“It’s really a fun way to learn to dance because everyone gets a chance,” she adds. “It’s like a little mini club.” And she loves dancing because it’s “like playing a very important role in my life”. She says she loves to go to the nightclub in the mornings – “so I’m not too worried about where I’m going to dance”. She’ll often make new friends as she goes through different styles. She started dancing in high school, “really wanting to get into a group, and it’s good to meet girls like that who have a passion for dancing”. She hopes dancing opens her feet to new sensations.
Her favourite thing about dancing is “seeing my classmates dance the whole night – it’s amazing”. But as she’s learnt her body, she thinks her heart has changed as well. “When I saw pictures of myself in my 20s when I was younger it felt like such an illusion – like something was missing,” she says. “And now I see this and a lot of other people, and I think ‘wow that’s me!'” She loves dancing to songs with catchy lyrics (like the ones she got herself as a teenager) but admits she’s still a beginner when it comes to dancing with others. And she’s more relaxed now. “I am more aware of when I dance around people. They’re there! They’re in the room with me. That’s the kind of dancing I like.”
Her secret to staying fit: “I think a lot of my weight has gone because I’ve just been eating too much, which is a bit embarrassing to look back on now.” But she’s in no rush to quit exercise, and enjoys running, riding her bike and walking in the city. When she does have to go to the gym, says she gets on with it, “because that’s who I am”. Which can make some of her fellow dancers a little uneasy. “Some of them think I look like me, because they look at my Instagram and see ‘She looks like me’ and have this reaction when I walk in the room,” says Bibi. “Then there are those who think I’m not doing enough exercise, and I tell them to just go to the gym. Or they blame me for not getting enough sleep!”
The challenge of being fit
Bibi, of course, is hardly the first student in India to struggle with her weight. “But to have a BMI of 23.3 – even if you’re fit – you
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