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 end.

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 man out.

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 we attended:

This is an example of Gopi in a small garba circle.
This is Sunil showing off his mad dandia twirling skillz.
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