Rupee Kainth, the president of BC Cultural Bhangra Academy was only four years old when he began his journey to becoming an accomplished bhangra dancer. He was a very determined child who had great interest in bhangra. Rupee participated and competed in numerous competitions during his college and university years, bringing laurels to his coaches: Ranjit Singh Rana and Hobby Dhaliwal. Destiny brought Rupee to Canada in 1997, where he met Sarabjit Cheema who introduced him to Surrey India Arts Club.
Rupee established his own venture BC Cultural in 2003, with merely two students! To begin with, the practise sessions were held in a parking lot with the music playing from his own car stereo. From there on, he has come a long way to building his own academy which now coaches more than 500 students. Rupee has a distinct passion for bhangra and great interest in the Punjabi culture. He is proud to be a Punjabi which translates itself into the décor at the studio. Rupee wants to preserve the Punjabi folk dance in modern day Canada. Rupee besides being a single parent, has given his heart and soul to bhangra. He has a set belief that he wants to bring bhangra in a large way to Canada. Bhangra requires a lot of cardio which helps encourage exercise and a healthy lifestyle. Another motto of BC Cultural is to watch for the quality of dancing, not quantity of students. Strenuous practise sessions are carried out by Rupee himself, and the instructors to achieve perfection. It is imperative to all instructors to further the development of the students in the best possible way.
The instructors at BC Cultural are very welcoming and many of them have learned from Rupee Kainth himself. It’s believed here that the basic moves of Bhangra need to be perfected in order to become an experienced dancer. Individuals of all ages are welcomed to learn bhangra, gidha, and even dhol. After the students have learned the basic moves, they are then able to perform with a team they are put in. There are a total of 25 teams which include Bhangra, Gidha, and Dhol.
The junior and senior teams have competed in competitions across North America, from Vancouver to Toronto and California to New York. These teams work very hard and put their sweat and pride into it. Hours and hours are spent on perfecting the moves and increasing their stamina which leads to victory. All forty-two of the competitions BC Cultural participated in, they have always placed in the top three. All this would not have been possible without the love and support of the students’ families.
The atmosphere at BC Cultural is very energetic and it is a place where one can get away from all their stress and worries. It is a sanctuary for several students and a place where they can express their feelings in a safe and healthy manner through this folk dance. This positive environment develops the inner strength of these dancers, which enables them to keep away from bad influences such as drugs. The connections and bonds built at the academy could never be made anywhere else. BC Cultural is a family where the new members are welcomed with open arms and soon they become part and parcel of the academy.
The students from BC Cultural give performances in various community festivals, such as the Fusion Festival at Holland Park and Canada Day Celebrations in the Greater Vancouver Area. BC Cultural is also very involved in the Surrey Vaisakhi Parade and the Vancouver Vaisakhi Parade. Also, BC Cultural raised $16, 800 in 2009 and $24, 000 in 2011 for Surrey Memorial Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit through fundraisers. BC Cultural Academy has a feather in its cap, wherein they were invited to do have performances for the Winter Olympics in the year of 2010.
Giving back to the community has always been BC Cultural’s goal and so far they’ve succeeded in accomplishing it. They plan on spreading the folk cultural dance throughout the continent. With hard work and determination BC Cultural has grown incredibly. Wouldn’t you like to be a part of it?