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Teacher Spotlight: The Belly Twins

Veena and Neena Bidasha, otherwise known as the Belly Twins, began their dance career in early childhood. There was always Indian music playing around the house and they were always dancing Bollywood and Masala Bhangra at family gatherings. Later as teenagers, they discovered Belly Dance; sneaking out of the house to take classes, since it was considered forbidden by their family. They also studied classical Indian Dance with Master Teachers for over 10 years. On top of it all, they also took Jazz, Ballet and Hip-Hop classes. The good new is, after their hard work, their family gave them the stamp of approval!

In 1995, the Belly Twins began teaching both Bollywood and Belly Dance as a workout in the Los Angeles area. Shortly thereafter, they formed the very first professional Bollywood dance company in North America. Later, after adding Middle Eastern Dance to the repertoire, the dance company became the first of its kind in the world.

Veena and Neena would put their students through the rigorous dance moves and the feedback that they received was that the students got the best workout. As their classes grew, more non-Indians and non-Arabs became students. This led the Belly Twins to endeavor to create workout videos for the mainstream market; providing both culture and a workout. It took many attempts to find a distribution company; the Belly Twins were told that they were "too ethnic."

They finally found the right company, one that saw past their ethnicity, and one that shared their vision with bringing Belly Dance mainstream. After being distributed in retail stores, gyms, fitness expos, health food markets, and dance schools, Belly Dance became so popular that the distributors didn't want to promote anything else!

If you have read my story, you know that I discovered Belly Dance 22 years ago with one of Veena and Neena's VHS workout videos. I wasn't even looking for a Belly Dance tape or even a workout video. I thought that if I didn't like, I would only be out a $1.00. As I said in that blog post, it was the best $1.00 that I ever spent! I did that video every day, until I learned the entire thing. Then I bought the next one. And then the next. I got all of the Belly Twins videos!

And I'm still dancing, 22 years later. I am grateful for their hard work and dedication, as I might not have otherwise found the healing power of Belly Dance!

You can get your own copy of their videos, music, and other merchandise here:

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