The club scene in Seattle is getting a big dose of culture -- Bollywood style.
Many Americans hadn't even heard of Bollywood until movies like "Monsoon Wedding" and "Slumdog Millionaire" made their way to the states. Now the music is gaining traction in the Northwest... thanks in part to a DJ who wants to bring Bollywood to the masses.
"Tonight is not the time to talk about tomorrow afternoon," said the owner of Bollywood Dreams Entertainment, Prashant Kakad. "Tonight is the time to dance."
It's a "Jai Ho" Bollywood Dance Party in Seattle's Capitol Hill.
"Jai Ho means 'be victorious' or 'victory to you' in Hindi," said Kakad.
Kakad is also the dance instructor and DJ, spinning songs from the soundtrack of a cultural phenomenon.
Bollywood is the name of India's film industry and its prolific musicals. Fans memorize lyrics as well as steps to choreographed routines.
Christie Lo is one attendee that discovered these Bollywood parties through friends at work.
"Music is universal," said Lo. "You don't need to understand the words to feel emotion, to feel the beat and get your foot tapping and start to dance -- it's just a very organic thing that happens."
It's a change from the nightclub scene many Seattlites know, but Kakad knows how to throw a party allowing everyone to feel included and celebrate culture. He's a natural entertainer born in a city just outside Mumbai, India.
His parents started exposing him to the wonders of Bollywood at birth.
"By the time I was six months old, they had seen 40 Bollywood movies," said Kakad. "So the damage was done really early on in life."
But he didn't start dancing until he came to the US for grad school. He learned all genres, changing his physique and ultimately his dreams.
He trained to be an engineer and initially started teaching dance on the side. He soon left that high tech world to DJ full time.
To dance authentically, you have to be able to just let go. This is where Bollywood connects people, no matter who they are.
"The fan base for this is growing," Kakad said. "It's just exploding, absolutely. So I feel like I'm at the top of this wave, surfing this big movement coming through and I love it."
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