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UK Bhangra Dancing – Has it Reached its Peak?

Bhangra dancing dance

The aggressive UK Bhangra dancing scene has been shortly evolving. This has been ever since its first nationwide competitors in 2007.

On a worldwide scale, many features of the UK scene have been admired. This consists of the standard of dancing, the creativity and complexity of aggressive units, with mixes to enrich.

Beforehand, we mentioned the modifications within the UK Bhangra dancing scene in 2017-2019. Now we transfer onto the longer term.

Will these requirements which were set be topped? Can new groups and the subsequent era of dancers mild the torch brilliant for the longer term?

Judges, captains and skilled dancers from the scene give their perception on what to anticipate sooner or later.

Bhangra Fest 2019 is Subsequent

Bhangra dancing dance

The subsequent bhangra dancing competitors to sit up for is Bhangra Fest 2019.

Isha Berik, the organiser of Bhangra Fest, says we will anticipate the date and venue to be launched quickly.

That is most probably on the finish of September or October 2019 with a transfer to a different metropolis.

Many speculate that this can be Birmingham, the historic house to UK Bhangra dancing.

This marks the primary time a non-university bhangra dance competitors will probably be held outdoors of London since 2015.

Isha says:

“We’ve thought-about a number of dates in September or October.

“Difficulty we had was that totally different groups have been requesting particular dates which had confirmed troublesome to accommodate.

“We’re altering the venue for a greater expertise for the viewers.

“We’re very excited to announce the performing acts on the night time! Belief me, you gained’t need to miss it!”

For the final 2 years at Bhangra Fest, the identical three groups have positioned.

Gabru Chel Chabileh (GCC), Vasda Punjab and Ankhi Jawan in 1st, 2nd and third respectively.

Bhangra dancing danceBhangra dancing dance

Nevertheless, will this yr see a change?

Ravneet Nandra, from Ankhi Jawan, stated:

“I feel you’ll be able to see patterns with the profitable fashion in Bhangra.”

“2015 and 2016 the groups that have been profitable have been Ankhi Jawan and Imperial. Then it shifted to GCC, UoB and Aston.

“Now it’s coming to the likes of Kings and Vasda. Who is aware of what is going to occur within the subsequent coming years?

“It’s fairly thrilling to assume there might be new dancers studying a brand new fashion that my era gained’t have recognized in any respect.”

As regards to whether or not Kings profitable this yr would have an affect on Vasda. Simrath Mangat, from each groups, stated:

*Vasda and King’s are separate entities, ergo they shouldn’t be in the identical query.”

“It’s unfair for a workforce of dancers to attribute a win they labored arduous for to an exterior staff until they ALL dance for that staff.”

“I might by no means take a College win and label it Vasda, or vice versa.”

Bhangra dancing bhangraBhangra dancing bhangra

Asad Afzal Khan, who has judged a lot of competitions, stated:

“It could possibly be anybody that wins Bhangra Fest. It is going to be very fascinating to see what groups do.

“Somebody goes to return out with one thing totally different.

“Individuals might have gotten bored of the tremendous fast-paced type. It involves the stage the place there are solely sure issues that you are able to do.”

Conversely, an nameless dancer revealed how troublesome it might be for groups to interrupt away from “the earlier profitable method”.

They stated:

“Every bhangra dancing staff tries to duplicate the earlier profitable formulation yr in yr out. On the present fee, it’s wanting like quick tempo units laced with spins, jumps and betke because the norm.

“It’s almost definitely gotten to the purpose the place a real people set wouldn’t place amongst present groups. As we now have created our personal picture of bhangra.”

Ishan Nandra, from Gabru Chel Chabileh, believes the height has been reached:

“I hate to say it, however I don’t assume the way forward for UK bhangra dancing is brilliant.

“When it comes to innovation amongst units and high quality of dancing, I feel it’s on the decline.

“I might like to see UK bhangra dancing scene flourish however I simply don’t see anybody topping the degrees which were set.

“Everybody must up their recreation. Individuals want to start out being revolutionary, have types and identities of their very own.”

Are GCC, winners for the final two years, aiming for an additional win?

Deepak Sethi stated:

“We’re becoming bored – all factors have been confirmed. We have now by no means taken a yr off from competing. However the motivation isn’t the place it was for 17 and 18.

“Nevertheless, individuals do need four stars and we do have some loopy concepts that folks have by no means seen earlier than. So let’s see.

”Perhaps see everybody at GCC Invitational 2019.”

bhangra dancing dancebhangra dancing dance

The Rise and Fall of New Dance Groups

Bhangra dancing dance compBhangra dancing dance comp

In 2016, as talked about in Way forward for UK Bhangra article, we noticed a promising future for a dozen new college groups.

Some groups shaped in the previous few years have shortly established themselves as elite bhangra dancing groups.

This consists of Jashan Jawani Da, Loughborough Bhangra and Hertfordshire Bhangra.

Each of the latter groups made assured TBS debuts and Loughborough gained Capital 2019.

That is regardless of solely beginning off their aggressive journey in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

Kyran Singh, captain of Hertfordshire Bhangra workforce, discusses causes behind this:

“The primary issues behind the huge enchancment is the dedication and keenness of the dancers.”

“Having an analogous core set of dancers has led to us with the ability to construct on this yr on yr.”

“It’s additionally right down to the onerous work captains and choreographers have put in through the years so as to maintain the workforce going.”

“We’ve got executed nicely to maintain dancers motivated through the years. Being good pals and everybody pushing one another actually helps.”

“Working from TBCu to Capital to TBS has made everybody need to carry out on probably the most aggressive stage”

Watch Hertfordshire getting ready for TBS

?ARE YOU READY???.Right here comes TEAM HERTFORDSHIRE.Hertfordshire might be hitting up the TBS stage this Saturday to battle it out for the 2019 trophy ?.Don’t miss out an night time of unimaginable dance in addition to our insane acts Panjabi MC, Raxstar, The PropheC, JK, Tru-Skool and Surinder Shinda ?. Combine: Amar Singh Kalsi.?TICKET LINK:…#TBS #TheBhangraShowdown #HertsGoesToTBS #bhangra #bhangrafunk #bhangralovePunjab2000 E3UK Kudos AV Story & Movement

Posted by The Bhangra Showdown on Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Jessica Gar-Lai Cheung, an important member of the Loughborough Bhangra group since its inception, stated:

“I’m so pleased with every thing the Loughborough workforce has achieved over the previous 5 years. It’s genuinely right down to the superb captaincy and management we’ve got had.”

“It brings me a lot delight and happiness to see the captains mix every of their strengths. To create a set that showcases their starvation and keenness for the artwork of bhangra.”

Bhangra dancing danceBhangra dancing dance

Amar Singh, the co-founder of Jashan Jawani Da, emphasises how essential it’s to have a supportive and thriving surroundings for the newer era of dancers:

“The workforce is full of people that need to dance and work onerous for one another on stage and off stage. I feel evidently it exhibits.”

“Once you take pleasure in what you do and the individuals you dance with share the identical considering then it makes every part you do that rather more fulfilling.”

These groups, in addition to others, have in a short time established themselves as position fashions for newer groups.

Bhangra dancing bhangra compBhangra dancing bhangra comp

Nevertheless, the previous few years have seen an enormous disparity in newer groups progressing competitively.

Capital Bhangra 2019 solely noticed 4 groups competing. A stark distinction from 2016 when there was a lot demand that two competitions have been wanted only for these new groups.

Why are we solely seeing some new groups persistently competing? Why are different new groups deciding to not compete?

Isha Dhillon Berik, the organiser of Capital Bhangra, tells us extra:

“It has been disappointing to see some groups fizzle out.”

“I feel that both the youthful generations haven’t proven any curiosity or they haven’t been guided by present groups.”

“Consequently, the group legacy has not been handed on to a different committee, choreographer or a captain.”

“It’s a disgrace often because there have been some actually good and passionate college groups on the market.”

“I need to urge new college students to point out curiosity or take cost. In the event that they don’t have a staff of their college then begin one!

Future of danceFuture of dance

“There are such a lot of people who find themselves prepared to assist. It’s nearly getting in touch. Individuals across the space or ex-students can be prepared to assist to show or choreograph.”

“Even at Capital Bhangra, we’ve an open area backstage and have inspired groups to assist one another. There had all the time been assist there for tying paghan, props, and so on.”

“We all the time purpose to create a pleasant surroundings with all of our competitions.”

“I consider that bhangra might help you make lifelong associates. I do see the older groups the place dancers have turn out to be like household to one another.”

“At college particularly, it’s essential to have that group as a result of it’s an escape from learning.”

“It’s a disgrace that some groups gained’t be capable of have this expertise anymore.”

Bhangra dancing compsBhangra dancing comps

Has the usual of bhangra dancing competitions elevated discouraged newer groups?

Isha hopes this isn’t the case, saying:

“I’m glad the usual has gone up as we would like groups to progress. When it comes to it being extra aggressive, I hope that this doesn’t discourage newer groups.

“We would like individuals to get together with one another, and perceive it’s extra about collaborating. It’s about displaying that tradition to the broader viewers.

“On the finish of the day, there is just one winner, however everybody that has competed has had a memorable and implausible time.”

Kyran Singh explores the explanations as to why groups aren’t competing:

“Could possibly be right down to accidents, or not having the variety of dancers. Even the period of time that’s wanted to take a bhangra dancing workforce to comp, will not be possible.

“My recommendation to groups who worry competing is to disregard the worry and simply do it.”

“The eight minutes you’ve got on stage are among the best experiences a dancer can have.

“I can see a variety of new groups coming by means of and making an excellent impression of their first competitions.”

competition selfiecompetition selfie

Heidi Sahota, who launched new women workforce Soneh Di Chiri (SDC), says:

“Beginning up a workforce isn’t straightforward, nevertheless it’s all about having fun with the method it doesn’t matter what. It’s undoubtedly a bumpy experience nevertheless it takes a number of braveness doing so.”

“Everybody needs to compete, however not many individuals have the center to go on the market and create a platform. Particularly for feminine dancers.”

“I’ve all the time felt that feminine groups are to be thought-about an afterthought, by no means a precedence.”

“With SDC, I needed to create a platform that showcased and prioritised ladies within the scene. I feel we did nearly that.”

Girls dance groupGirls dance group

Ishan Nandra, who educated up a principally new workforce for Aston Bhangra in 2018, stated:

“Groups have to have their very own imaginative and prescient and comply with it confidently. Give attention to your self and your workforce, and all the things else will fall into place.”

Watch Aston’s street to their TBS win in 2018

How does the UK Scene Examine to North America?

North America teamNorth America team

In The Way forward for Aggressive Bhangra article in 2017, there was a whole lot of curiosity to see whether or not UK groups can beat North American groups.

In North American competitions, some UK groups, corresponding to Josh Valaithian Da, have reached success. They’ve gained competitions and had their efficiency movies go viral.

Even with UK competitions, many stand out efficiency movies have amassed over 50,000 views. These youtube movies are adopted by a worldwide viewers.

There are differing views as as to if the North American or the UK circuit is superior.

Some have additionally argued that each scenes are too totally different to compete towards one another.

Extra UK groups have gone to North America to compete. Whereas in recent times, solely Surrey Indian Arts Membership from Canada has come to the UK to compete.

Amar Singh, who has beforehand competed in North America, stated:

“I feel the UK has the power to turn out to be the most effective place to compete on the planet for a Bhangra dancer.

“All groups are stepping up and it’s been refreshing to see having been within the scene for a very long time.”

Rav Deu, from Ankhile Bhangra, says:

“Whereas it will be good and positively thrilling to see the likes of NJ, SPD at our competitions. The very fact of the matter is these groups thrive underneath a totally totally different rubric to that which exists right here.”

“Their focus shouldn’t be a lot on a neat complimenting of choreo to combine with fascinating, never-seen-before formations. This want solely be pulled off with synchronised mildly energetic dancing.”

“Somewhat in North America, there’s a large emphasis on type and particular person expression. The usually will get ignored within the UK scene. For higher or for worse I’m inclined to say the latter.”

Shaan Punjab De & Nachdi JawaniShaan Punjab De & Nachdi Jawani

Ishan Nandra stated:

“The UK bhangra [dancing] scene has confirmed itself and that’s it.

“I do agree that the standard of some dancers within the North American scene could be very excessive – myself and lots of others within the UK do look as much as them.

“Nevertheless, we will argue that they’re not shifting round as a lot as we do and will not be dancing units as complicated as we’re.

“I feel if North American groups have been dancing units like we’re, it’d be an entire totally different ball recreation. Which they should step as much as.”

Shaan Punjab Dee (SPD) a profitable Canada based mostly workforce has gained a number of competitions in North America. Many UK dancers named SPD as one of many few North American groups that they might need to compete within the UK.

Prabh Saini, captain of SPD, responds to this, saying:

“I’ve watched a number of UK segments right here and there and I liked it.”

“We might like to compete within the UK however proper now we’ve no such plans. We’re getting ready for bhangra and giddha within the 6ix (held in Canada) in the mean time.”

It’s unsure whether or not sooner or later the UK scene will see North American groups coming or vice versa.

Each scene has advanced at its personal tempo and elegance, additionally with a contrasting marking rubric. This has made the talk over which scene is superior a troublesome one.

Rejuvenate the People


Folkstars, the UK’s solely stay competitors mentioned in a earlier article, final occurred in 2017.

There have been a number of plans and dates set in late 2017 and early 2018. It was not clear as to why the competitors was delayed.

Now there has not been a proposed date as to when the subsequent Folkstars will occur.

Isha Dhillon Berik, who organises Folkstars, says:

“We might like to see a Folkstars occurring in 2020 however the challenge we’ve got is that groups wrestle to seek out musicians and singers.

“Presently, we don’t have sufficient stay groups within the UK.”

“I strongly urge groups to get on board and in contact with me.

“Worldwide groups have an interest nevertheless it’s discovering a time once they need to journey over and compete. Their holidays and commitments are totally different from ours.

“As a lot as we might like to have worldwide groups, we need to have a very good stability with UK groups.”

women dancing teamwomen dancing team

Isha has additionally been encouraging women to get into giddha and making an attempt to create a platform for giddha for three years now. She says:

“Having Folkstars as a bhangra and giddha competitors may be actually good. It is going to be refreshing to alternate between the 2.”

When it comes to different people dance varieties, Vasda Punjab and Nachda Sansaar have each executed a variety of exhibitions.

This has been in Malwai Giddha, Luddi, Giddha and Jindua.

Dancers from Vasda Punjab have gone internationally to compete in these people competitions and have gained.

Sukhjinder Singh and Amritpal Virk competed in Malwai Giddha and Luddi in Punjab in 2019. That is as a part of Khalsa School, Patiala.

Satwinder Sunny competed in Bhangra within the Six in Canada in 2017.

Amritpal Virk stated:

“Competing in Punjab was a totally totally different vibe.”

“I liked how relaxed it was and the way a lot the workforce bonded with one another.

“This made it a way more fulfilling expertise.”

Visiting India Visiting India

Amar Singh says:

“I actually need to see the return of Folkstars. I feel the scene must push to maintain that facet alive.”

“Lots of people say they love people Bhangra so the curiosity is certainly seen.”

People Bhangra dancing requires information and assets, corresponding to people musicians and singers.

Nevertheless, the expertise and coaching is one that is still unparalleled from music competitions.

Simply over 100 UK bhangra dancers agree that there must be one other folkstars this yr or subsequent

Now the onus is on groups to make this curiosity seen for the organisers to make it occur.

folkstars teamfolkstars team

Recognising New Expertise

Bhangra Dancers AssociationBhangra Dancers Association

The Bhangra Dancers Affiliation can be launching the primary expertise present for academies that run courses.

That is occurring on Saturday eighth June at Winston Churchill Theatre in Ruislip, Higher London.

Natasha Kataria, the co-founder of the Bhangra Dancers Affiliation, says:

“The Bhangra Dancers Expertise Present is a platform for the non-professional bhangra dancers. This goals to bridge the hole between them and professional dancers.

“College students from bhangra academies from across the nation that train courses will get the chance to carry out on stage.

“At current, these college students shouldn’t have a platform to showcase their expertise to the broader viewers. It additionally recognises superb work these academies do.

“Individuals of all ages get to apply bhangra!”

This expertise present is split into Newbies, Intermediate and Superior class ranges.

Teams might be performing to each music and reside dhol underneath this similar class. This will depend on the totally different types that every academy teaches.

Talent showTalent show

The expertise present additionally creates a brand new pool of dancers for a future era, the place youngsters can take part.

Natasha tells us extra:

“They may have gained some expertise at an earlier age. Being prepped with primary bhangra expertise provides them a head begin properly earlier than they begin college and professional groups.

“Because of the numerous types of Bhangra dancing amongst these teams we now have invited 5 judges who’ve an enormous background of data in each the music and stay competitions.”

5 bhangra academies shall be performing. These are:

Absolute Bollywood Ltd, Apna Virsa Voluntary Group Organisation, Bhangra Dance London Lok Naach Academy, Panj Tara Bhangra Membership and Vakhri Tohr collaborating with Dance Bhangra.

Many members of the Bhangra group have been constructive concerning the expertise present.

Asad Afzal Khan stated:

“I feel it’s solely going to offer the scene extra recognition and a much bigger push.

“We have to see extra of those courses and academies relatively than simply specializing in competitions.


“For instance seeing the BDL youngsters carry out at Capital this yr was superb.”

There was an increase within the variety of courses and academies arrange throughout the UK. Notably at totally different ranges – youngsters, newbies or superior degree.

Billa says nevertheless that the aim behind these courses can differ:

“I do assume that the academies want to start out educating the basics of Bhangra dancing although. There’s perhaps just a few within the UK that really train correct Bhangra.

“Others are simply in it to make a fast few quid and a little bit of self pump.

“This defeats the aim of sharing your information to the subsequent era.”


Offering extra platforms for brand spanking new expertise, just like the Bhangra expertise present, is probably what this scene wants.

An nameless dancer stated:

“We’d like extra competitions within the UK. This provides different dancers an opportunity to compete as a staff can rotate the squad.

“One comp a yr signifies that the senior dancers all stick on for years. They don’t let go of a chance to compete to win.

“This additionally brings pointless scene conflicts and excessive private rivalries. Presently, groups are treating a comp as life or demise”.

It’s hoped that extra alternatives are offered for groups and dancers of all backgrounds and coaching ranges, who will competitively showcase their Bhangra expertise.

Is the UK Scene being Vocal within the Greatest Means?

UK teamsUK teams

In contrast to the UK, the North American scene has an open on-line discussion board. That is the Bhangra Groups Discussion board (BTF), which unites the scene nearly.

Anybody can ask for assist, obtain suggestions and work together with different dancers over numerous discussions.

A selected UK based mostly discussion board doesn’t exist anymore. This made it harder for groups to brazenly collaborate, search recommendation or interact in debates.

Amar Singh stated:

“I might say that we have to develop into extra open to seeing modifications in the best way we do issues.”

“We have to present extra respect for different groups and different opinions even when we don’t agree. I feel that’s how we will do higher.”

“Individuals concentrate on themselves on a regular basis. However no one needs to assist the era after themselves to take pleasure in this superb tradition”.

Just a few UK dancers or groups are vocal on the worldwide Bhangra Groups Discussion board. That is regardless of many nonetheless following and studying the discussion board.

A lot of what’s vocal, opinions sensible, with the UK scene is written both on staff group chats or on private social media.

This has made it harder to have an open dialogue amongst groups. And a few say this has made the scene extra political.

UK teamUK team

Deepak Sethi stated:

“I’m positive individuals understand how rife politics are inside the scene. You want rivalry for good competitors.

“What disappoints me concerning the UK scene is how individuals are afraid of being vocal and I don’t know why that’s the case.

“No one backs the controversy just like the GCC guys. The entire UK scene obtained referred to as out on BTF and no one stated something apart from GCC.

“Perhaps groups lack delight of their work? I don’t perceive what individuals are afraid of?

“You understand everybody’s screenshotting stuff of their teams, however no actual balls to say something.”

“Perhaps we simply symbolize the entire UK scene?”

In distinction, Simrath Mangat stated:

“It’s unhappy that there’s a lot of negativity and boards specializing in downplaying achievements as an alternative of specializing in self-improvement.

“A crucible of adverse variables leading to a concoction which is troublesome to abdomen for newer and older dancers alike.

“Leading to both shopping for into this ethos of overt rivalry, or leaving the scene. Finally it creates an unwelcoming setting.

“The times of previous comradery appear to be a distant thought. We should keep in mind that bhangra dancing is a pastime.

“Competitors is there to encourage the most effective out of us, not feed our egoistic tendencies to convey out the worst.

”All of us have our opinions however there’s needs to be a constructive medium by means of which we will share it.”


When many be a part of the bhangra dancing scene, they enter it as a pastime, an escape from research or work. And even as a method to study concerning the heat Punjabi tradition it’s related to.

Nevertheless, might these politics be affecting newer dancers and group’s selections to compete?

Rav Deu stated:

“All up for bringing younger individuals into the scene and the open class tradition that has exploded as of late.

“But when we’re to proceed down this street, we might do nicely to not let the newer era grow to be so entitled by a few wins. That they assume they’re god’s present to Bhangra.

“When in precise reality, they haven’t even discovered methods to appropriately use their palms.

“Furthermore it might be an enormous disgrace to lose the sharp competitiveness that when existed amongst the highest groups. GCC, wishing you a cheerful retirement”

An nameless dancer revealed:

“The UK scene has develop into so intimidating for brand spanking new dancers.”

“It’s appalling to see groups blame judges for outcomes regardless that they got here the place they have been deserved. Then dancers disrespecting different dancers and groups over social media.

“All of it’s pointless however is completed as an ego increase.

“There are too many individuals who pretend to help it for clout and scores. Despite the fact that they know that the scene is being made so hostile by merely a number of sure dancers or groups.”

Simply over 50% of dancers felt that the bhangra scene has turn into extra intimidating. Solely 31% thought-about it extra welcoming.

As disappointing as this can be, it’s right down to the longer term Bhangra group to vary this.

If the scene is to flourish collectively, the onus is on every particular person and group locally.

To persistently make extra of an effort to be welcoming and respect the work of others. And, to recollect the explanations as to why they began studying this vibrant artwork type.

art formart form

In Conclusion

The UK Bhangra dancing scene has seen its twists and turns in the previous few years.

There are highlights to look ahead to sooner or later, in addition to some challenges forward.

Whether or not it’s new groups beginning up or discovering it troublesome to succeed; whether or not it’s groups eager to experiment with one thing new, like People or Giddha or whether or not it’s making an effort to make the scene extra welcoming.

It’s necessary to not let politics impression its progress.

Moreover, creating extra aggressive platforms such because the Bhangra Dancers Expertise present could possibly be the best way ahead.

Nevertheless, this could solely achieve success if new groups are supported and inspired to take up the chance.

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