Photo courtesy of Mona Khan Dance Company
Photo courtesy of Mona Khan Dance Company


HAYWARD, Calif. (Diya TV) — Mona Khan Company, which bills itself as “the Bay Area’s renowned Bollywood Dance & Fitness Company,” presented their annual showing of “America’s got Bollywood,” on May 2nd and 3rd—1,500 dancers and students came out in full force to display their talents, and celebrate the explosion of Bollywood’s culture in the United States.

The dancers varied in age—from age 3 to 60—and came from 10 cities throughout the Bay Area.

“We have about 1,500 dancers on the stage across all the shows, not just today, but over the weekend,” said Mona Khan Master Trainer Janani Chalaka. “It’s just a huge affair,” she added.

The performances were featured by the company’s highly acclaimed professional dance troupe, which landed a Top-50 spot on season five of NBC’s hit television show, “America’s Got Talent.” Also showcased were students from Mona Khan’s specialty program, such as the “Emerging Performers,” “Jollywood,” Khan’s senior citizen class, and “Jeena,” which is made up entirely of the company’s rockstar students with special needs.

Bollywood’s growing presence, and popularity, shares a connection in the community which draws folks from all over—participants in the performance ranged from software engineers, attorneys, and homemakers. They all united for Mona Khan’s fall showcase, which took eight weeks of planning, practice, and engagement. The scope of the Bollywood movement’s growth is important Anisha Babbar, who serves as a choreographer and instructor for the Mona Khan Company. Her intent is to form a marriage between the classic and modern forms of Bollywood, to make it enjoyable for all ages.

“We try to get a variety of content in our shows,” Babbar said. “Whether it be from Bollywood, to contemporary, classical, jazz, afro… We are always trying to push the envelope with our shows and bring something brand new.”

A dance is performed at Mona Khan's Fall showcase. Photo courtesy of Mona Khan Dance Company.
A dance is performed at Mona Khan’s Fall showcase. Photo courtesy of Mona Khan Dance Company.


The show lasts the entire weekend, with four performances, and as mentioned previously, it features dancers of all ages and skill levels. Parents and other observers appreciate the confidence and growth the event provides for those whom are just getting started in Bollywood, and even those who are served veterans.

“One of the things I like about [Mona Khan’s] this program in general is the confidence they get from going on stage and how it strengthens it,” said Rakhi Israni, whose four young children danced in the performance. Her children have been members of the program for four years, and she opined the lessons they’ve learned since joining will stay with them for years to come. Israni’s husband, Nitesh Singh, concurs, but also thinks it’s great for their children’s physical fitness. “It’s a great way for them to connect with their culture and keep in touch with Indian dance forms, and also stay fit and enjoy themselves.”

The Bollywood fever undoubtedly continues to spread within the Indian-American community, and throughout the rest of the American community, and this event fosters that growth for the further development.