Raas-Garba is a night of energetic and playful
dancing that commonly takes place before weddings. Raas
and Garba are typical Gujarati folk dances that
everyone can participate in. You don't even know how to dance - we'll
teach you the basics. The steps are easy to learn, and it's fun to
watch even if you're not the dancing type!
Garba is done solo and involves rhythmic steps in a
circular form. There are simple versions that involve repeating a short
sequence of steps, or more complex versions that require a little
coordination. Different groups of people are doing different things
simultaneously, so it is easy to jump in wherever you're comfortable.
Each song is quite long (about 30 minutes) but you don't have to do it
continuously - people leave and join all the time. The music starts off
slow, but speeds up as time goes on so things get fun and crazy at the
Raas is done in pairs while holding sticks called dandia.
The dance involves hitting your partner's dandia
with your own while following the beat of the music. Again, the most
basic version involves repeating 5 simple steps and is very easy to
learn. (If you're not yet convinced, don't worry - we'll have some raas
lessons too!) Raas is also easy-come-easy-go with
the caveat that you have to leave/join in pairs so there isn't an odd
Women generally wear chaniya cholis, colorful
skirts and blouses often with hand embroidery and embedded mirrors and
shells. Men may wear kurtas, long, loose,
collarless shirts, with tighter pants called churidars.
You can get an idea
of what to expect by checking out these movies from a recent raas-garba
This is an
example of Gopi in a small garba circle.
This is Sunil
showing off his mad dandia twirling skillz.