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New Way to Dance to Get Fit: Doonya

riya Pandya and Kajal Desai


I’m always looking for ways to make burning calories more fun and interesting, so I was immediately curious when I heard about Doonya, a Bollywood dance-based workout program. They’re releasing a new set of fitness DVDs so that you can get a great cardio workout and strength training while dancing to catchy Bollywood songs in your living room.

If you haven't seen many (or any) Bollywood films, you probably remember the amazing "Jai Ho" closing dance scene from 2009's Academy Award Best Picture winner "Slumdog Millionaire." Even if you never saw the movie, you may still be familiar with the "Jai Ho" dance, as this huge group dance inspired many flash-mobs (such as this one in the Ole Miss Student Union) as well as many wedding “surprise” first dances. In case you missed it, here’s that video of the final scene in the movie:

The word “Doonya” means “world” in Hindi. You may have heard about Doonya recently on “Oprah” or “Dr. Oz.” Founders Priya Pandya and Kajal Desai started Doonya initially as a Bollywood-inspired performance dance troupe in the Washington D.C. area back in 2005. Through the dance sessions, Pandya and Desai said they noticed many of the dancers were losing weight and "getting more tight and toned." Consequently, they began working to transition Doonya into an ACE-certified fitness class where people can burn 600-800 calories in one hour according to Pandya. (Doonya classes are currently taught live in D.C., Maryland, Virginia, and New York City.)

I asked Pandya and Desai if Doonya is similar to Zumba and whether they thought it would appeal to Zumba fans, and they told me: "Doonya is somewhat like Zumba because it's fun and upbeat, but it's different because Doonya works more at connecting muscle to movement."

3-Minute Doonya Dance to Get Bollywood Actress Abs
In this short video, Pandya and Desai show off the steps to a dance that will get you Bollywood actress abs:

Easy Doonya “Hip-Push” Dance Move to Get a Great Ab Workout
In this quick video, Pandya and Desai show you how to do an easy “Hip-Push” move to get some great ab work in:

Enter to Win a Doonya Wellness Weekend in Los Angeles

Feeling curious about Doonya? Enter their contest to win a Wellness Weekend in Los Angeles. The prize includes airfare, hotel lodging at The Standard downtown in LA, a $500 shopping spree at LuluLemon, and $500 treatments at Bliss spa.

And, if you want to see more Doonya dance moves and find out more about the Doonya DVDs, watch this video:

Are you interested in trying new fitness classes like Doonya? Add me on Twitter, and feel free to send me a tweet to let me know whether you think it looks fun or like a fad you’re not interested in.


Jess Barron is LIVESTRONG.COM’s Editor-in-Chief. A longtime foodie and fan of Farmer’s Market fresh food, Jess particularly loves heirloom tomatoes, fresh figs with burrata cheese, and anything with pumpkin or peanut butter in it! Her love for food fuels her desire to exercise daily. Some of her favorite workout routines include running, yoga, P90X, INSANITY, and mixed martial arts. Jess’s writing can also be found at She has appeared on MSNBC’s “The Most,” ABC News Now, and XM satellite radio and her writing has appeared on and Yahoo!

Follow Jess on Twitter @jessdandy. Also, you can add her on Google+, and follow her on Pinterest.

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