Learn Bhangra and connect to your roots

By Jessie Kaur Lehail —

This spring and summer, students from grade 10 to 12 can earn elective credits in Bhangra dancing and Dhol drumming at South Asian Arts and iLearn DL Secondary School, all while connecting to their roots.

Bhangra is a folk art originating from Northern India. Similar to hip-hop with its storytelling, precise choreography and visual aesthetics, Bhangra has had a historical evolution and resurgence, especially in the competitive scene.

With over 45 years of combined experience, instructors Gurp Sian and Rayman Bhuller have championed Bhangra as an art form in Greater Vancouver. Now they’re bringing Bhangra dance skills, music, theory and community experience to high school students.

“We use basic patterns and styling of Bhangra and combine them with modern steps,” says Sian and Bhuller. “Essentially, this is how the dance form has evolved and become popular in Greater Vancouver.”

Sian and Bhuller, who also teach Bhangra at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, developed choreography that is representative of the traditional dance styling but is accessible to a wider audience.

While the primary focus is on introductory skills, the courses also include elements of history and storytelling. They also celebrate diversity by empowering students through dance, music, and culture.

Students will engage in different styles of dance and music, connect in intercultural collaborations, and develop positive relationships with the extensive local and global Bhangra network.

South Asian Arts has been a leader in the arts and culture Bhangra scene since 2005 and performed at numerous events during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, including the opening ceremonies.

If you want to have fun, stay in shape and earn high school credits, contact iLearn DL Secondary School at 604-590-5504 or register online at www.southasianarts.ca

“The courses are welcoming and engaging for students who want to try something new, regardless of their level of dance or movement experience,” says Sian and Bhuller.

Bhangra and Dhol elective courses for grades 10 to 12

When: Registration closes October 21st and is open to all grade 10-12 students

Where: South Asian Arts Studio, 114-12827 76th Avenue Surrey

Price: Free. Call iLearn DL Secondary School at 604-590-5504 for more information or register online.