Masala Bhangra Founder in Australia for Exclusive MasterClass

Indian dance-inspired workout Masala Bhangra has been bringing fun and flair to fitness for 24 years. Founder, Sarina Jain is excited to be visiting Melbourne this month and personally delivering a MasterClass so you can experience Masala Bhangra for yourself!

What is Masala Bhangra?

Masala Bhangra is an Indian inspired workout with the folk of bhangra and the glamour of Bollywood. 

Bhangra is a high energy folk dance from the Northern part of India that features at any sort of celebration, such as weddings. Masala means ‘spicy’ in Hindi.

Born and raised in California with Indian heritage, founder Sarina Jain first set about developing the workout after losing her father to a cardiac event while she was in college. Already a group exercise fitness lover herself, the shock of losing her dad (only 47 years old) started her thinking about how she could get her aunties and uncles engaged in more physical activity to improve their health.

The idea for Masala Bhangra struck like lightning while Sarina was working for a PR firm straight out of college.

“I came up with the idea for this Indian dance workout for my family and my community – I really did not create this workout for anybody else. However, when Masala Bhangra was born, I was knocking on all the fitness doors that I already taught at, asking them to give me a chance. And I don’t think at that time, these gyms were ready for an Indian dance workout.” said Sarina.

“There was one gym in Los Angeles that gave me a chance. And I told my entire community ‘Please show up!’ Two aunties showed up, my mom and my sister, so four Indian people, and the rest were all non -Indian. And there were, like, 50 people ready to roll with me!”

It turned out people enjoyed the new flavour of group exercise. “That forced me to rethink, okay, this is something for everybody,” said Sarina. I found a way to bring it to the people and bring all kinds of cultures together to live a better life, to live a healthier life, and then be proud of who they are.”

bollywood fitness masala bhangra

What is a Masala Bhangra MasterClass?

For Aussies planning on visiting the AusFitness Expo in Melbourne this month, there’s the unique opportunity to experience Masala Bhangra delivered by Sarina herself.  Sarina is flying in from New York and holding a MasterClass capped at 50 people on April 12th. She’ll then be presenting Masala Bhangra at the expo over the weekend. “I would love for you to come and take my class, and experience it. Give me a chance, Australia!”, says Sarina.

All Masala Bhangra Master Instructors have been hand-picked by Sarina Jain because of their experience, their passion and understanding of the program, and their ability to teach and train students and other teachers. A MasterClass offers a unique opportunity to learn from an instructor with extensive experience teaching, performing, and in choreography.

Is Masala Bhangra suitable for beginners?

Sarina describes Masala Bhangra as “old school aerobics meets India”. The movements can be modified to match the ability of the participant, providing a fun, cardiovascular workout for all ages and fitness levels. Masala Bhangra not only gets the heart rate up but also offers toning for legs, shoulders, and abdominals. Participants can burn more than 500 calories in a class while having a lot of fun at the same time.

“When you come to a Masala Bhangra class, pretend you’re going to an Indian wedding”, said Sarina. “We’re about to learn choreography, we’re going to go from move one, then put it together with move two, then we’re going to from the top, and we keep adding on until you get this routine. So, in 40 minutes, you’ve learned something new. Then, in the end, we jam to a song I choose and just repeat the choreography”

Masala Bhangra participants range in age from 22 years right up to 70! “When I train instructors to teach Masala Bhangra, I tell them, please make sure that the door is open at all times and inviting to everyone that comes in and takes a class with you and that they walk out feeling successful. The last thing I want is for a student to come to class and feel like, Oh my God, that was so hard. I didn’t understand it… Never doing that again” said Sarina.

Why is Bhangra and Bollywood dance fitness so much fun?

One of the often overlooked benefits of physical exercise is the mental health gains to be enjoyed. There are reams of studies showing that physical exercise produces endorphins and “happy hormones”, which can lower stress levels and improve mood. A surefire way to maximise the mood-boosting effects of exercise is to combine it with music and people. The social enjoyment of moving together with a group to music is what makes group exercise in general so popular around the world.

Indian dance culture, with its bright colours, up-tempo music, and rhythmic beats, provides a perfect atmosphere for embracing movement and being less serious for a while. There’s also evidence that dance fitness offers greater benefits for balance, stability, and coordination than simply fitness alone.

Tony Zonato from GroupEX podcast is passionate about the psychosocial benefits that group training offers. “Group exercise is powerful. Not only is it the biggest retention tool we’ve got, it’s the biggest revenue stream you’ve got in a gym, it is a powerful tool that actually helps your community grow and looks after everybody. 45 minutes, half an hour, it doesn’t matter how long the class is, people rocking up could be dealing with the worst thing or it could be the one little bit of the day that provides an outlet for them.  And without you there, the instructor, or without the other participants around them, they don’t have anything.”

Masala Bhangra at AusFitness Expo 2024

Sarina Jain will present Masala Bhangra on the Women’s Active Stage at the AusFitness Expo in Melbourne on Sat 13th and Sun 14th of April 2024. If you want to grab a spot at her exclusive MasterClass on the 12th of April, you can access more details at this link.

You can listen to a recent interview with Sarina Jain by checking out her chat with Tony Zonato on the GroupEx Podcast.

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