Sangeet Dances | Easiest Way to Plan Them | USA Weddings 2019
Ajay Manaktala is the founder of Special Occasions DJ & Lighting and organizes a Sangeet almost every other week. He knows deep down what makes for an exciting sangeet and a boring one. And the first step in that process is to actually NAIL your dance preparation.
Luckily technology to the rescue.
Updated: July 2019
Congrats on being engaged or being in charge of the Sangeet dances!
Sangeets are so much fun because all your friends do a choreographed dance to show you how much they care about the bride and groom.
Hint, that's probably you or someone close to you, like your brother or sister or cousin or best friend.
For the newcomers who may be tasked with planning Sangeet dances, let me give you an intro first:
What is a Sangeet?
It's a party, usually hosted in a hotel or other ballroom type venue where the friends and family of the bride and groom take turns dancing for them as they watch.
Then the bride and groom also does dances for the entire guest list!
This is followed by dinner, drinks and party! So basically, it's a party with 45 minutes of planned, organized, choreographed dances in the middle to Bollywood, Hindi and some English music!
We also wrote: SANGEET EVERYTHING TO KNOW.
What to Wear to a Sangeet?
I wrote in detail about that here, but you should wear a kurta or Sherwani/Jodhpuri that is comfortable that you can dance in, but also not casual as it is an evening hotel sort of affair.
You can also simply wear a suit if you don't want to buy one or your buddy/friends aren't arranging it. These days many brides also change for their dance and then change back, but who has the time for that!
Girls, you'll need a lehenga and blouse. Again, all info at links above.
Amazon: WOMEN's Bollywood Indian Wedding Lehenga for First Time Wedding Guest
Your friends and family will dance for ideally an hour tops.
The bride and groom normally just kicks back and feels the love and cheers along of course.
Alright now that that's out of the way! Let's dance!
Why is it hard to plan a Sangeet?
In today's digital age where people have busy lives and come from all over the world, we try to make this process as stress free as possible. But who will do something weeks ahead when it took them long enough just to RSVP and then asked you a million questions about outfits and customs?
It used to be that when everybody gets together one strict leader would get everybody who is dancing at the Indian wedding to practice in the mornings or late at night.
But let's be honest...who wants to do that and where is the time?
And you don't want them practicing instead of enjoying the wedding festivities right?
How do you Organize Sangeet Dances for your Wedding?
These days the easiest way to organize Indian wedding dances is to pay somebody in India to record videos (with front or back view so you can follow along), send it to whoever is dancing, and go from there!
Three easy steps to organize your Sangeet dances:
Here's the steps you need to do:
1. Finalize your Sangeet Wedding Songs & Number of Dances
A great Sangeet playlist should be well thought out. You don't want more than 5-6 dances in total for your sangeet, otherwise people may get bored!
I know it sounds harsh but it is true these days.
Try to keep your program below 45 minutes.
I've seen hundreds of sangeets where people step out for a drink/snack/smoke and never return until the programs are over.
DO NOT LET YOUR SANGEET DANCES GO OVER AN HOUR!
Once you have the 5-6 songs finalized...
2. Assign Groups for each Song
this song is for the grooms cousins/brothers,
this song is the wedding couple,
this song is the brides cousins/sisters, etc...
However your family is arranged try to assign the songs accordingly.
Most people will put all their college/international friends in one batch, the immediate relatives from each side in another, etc...
3. Hire someone to choreograph the songs virtually
They're plenty of youtube tutorials on how to dance, but people don't take things seriously until you customize and pay for something specific.
These days you can hire someone in India to record a dance at around $150-$200 per song or have them make a package for you.
Then call your squad over, watch the video over beers and chips and nail the dance in an hour!
Once you have those recorded bits, simply send them out to your friends and make sure they memorize the steps! (This is the hardest part, but it's really how you'll be able to make sure one-two practices during the wedding is all you'll need).
Don't be intimidated by people who have lots of traffic online...reach out on social media to people who have dance videos and see the responses coming in!