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Karima Essa

Discipline: Dance
Homebase: New Westminster
Regions Available: Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley &, Howe Sound, Vancouver Island Lower, Vancouver Island Mid, Vancouver Island North, Interior, North, Remote, Kootenays, Virtual
Languages: English, Hindi
Themes: Mental Health
Grant Eligibility: Eligible for 70% AIE

Karima Essa, a three-time Canadian National Dance champion, is a charismatic Bollywood dancer, choreographer and performer. In 2014 and 2015, her love for Bollywood took her to Mumbai as a two-time finalist on Omni TV's reality show, Bollywood Star. Since first showcasing in 2018, she has performed shows and workshops in 250+ schools across BC and Saskatchewan. Karima's new focus is on celebrating that all bodies can dance by bringing the body positivity movement to Bollywood Dance in schools. Karima has also completed her Education Assistance certification and is interested in exploring how dance can help improve socio-emotional skills in children with autism or other special needs.

Bollywood workshops, multi-day residencies and performances are available all year-round. Discounted pricing available for multi-day workshops and residencies. Contact Kim at [email protected] for more info.


Body Positive Bollywood Show

School Year: 23-24
Discipline: Music, Dance
Offered Languages: English, Hindi
Grade Suitability: K - 7
Duration: 45-min + 15 min Q&A
Capacity: 600
Tech Requirements: Swept stage or gym floor with electrical outlet. Artist will bring own PA.
Available Formats: In Person

Lower Mainland
Fraser Valley & Howe Sound
Vancouver Island Lower
Vancouver Island Mid
Vancouver Island North

Since age 4, Karima's been gracing the stage in dance competitions, events and in recent years, OMNI TV's Bollywood Star reality show. She grew up thinking she needed to be a certain shape and size fuelled by propaganda from the entertainment industry. Karima's dance journey highlights the societal pressure and expectations placed upon young people. Her Bollywood workshop-style dance show celebrates the vibrant and colorful culture of South Asia, while also promoting positive messages of self-love and acceptance. She also incorporates breathing techniques and ideologies from ancient scholars, which adds a layer of spirituality to the dance practice. Her personal growth and self-acceptance are powerful messages for young people struggling with body image issues. Overall, Karima's work is not just about teaching dance but also about empowering individuals to feel confident and comfortable in their own skin. Her message serves as a reminder that true happiness comes from within and not from external validation. Students of all shapes and sizes will leave inspired to accept and love themselves inside and out, on and off the dance floor!

Classroom Residency(ies)

Contact Me: 604-727-4413, Email, Web

Bollywood Dance Residency

School Year: 23-24

Bollywood dance is a high-energy, vibrant dance style which originated in the Indian film industry. It combines elements of classical Indian dance, folk dance, and modern dance styles, creating a unique and dynamic dance form that is popular around the world. Karima's Bollywood dance residencies are designed to introduce students to the basic elements of Bollywood dance while building their confidence and skills in a fun and supportive environment. Throughout the residency, Karima will teach each grouping of students basic Bollywood dance steps and techniques to a popular Bollywood song, using a range of props, such as scarves and Dandiya sticks to add an extra element of fun. Students will also learn about the importance of facial expressions and body language in Bollywood dance, and how to use these elements to convey emotion and tell a story through movement. On the final day of the residency, students will showcase their dances in a final performance for their school community. In addition, Karima also offers a special lunchtime dance session for interested teachers, who will learn a simple dance routine that they can perform as a surprise for their students. This is a great way to get teachers involved in the fun and show their support for the students' learning. A schedule will be determined with the school and artist and usually consists of 4-5 x 45-min workshops with a 20-30-min dance showcase at the end. Discounted daily pricing is available for multi-day residencies and are usually 3, 5- or 10-day workshops. These residencies offer a more in-depth exploration of Bollywood dance and allow students to build their skills over time. For pricing, inquire with Kim at [email protected].

Testimonials & Reviews

"Karima was amazing. She had so much energy and made us feel good about ourselves and our desire to dance.....her energy was contagious." "She grabbed the attention of the students from the minute they came in until the end of the workshop. They were fully engaged from start to finish." "I never thought I would see that student so passionate about dancing. Karima has a way to get to the heart of these kids so they want to come alive and share 'their magic.' Various teachers from Kerrobert Composite School, Saskatchewan
I highly recommend Karima as an artist-in-residence or performer as her instructional strategies and energy involved all types of learners. She successfully created choreographies with multiple age groups. We all found the experience enriching and transforming. Our parents enjoyed the final performance and were moved by the quality. Karima will have your whole community celebrating! Natalie Morissette, Vancouver principal
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, school administrator in Victoria

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