It's salsa, cha cha time for corporates

Mumbai It's not yoga and aerobics but salsa, samba, tango, waltz and other western dance forms that constitute the new mantra among corporates to help employees de-stress. Private companies are offering their employees dance classes to reduce stress levels the fun way. "Western dancing has actually become very popular with corporates. With work pressure increasing and long working hours, employees don't have the time and the energy to indulge in any such activity after office hours. "So now with offices offering dance classes, the employees can relax and learn new forms in the office itself," ace choreographer Sandip Soparrkar told IANS. Soparrkar, who is a pro in ballroom dancing, offers dance lessons at the offices of HUL, Lintas, Hinduja Hospital, Jet Airways, ICICI, Westside and Citibank among others to train employees in dance forms like salsa, samba, rumba, cha cha cha, waltz and tango among other international forms of dancing. According to Tijo Rolls of Tijo's Dance Academy, western dancing helps employees in many ways. "Firstly, it is a stress buster and very enjoyable. Then the employees learn a new form of dance; and the main thing is that employees from different departments and levels dance in the same area. "This helps to break the ice among people of different levels in the organization and encourages team spirit," said Tijo, who along with his trainers, takes classes in companies like McCann Erickson, Tata Consultancy Services, Delloitte and 3G among others. Shikha Bansal, 28, who didn't want to reveal the name of her company, agreed with Tijo. "Through our dance classes we get to know our co-workers much better because it's not just work that we discuss during the classes. People from all departments dance together. No one is a boss or an employee," she said. Soparrkar added that dance also helps develop a person's personality. "Attending dance classes in office helps people come out of their shells and instils confidence in them. It helps develop their personalities, which is an added advantage. People from all age groups can learn these forms," he revealed. Employees too prefer dance classes to other forms of exercise, including gymming in office. "Sitting in front of the computer the entire day is a task; so when these dance classes were introduced in our office we found a way to relax for some time," Devna Dhyani, who works with WNS global services, told IANS. "Also dance is a much more enjoyable way of exercising and staying healthy than working out in a gym. Gymming becomes boring at times," she added. While some companies offer this facility to their employees for free, others charge a discounted price for the services from anywhere between Rs.500 to Rs.2,500 for 12 classes. Asked what makes companies prefer western dance to Indian classical dances, Soparrkar said: "Western dances can be learnt and picked up at any age but with Indian classical dances, it's always advised to start at a young age; hence Western dance is preferred for employees." Now, employees are dancing their way to work! (Ruchika Kher can be contacted at