“By becoming a BollyX instructor, I wish to use this opportunity to share my passion for dance with other like-minded friends, and inspire others to discover the joy of dancing.”
– BX Instructor David Chin
BollyX instructor David Chin had never planned on becoming a dance fitness instructor. Then the unexpected happened… Read on to learn about his unusual journey!
How did you get involved with BollyX?
This is probably the question I’ve been asked most frequently by others who don’t know about my unexpected passion for Bollywood dance. In more than one instance, people teased me that the reason that drew me into Bollywood must be somehow related to “a girl,” which in fact was the case…
I began my first BollyX class without any prior exposure to what BollyX is or what Bollywood dance is like, but I’m a member of my workplace gym, which I visit frequently and have made more friends there than anywhere else at my company. Although I was mostly happy with the job I had where I attended the gym, I believe that I had stayed in one place too long for my career goals, and began searching for new jobs elsewhere. One day, after what I deemed to be a successful interview, I started feeling sad knowing that I was likely to leave behind the friends I had made at work, especially the friends from the gym, and decided to return to the office gym after the interview. However, because I returned back later than normal, my regular workout classes had already concluded, and I wondered what other group exercise classes I could consider taking. The gym front desk told me that a new class called BollyX was starting that day, so I accepted their recommendation to give the class a try.
As the class started, the instant the music started playing, I noticed that the faces of everyone in the class lit up promptly and they became thoroughly immersed in the music as well as the accompanying choreography. Although I found many of the songs very corny, my spirit was still greatly lifted by the excitement and the energy of the students, and became curious about the soundtracks being played in the class. However, to get to know more about these songs would be challenging, as most of these song titles were not in English, so I couldn’t remember what the songs played in the class were, except for one that had an English title — “Super Girl from China.”
As I was leaving the gym after the class, I made an effort to check out this “Super Girl from China” on YouTube to see what the song was about, and found the music video of it just as corny as the song, but liked it quite a bit as I recalled the wonderful time I had while dancing to this tune. As I started driving home, I returned to a sad mood over the knowledge that I might leave my company soon. As I started using my phone to listen to music, I triggered the phone to replay the Super Girl song on YouTube, and I became touched to tears by the mix of both sad and happy emotions triggered by the song. Because of this unexpected strong emotional experience that I had over a Bollywood song, I felt compelled to return to this new BollyX class whenever I got a chance, and it’s since been an uninterrupted part of my weekly schedule. So, if anyone wonders whether my love for Bollywood was due to “a girl”, then I can actually answer yes, and the name of this girl is “Super Girl from China.”
Did you know you wanted to be a BollyX instructor before you signed up for a training?
Before Bollywood, my normal commute music playlist included mostly “throwback” songs from the days when I was in college. I believe the reason why I love these songs so much was because these songs reminded me of many happy and fun moments in those years, but these songs also reminded me of much regret I had while I was in college, as I often said no to friends’ invitations to events and activities. Due to this, I missed out on many chances to experience new adventures and to make new friends. I now realize that I was fearful of the unknown, and shy to socialize, so I chose to hide behind excuses such as needing to study and that I didn’t have money. So, as I listened to these throwback songs, I often had the impossible wish of hoping that if one day I could return back in time to my college years, then I’d promise myself to never say no to any invitation by friends and miss out on any chance to experience more again. When I started attending BollyX class at my workplace gym, I found the class atmosphere resembled a college class, due to the large number of interns and young recruits from the company. I saw this perhaps as the closest thing to returning back in time to my college years, so I thought this would be where I should apply the lesson I learned, to not to live with the regret of being fearful and shy anymore, and to do my best to always try new things, and not reject any invitation if at all possible. It was then that a good friend and dance partner of mine from the class wanted to become BollyX certified, but was afraid to move forward alone, and wanted someone to sign up with for the certification class. Although I had not planned to become a dance fitness instructor, his invitation committed me to join him to go through the certification process, leading to becoming a certified BollyX instructor.
Tell us about some of the challenges you’ve encountered in teaching.
Many attendees in my area often make region-specific requests, e.g., Punjabi, Marathi, North or South Indian, etc. Although I’ve been at it for a while, and have used online tools or asked people to help me to identify track languages that match various regions in India, I remain quite challenged on how to respond to these types of requests, and I hope the portal may provide region-specific information. For me, the most challenging aspect of learning choreography would probably be my inability to mimic and carry out certain small movements in order to be true to form to what is shown in the videos, resulting in awkward or funny-looking movements instead. If these difficult movements repeat frequently, I often opt to change them to ones I feel more comfortable doing instead. I wish there were more technique tutorials listed in order for me to reference them more often.
What was it like to bring BollyX to students for the first time?
The first time I brought BollyX to class attendees was as a guest instructor facing students in a U-Jam class but with the majority of the students being Indians. Within the first few notes of the soundtrack being played, I noticed through their facial expressions that they were moved by the music, and enthusiastically engaged in the choreography. This would then be followed by cheers and applause when the routine concluded. As I lead the routines while observing the students, I felt a strong connection between us and was deeply impressed by this experience.
Watch a clip of David leading a BollyX routine at a work celebration below!!!
If you could share ONE lesson to improve someone’s path to becoming a BollyX instructor, what would it be?
For me, the “ONE lesson” of becoming a BollyX instructor is not at all different from the lesson of life itself: expect to be surprised, expect to be disappointed, but if one’s heart still believes in oneself, expect to grow stronger and for things to get better!
Visit David’s BollyX Instructor page!
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