Everything You Need to Know About BollyX

The dance craze sweeping the nation.

The group fitness phenomenon already in over 100 cities worldwide and featured on Shark Tank.

It’s BollyX®. A Bollywood-inspired group fitness dance program that is quickly expanding in popularity around the world.

Want to get in on teaching this group fitness class before all the other group fitness professionals in your area? We’ve got you covered. We have all the details and your need-to-know information on what BollyX® is, how you can get certified, and more importantly, why you need to add this class to your schedule!

We were lucky enough to interview one of the Co-Founders, and Product Director of BollyX®, Fen Tung, and get her take on what makes BollyX® so unique and how the business began.

Start in the Industry

Fen’s journey in the fitness industry had a unique start - she was simply looking for a free gym membership and had no intention of becoming a fitness professional. She had played sports all her life and always maintained a healthy lifestyle, and was familiar with coaching and following fitness plans, but never planned to be instructing exercise classes or be in “charge” of a fitness business.

She inquired at her local gym if they were hiring, and accepted a front desk role for $7/hour all to be able to work out for free. During that time, another trainer recognized her abilities and suggested she become a personal trainer. The gym even subsidized her training, which allowed her to obtain her NASM PT certification. Fen quickly fell in love with the professional side of the fitness industry – even more so after discovering kickboxing and other group exercise classes that kept workouts fun and enjoyable.

Image courtesy BollyX

As a personal trainer, Fen began training a client from India who introduced her to the world of Bollywood dancing. 

Fen helped her get a job as a group fitness instructor to teach Bollywood dance at the gym and it was instantly a hit! That was Fen’s first taste of Bollywood dancing and she was hooked. When she discovered Zumba, Fen always made sure to include a couple of Bollywood dances in her class.  

BollyX® got its start in Cambridge, MA in 2013, when Fen met Shahil Patel through a mutual friend at MIT’s business school. He had an idea for a Bollywood dance fitness company (serendipity!) and wanted to chat about the fitness side of the program. Shortly after, Fen joined BollyX® as the Product Director (fun fact, Fen got a degree in Biology from MIT thinking she was going to medical school).

Fen and Shahil fused traditional Bollywood and Bhangra dance moves as well as fitness moves to create a new workout that was both fun and effective.

Their goal for BollyX® was to design a consistent, high-quality, pre-choreographed dance format so that when students walked into class, whether it was in London or Los Angeles, they would feel a sense of community and feel empowered to dance having an idea of what the choreography would be.

Always Learning

Fen’s number one piece of advice for anyone considering becoming a certified BollyX instructor, or group fitness instructor, is this:

“Set proper expectations for yourself and find a mentor.”

In group fitness in particular, a lot of students consider becoming instructors themselves after having taken numerous classes. New instructors often feel that when they first begin teaching, their experience will be exactly like the teacher’s class that inspired them - that they’ll be teaching to packed weekly classes and have no trouble maintaining that.

However, that’s rarely the case.

There are always exceptions of course, but the more common situation that one should expect is that your first class might have 2 people there. More work than you realize goes on behind the scenes, before an instructor even sets foot into a studio. A LOT of time goes into listening to music, memorizing choreography, practicing pre-cueing, creating playlists, building relationships, and more.

Success isn’t immediate. Having a mentor help you with all that, or give advice regarding the journey, is priceless. If you’re not ready to tough it out, seek and take feedback, and put in the hours - group fitness instruction might not be for you.

Want to stick it out and build your reputation as an amazing group fitness instructor?

In addition to finding a mentor, ask the manager at your gym or training facility for feedback on how you’re doing, how you can improve, and why students may not be coming back.

Specifically want help in boosting your BollyX® career? No problem.

BollyX® offers a mentorship program, launched in 2017, where all instructors who go through the BollyX® certification training get an assigned mentor available to them (for free). BollyX® mentors will help new instructors with all things related to teaching BollyX® classes successfully, from building properly formatted playlists, dance and fitness technique, pre-cueing, audition preparations and more. 

Even instructors who have been teaching request a mentor as they know the learning should never stop for a fitness professional. The vast majority of mentors are instructors who have been successfully teaching for years, but more recently, several newer instructors have become mentors themselves, having gone through the mentorship program and seeing the benefits of it. They want to pay it forward and become more involved in the community, teaching the next generation of instructors.

Finding the motivation and time to prepare for class is undoubtedly challenging - your mentor is there to check in on you, pump you up, support you, and help in whatever way possible!

The Future of the Fitness Industry

It’s true, group fitness is totally trending right now.

For financial reasons, group fitness is becoming more and more popular. Personal training is expensive and is only getting more expensive. These days, clients are looking to get the most bang for their buck.

Group fitness classes are also key in building community. Group fitness classes create bonds in ways other training programs cannot. Group fitness classes, despite being potentially large, helps build camaraderie since everyone is “in it together”. A client new to exercising at the gym will likely feel more comfortable in an environment with others who are also trying to achieve similar goals.

Join the Movement; Become a BollyX® Instructor

BollyX® is a group fitness class designed for everybody! BollyX® emphasizes community and empowers each person in class to dance BOLDLY and with confidence. The unique aspect of BollyX®’s format is its performance sequence at the end of each class. Since this format is based on Bollywood, India’s film industry, BollyX®encourages each person to dance like they are in a Bollywood movie during their final performance. The students are all cheering for each other at this point of class, which not only creates a strong sense of community, but also really encourages you to unleash your inner rockstar!

Are you new to Bollywood dance, or group fitness classes, in general? Great! BollyX® is choreographed with sequences keeping all skill levels in mind, so you will get a quality workout in no matter what and have fun while doing it.

New to teaching group fitness classes? Not a problem! Like we mentioned, BollyX® has a very thorough certification program, no matter your background, and mentors that will help you every step of the way.

If you’re interested in beginning your group fitness career or expanding your teaching repertoire to include BollyX® classes, click here. BollyX® currently has live teacher trainings, as well as online trainings you can complete at your own pace.

Not quite ready to take the leap into teaching just yet? Find BollyX® classes near you, or check out BollyX® On Demand (BollyX® classes anywhere, anytime).

Meet The Author:

Parker Franklin

Parker, IFG’s Brand Manager since 2022, began his wellness journey in 2020, leading to a significant personal transformation. He holds a journalism degree from Murray State University and started his career as an award-winning journalist in western Kentucky before transitioning into marketing and PR.

At IFG, Parker is responsible for writing content, managing The Fit newsletter, and overseeing promotions and collaborations with affiliate fitness organizations.

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