand gestures (mudras) to help tell a story through this form of dance.

Kathak is a North Indian classical dance. Originally Kathak performers used to tell stories of the Hindu epics, the Mahabarata and the Ramayan through this type of dance. Kathak dance has a Persian influence, which was adopted during the Mogul period. This dance has both male and female performers.

Bollywood dance is typically very high energy and upbeat. Despite being a modern dance, movements from the Indian classical dance forms may be found in Bollywood dance. Bollywood dance may also have elements from regional dances too. This type of dance is popular with male and females.

Bhangra is a folk dance that originated in Punjab, and is traditionally accompanied by a dhol (drum). This dance is typically high energy, and the lyrics to the songs are in Punjabi, which tell a story. Both male and female professional dancers wear bright colorful outfits and perform at weddings and special occasions.



  • Network with other parents and friends to find out information about dance instructors in your area
  • Attend a recital or an event that is arranged by the dance instructor so that you and your child can obtain a good understanding of the type of dance
  • Visit a dance class with your child to ensure that the particular dance is a good fit and to get a better sense of the time commitment for practice and lessons

Besides connecting children to their culture, Indian dance can be a great confidence-booster, and don’t forget, any type of dance is fun exercise too!

More about the author:

Anita BadhwarAnita Badhwar grew up in Toronto, Canada and moved to the United States in 2000. After twelve years working at various organizations in the field of Human Resources, she decided that it was time for her to pursue her lifelong dream of writing children’s books. In particular, she was interested in writing a series of children’s books which present information on Indian culture and festivals. Anita lives in Florida with her husband, and two children, and her lovable dog Buddy.

Want to learn more about culture and Anita Badhar? Check out her book series for kids on culture here and her blog here.

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