Making a splash with Bollywood dance moves

The launch of new 'Aqua-Kathak' exercise classes launching at pools across Yorkshire, including Ponds Forge.
The launch of new 'Aqua-Kathak' exercise classes launching at pools across Yorkshire, including Ponds Forge.
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PASS by Ponds Forge next month and you might be forgiven for thinking you’d stumbled upon a Bollywood film set.

A new programme of events is about to begin in the run-up to next year’s London Olympics – and aqua-khatak, an exercise which mixes Indian dance and synchronised swimming, is among them.

Classes combine classical North Indian dance, or khatak, with Western contemporary and synchronised swimming.

And organisers say they are ideal for helping people improve fitness and agility – as well as learning traditional Indian dance.

Participants will even be given the opportunity to perform alongside elite synchronised swimmers, dancers and swimming club members in a spectacular water theatre finale to coincide with the Olympic Synchronised Swimming Championships next year.

The project is the brainchild of choreographer and artistic director, Balbir Singh, who has been working with Egyptian-born Heba Abdel Gawad, a former synchronised swimming Olympian, who competed at both the Athens and Sydney Games. Balbir, who is based in Bradford, said: “Moving the body in water takes strength and poise and that, combined with the dance element, makes aqua-kathak a new and interesting way to exercise.

“I hope lots of people come along and give it a go.

“If they enjoy it, they have the chance to be a part of the Olympic legacy in our region.”