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These dance bars would often be run in seedy and dark air-conditioned halls. Up to 100 customers at a time would sit at tables positioned around the dance floor, where girls in their twenties would gyrate to blaring Bollywood music under flickering disco lights. The smell of liquor and cigarette smoke would linger in the air as the clients would ogle the girls, who typically would wear gaudy free-flowing skirts with blouses.
These bars were popular with locals who made millions of rupees selling farmland to industries and were awash with new-found wealth.
During my visits, I spoke to dancers and bar owners. The dancers mostly came from poor and unschooled families, although some of the girls were educated and studied in colleges in and around Pune. Some said they took up dancing to help their parents and finance the education of their siblings.