A three-time Canadian National Dance champion, Karima Essa is Vancouver’s very own Bollywood star. An incredibly charismatic and passionate performer, choreographer and instructor, she has used her one-of-a-kind Bollywood talent to entertain diverse audiences at festivals, theatres and in schools across Canada. In 2014, her love for Bollywood took her to the screens in Mumbai, India, as a two-time finalist on Omni TV’s reality show, Bollywood Star. With style, grace and a flair for the dramatic, she has been captivating adult and young audiences for decades.
School Show & Workshops
Bollywood Star - Show
Karima Essa showcases Bollywood dance as a fun cultural art form by opening with an electrifying dance in full regalia. During her interactive and high-energy show suitable for festival, theatre and school audiences, you’ll learn about the origins of Bollywood dance along with some traditional and popular dance moves and key words in Hindi from Bollywood cinema. She demonstrates how you can express different emotions, such as happiness and sadness, through the key elements of Bollywood dance involving intricate hand movements (mudras), neck and head movements, facial expressions and foot movements.
Bollywood Star - Workshops & Residencies
Karima’s infectious warmth and engaging personality will awaken the dancer inside no matter your age, ability or experience! She’ll teach the basic elements of Bollywood dance including neck and head movements, facial expressions and foot movements, while also using props such as scarves and Dandiya sticks. The music selection and level of dance choreography for each class will match the energy and technical ability of the students. She’ll lead a student performance at the end along with a performance in full regalia. Teachers will also have the option of learning a dance to perform as a surprise for their students.
Size: Up to 500 students - 5 sessions/day
Duration: 1-day, 3-day, 5-day and 10-day residencies available
Tech Requirements: Artist provides own sound equipment with music playback
Fee: Inquire for fee
“Karima had the students fully engaged in her performance. She was charismatic and funny and her show had just the right amount of watch-and-learn and follow-me! The students and staff were entertained and learned about the magic of communicating through music.”
—Celidh Deichmann, Acting Vice-Principal & Grade One Teacher, Lakewood Elementary School
“Karima Essa was fun, high energy and had our entire community audience engaged!”
—Nikki Lajeunesse Recreation Programmer Queensborough Community Centre
“As a performer, Karima is the best combination: highly skilled and not-intimidating. Watching her perform inspires people from toddler to senior to join in, and Karima’s praise, levity and pure love keeps people dancing – and coming back for more.”
—Jennifer Taylor, Kitsilano Community Centre Community Engagement Coordinator
“Many families celebrating Diwali (the Festival of Lights) enjoy Bollywood dancing, and Karima’s workshop engaged families unfamiliar with the festival to get involved. She translated language into dance using corresponding expression and movement when teaching our younger guests, which resulted in amazing participation from everyone. We were thrilled with our audience turnout this year and plan to invite her again.”
—Mital Gorman, Diwali in Kits Event Organizer