Last Tuesday and Thursday were full of loud music and new choreography for those auditioning to join this year’s Bollywood dance team, Top Naach. An extension of South Asian Student Association (SASA), the group has grown into a machine for learning, South Asian representation, fun and community engagement.    

Long and story-packed movies with glamorous costumes and orchestral music may come to mind when one thinks of the Bollywood genre. Top Naach focuses on Bollywood, but incorporates inspiration from different dance styles into their performances.

But what makes for a good Bollywood performance? To find the answer to this and other questions, I had a conversation with Sneh Lalani, acting co-captain of Top Naach and the public relations chair of SASA.

“Good Bollywood music is either upbeat, energetic and a little bit crazy or slow and graceful and soothing,” said Lalani. “Good Bollywood dancing is a different story, however. I would say a good Bollywood dance includes a ‘wow’ factor. Just something, whether it be the storyline behind the dance or a specific dance move, that just makes the audience go ‘Wow, that was a plot twist.’”

Lalani has worked with the group as a choreographer since her first year at Trinity. The team itself is relatively new. The founding members started the group their first year with the help of SASA, then known as the Indian Student Union, and have since graduated in the spring of 2017.    

“Our goals for Top Naach include wanting to finally branch off from SASA, and have Top Naach as an official Trinity dance team. We can only do that with support from the Trinity community,” Lalani said.

And what about this community? The reception has been nothing but warm according to the co-captain. The people involved have truly become the heart of the group.

“So many people are so enthusiastic about learning about Bollywood culture, it’s been a shock to me! I didn’t expect Bollywood to be so popular when I came in as a freshman. But there’s so many people constantly coming up to me to either learn more about it, or to sign up for Diwali, SASA’s biggest dance show of the year,” Lalani said.

Looking forward, Top Naach sees nothing but potential for growth and expansion on the horizon.

“Top Naach is not as well-known as we’d like, and so we’d like to promote it more. We hope that soon everyone will know about Top Naach and want to audition with us next year. You can’t find Top Naach through social media just yet, but we’re working on it,” Lalani said.

Be on the lookout for Top Naach performances at annual Trinity showcases like Diwali and Mabuhay.