Bollywood exercise classes, like all dance cardio classes, are a great way to get in shape while having fun. Since the Latin-dance inspired Zumba fitness brand has found so much success, an Indian dance-inspired workout that features bhangra and Bollywood songs should appeal to the masses, too. (The ‘sharks’ on Shark Tank sure seemed to think so.) You can find BollyX classes with live instructors, but you can also sign up for a BollyX On Demand membership to take their Bollywood fitness classes online. We couldn’t resist the $49 BollyX Lifetime Membership deal, especially when we saw that the company offers full refunds within 7 days of purchase – hence, this week-long digital BollyX On Demand review of the workouts and the digital user experience.
You’re a fan of dance fitness – how about exclusive class discounts?
Our online social club not only provides Live classes and watch parties, we also give you exclusive members-only discounts to digital classes and workshops. To start, we teamed up with DanceBody to give you 50% off your first month of class. Pretty cool, right?
Interested in Indian dance? Read our interview with Bollywood dancer and choreographer, Joya Kazi, who appeared in Mindy Kaling’s TV series, Never Have I Ever.
7-Day BollyX On Demand Review
The BollyX Digital Experience
‘Feel good’ vibes infuse all of BollyX’s messaging – from their responses to skeptics and naysayers on social media – to their frequent affirmations of their BollyX On Demand members (regularly calling them rockstars). The brand is consistently welcoming.
The online portal is home to BollyX classes, which are labeled as BollyX workouts. When you’re indecisive, you simply input how long you would like to exercise, and the platform will select a suitable playlist. Otherwise, you can sort the classes by duration, difficulty, impact level and teaching style (visual or verbal) to help inform which Bollywood cardio workout you choose.
If none of these suit your fancy, you can customize your own play lists with 400+ tunes from their song library – otherwise, you can do this from their workout builder. In the song library, you can sort choreography by difficulty, intensity, dance style or stage (warm up, dynamic stretch, etc) before adding it to your own Bollywood dance workout. If you go to the workout builder, you can populate one of their templates with your favorite jams.
The BollyX account even keeps track of users’ workout progress; so, it’ll tell you how many full workouts and single songs you complete, in addition to the total minutes you’ve spent dancing. (Hint: this is good for those of you who like to track exercise – or to ensure that you get your money’s worth out of your membership!)
Day 1: House Party – BollyX Workout (32 min)
Oh yeah, I definitely enjoyed the Indian dance ‘house party’ – even though it just consisted of me bopping along to the Bollywood and bhangra beats. The BollyX choreography is strongly set to the songs’ verses, bridges and choruses, which makes it really easy to pick up. I worried about exhausting my eyes by viewing a screen while I work out in addition to staring at a screen for work (and for updating Dance Dispatches) all day long. Happily, with the simple choreography, I could quickly peek at the screen for reference every so often to stay in sync with the instructors.
The ‘House Party’ BollyX class added good variety to the moves I’d normally default to when working out on my own. And I think all of the overhead arm movements might help me to tone my arms and shoulders… Fingers crossed!
Perhaps it was the pent-up excitement of completing my first BollyX session, but I felt fantastic when it finished. I enjoyed the variety of songs, and the dance session whizzed by. I logged off, already looking forward to trying another playlist the next day.
Workout Rating: 5 / 5
Avg heart rate: 126 bpm
Kcal burned: 111
Kcal burned per minute: 3.47
Day 2: Find Your Fight! – BollyX Workout (14 min)
I picked this ‘fight’-based session because I was feeling a little belligerent. But although I worked out some of my aggression, this wasn’t my favorite workout. There are just four songs, and the two that focus on ‘lower body strength’ have nearly identical choreography (Da Da Ding and Boss).
This short online BollyX class session seems to take inspiration from kickboxing, and the last song (Get Ready to Fight Reloaded) feels like a very watered-down version of Les Mills Body Combat. In the future, I’ll probably stick to longer class formats and those that contain more varied content. The class still passed pretty quickly, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as the one last evening.
Workout Rating: 2 / 5
Avg heart rate: 127 bpm
Kcal burned: 54
Kcal burned per minute: 3.86
Day 3: Masala Mix – BollyX Workout (46 min)
As predicted, I went back to a longer, more generic workout. While there was a dynamic stretching routine and a song that focused on lower body strength, the Masala Mix playlist was primarily dedicated to dancing. Whoo hoo! The modern Main Tera Dhadkan Teri song has a heel, toe, pas de bourrée phrase – while (the slightly long) Nagada Sang Dhol, danced by a woman in gorgeous traditional clothes (and two back up dancers), is based on a folk dance.
I appreciated the variety of the choreography in this playlist, although there were a few that I didn’t particularly enjoy. Perhaps I’ll recreate these playlists, skipping just a few of the songs. From the three Bollywood dance workouts I’ve tried, I have only repeated one song so far – but as I go through more workouts, I’m sure I’ll come across more repeats. Still, I was happy to dance to Aari Aari again, and I’ll create my own ‘Best of BollyX’ playlist once I have more favorites stocked up.
Workout Rating: 4 / 5
Avg heart rate: 127 bpm
Kcal burned: 170
Kcal burned per minute: 3.70
Day 4: Seasons of Love – BollyX Workout (21 min)
There are a few perks from working at home. Enjoying a shower without wearing sandals in a public gym after working out at lunchtime is one of them. I normally eat at my desk, which isn’t a great habit, but it allows me to squeeze in more physical activity during my lunch break. Today’s BollyX workout was quite quick, but it was higher intensity than my usual walks.
If you don’t understand the lyrics, like me, you probably won’t recognize the love theme anywhere except the playlist’s title. It shouldn’t bum you out, though, since the upbeat songs will still get you moving. The repeat of Shankas was the best part of the session, and I didn’t add any more songs to my customized ‘Best of BollyX’ workout. I was a little disappointed at the end of class, since the cool down session lasts 5 minutes – or about 25% of the entire workout – and I felt robbed of the opportunity to burn more calories.
Workout Rating: 3 / 5
Avg heart rate: 129 bpm
Kcal burned: 45 … but my fitness tracker burnt out only 12 minutes in.
Kcal burned per minute: 3.75
Day 5: Custom Upper Body – BollyX Workout (28 min)
Although I’ve already expressed a preference for the dance-y BollyX choreography, an accident and its resulting injuries has required me to create a very focused playlist. I went to the songs listed, selected ‘upper body strength’ as the ‘stage’ and chucked them into my customized Upper Body workout.
I sat in a chair, a bag of frozen corn propped behind my back and waved my arms around. Even though I couldn’t stand up to groove or twist my torso due to lower back pain, I felt happier after the session. I liked a majority of the songs – even more than yesterday’s play list (each of the songs had more than 100 likes) – and my arms and shoulders assuredly got a good workout.
… Who knew that BollyX fitness could function as a seated chair dance exercise, too?
Workout Rating: 4 / 5
Avg heart rate: 122
Kcal burned: 104
Kcal burned per minute: 3.71
Day 6: Fit & LIT 1 BollyX Workout (14 min)
After taking a lunch time walk and logging off from work, I selected the super succinct FIT & LIT 1 session. I didn’t feel fit or lit, but I got out of my chair, did the arm motions full out and gingerly stepped and tapped my feet on the ground. (I’m sure my average heart rate and calories spent figures would be higher if I danced full out.)
The four songs started off with Slowly Slowly LIT, which is ironically quite fast and spirited. The choreography was very easy to follow along, and I thought there was good variety between the bhangra song and three Bollywood songs. The first Bollywood song had peppy vibes, the second was more dramatic and the last pulled moves from belly dance. Today’s Bollywood fitness class wasn’t exhilarating, but I’ve got no real complaints.
Workout Rating: 3.5 / 5
Avg heart rate: 121
Kcal burned: 54
Kcal burned per minute: 3.86
Day 7: Bollywood/ Bhangra Blast – BollyX Workout (11 min)
Oh man, I’m felt pretty achy (maybe I overdid it yesterday?), so I settled for the quickest workout available: the ~10-minute ‘featured’ Bollywood/ Bhangra Blast – and reverted back to my enthusiastic seated chair dancing. I figured the video sequence would be good, since the BollyX team is heavily promoting it… When it began, I realized I had already tried out this Bollywood fitness class on YouTube, and it convinced me to sign up for the BollyX membership in the first place.
This Bollywood dance exercise class is in a newer format than the other videos. It lists the songs at the beginning of class (Nishana, Thumka, Kamariya) and puts the title up in the top left corner of the screen as each song plays. There’s also a timer in the top right corner, which counts down the entire class. The energetic Bollywood/ Bhangra Blast playlist – led by BollyX co-founder Shahil Patel and Meredith Miller Higgins – has one of each song (Bollywood and bhangra), plus another choreography inspired by a folk dance called Garba.
I’m glad to end my 7-day BollyX trial on a short, but sweet note.
Workout Rating: 5 / 5
Avg heart rate: 124
Kcal burned: 42
Kcal burned per minute: 3.82
BollyX Review Summary
As you can probably tell, I’m pretty happy I snagged the BollyX lifetime membership deal; so I’m keeping it past the 7-day trial period. Comparing it to the monthly BollyX On Demand membership for $14.99 USD, it’ll pay off in just 4 months. But even the monthly fee is reasonable, since taking one full class each week would price out to about $3.00 USD per class.
I felt all but one of the classes deserved 3-star ratings or higher (out of 5), and I think the experience will only improve as I get more familiar with the songs and continue to compile my own Bollywood dance workouts. And eventually the choreo will be second nature; so I’ll just be able to turn on the songs and jam. While I may not log in every day, I will surely keep up BollyX digital classes, since dance workouts and my favorite workouts (and I still have a limited amount of Just Dance Now songs).
Have you tried a Bollywood workout with BollyX online or in person? If so, which type of choreography did you most enjoy? Tell us in the comments below.