April 5, 2009

Bhangra is one of my favorite folk dances. It’s incredibly energetic and fast-paced, and so much fun to dance at Indian events. But crazy parties aside, bhangra is taken seriously at dance competitions, usually at college campuses.

Here’s the NYU bhangra team’s 2008 performance in Pittsburgh.

Bhangra music and dance originated in Punjab as a dance by farmers celebrating the coming of spring. Bhangra became popular when Punjabis migrated to the UK around the 1980s, and today many of the celebrated bhangra music artists such as Punjabi MC and Punjabi Hit Squad  infuse the traditional bhangra sound with modern hip-hop beats:

Let’s Dance by Miss Scandalous

If you’re interested in learning how to dance bhangra, the NYC Bhangra Club offers classes that are $10/lesson. There is no registration and membership is free. Performances are on a volunteer basis, so if you’re confident and eager to dance in public, you’ll have many opportunities to do so.


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