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  • Writer's pictureAjay Manaktala

How To Plan an Awesome Sangeet (2019)

Updated: Dec 26, 2019

Do you want to know how to plan the best Sangeet from start to finish at your Indian wedding? This guide is for Indian Weddings in America but can also be used pretty much anywhere, especially at any five star (Hilton, Hyatt, Leel, Taj, etc.. type of hotel). Whether guest or groom, this should help you out.

Let's begin.

The best way to have a sangeet is everything below, but as you read remember the priority:

1. People need to memorize their dances, and you have to make it easy for them to. (I'll explain)

2. If you have 300 people, the dances need to not be longer than 40 minutes in total. (I'll explain)

how to dance sangeet
These have become the funnest events at Indian weddings!

1. What is a Sangeet?

In a nutshell, it's a dance party where your friends and family do anywhere between 3 and 10 dances for you as bride and groom. It's also where the bride and groom will dance for everybody else.

It's a rocking party, traditionally at a hotel ballroom or party venue. Imagine a wedding reception, before the wedding where you and your pals dance for your friends in 2 minute turns in front of 200 people!

2. What's the history on Sangeets?

Sangeet's originally started many years ago in Punjab, a part of India (where you see guys who have the turbans) and it was a set of dance performances in celebration of the married couple. Different groups of people from a small town or village would all get together, and dance off much like a modern day talent show.

sangeet dance usa ideas
Groom goes nuts after his friends finish their dance for him

The bride and groom would sit in nice chairs and laugh and clap and feel the heartfelt effort, and then many times they would dance themselves along with their siblings and parents!

3. What Do You Need to Plan a Great Sangeet for Your Big Fat Indian Wedding?

  • A venue, often a hotel ballroom or community center

  • A list of people who are dancing, paired up in groups (e.g. cousins, college mates and colleagues, etc..)

  • Choreographed lessons for each group to get the dance steps down (done virtually via YouTube and Google Drive or WhatsAppthese days)

  • A DJ,

  • A dance floor and/or a large stage

  • a buffet

  • depending on your crowd, a huge bar/alcohol

how to plan a sangeet usa
Now that's a fun Sangeet! Usually the dance floor, dinner and the bar keep rocking from the time dances are over at 10PM until 1AM!

4. How do I figure out Dances for my Sangeet?

First is song selection, and that's easy. Whatever tunes you like from the movies, and we have ideas for you on our blog as well.

But the real questions is..How do I make sure everyone learns their dances?

This is the money question! And we got you covered.

The most efficient, time saving and EFFECTIVE way to figure your sangeet choreography is NOT to call 50 people over and think you're going to choreograph 5 dances in a day. AND DO NOT WASTE VALUABLE TIME AT YOUR WEDDING DOING PRACTICE FOR PEOPLE WHO DON'T EVEN KNOW ONE STEP.

These days, your friends have careers, people are spread out across the world and even though we're all faffing on Instagram, PEOPLE SAY THEY'RE BUSY. I personally DJ high end sangeets monthly and you have to remember...what makes a good sangeet?


And your big fat wedding at a hotel is costing thousands of dollars per hour, so why are you wasting time before this reception trying to teach someone to dance when you could enjoy you or your friends wedding, or get makeup and hair done, etc..?

sangeet dance groups for your wedding
Each checkbox is one dance.

So how do you ensure your friends memorize and practice?

  • You make it easy for them.

  • The easiest way to do that, is to find someone in India, pay them $150-$200 per dance, and have them choreograph the entire thing for you by video.

  • Then a month before the wedding, you send out these videos and you tel them if they didn't memorize it you will be hurt. As there will be no practice.

Just google and find some choreographers and negotiate!

People will drop out last minute, people will complain.

But you just made it so easy for them, they have no choice. And they will feel stupid at the last minute when everybody is cheering/dancing and they realized they could have spent 30 minutes on the plane to the wedding watching this video and figuring it out.

5. What are the Latest Trends in America for Sangeets?

These days, Sangeet's have become almost as big as the wedding reception. In fact some of the, including my own brother's was much crazier.

We see sangeets also of the usual hotel fan fare above, plus:

  • a stage

  • live bands after the performances are over,

  • A DJ who goes till 2 or 3 in the morning

  • projector screens (if you have more than 100 people),

  • decoration like flowers and center pieces, although those are not as fancy as the reception

  • casino or a carnival theme or other themes that inspire movement and vibrancy (usually receptions are more classy sit down affairs)

6. What Not to Do at a Sangeet?

- Don't over do it. As we talked about this guide on organizing your Sangeet dances both virtually and how to practice....don't have more than an hour of dances.

If you have more than 400 people I'd even say keep the entire dance portion of the night down to 30 minutes (so group your dances accordingly).

- Don't tell people your dances will start at 7:30 when in reality they'll start around 9PM. Sangeets ALWAYS start late.

- Don't add dances at the last minute! It always happens, it's always stressful, and it's not required. A half hearted dance unless you REALLY want it isn't pleasing anyone!

- Don't get too drunk, you have a religious wedding ceremony tomorrow ok?


- Don't use props! Whether a dupatta or umbrella or twirly sticks, most people don't practice and then this stuff just lingers around the dance floor!

7. What TO DO at a Sangeet?

- Keep your buffet open for as long as possible. The oldies want to eat early and go home, the youngsters will likely go for last call as they'll drink and dance it up first.

- Ask your DJ (we do this for our clients) to help with Sangeet mixes to chop up the music. (Most include you to ask them two to three times).

Keep each dance below 3 minutes, (2 is perfect) and remember you will sweat, so a longer dance may make your hair and makeup go for a toss!


No not a family member. Yes a friend or hire one. But friends have risks as stated above in that they may feel they can't enjoy the event now, or they might get drunk and not take it seriously (we see both all the time).

A professional emcee during your Indian wedding is extremely important during sangeet.

Here's why:

  1. Your friends have spent time practicing their dances. They should feel recognized and names should be announced properly. Your cousin may now know them all or realize it's significant.

  2. The crowd has to be hyped and coordinated with the DJ during the announcements and after the person's dances are over

  3. Surprise father/mother dances need to be planned ahead.