Downtown Bhangra & Bhangra Village Dance Groups, Performers, and Speakers

Abbotsford Arts Academy | Abbotsford, BC

Abbotsford_Arts_Academy.jpgAAA’s aim is to encourage the youth of today to preserve their culture and tradition through bhangra, the folk dance of Punjab. Classes are offered for ages 5-18, and from 18+.


Al Mosaico Flamenco Dance Academy | Vancouver, BC

Al Mozaico Flamenco Dance AcademyFlamenco is a global art form that is gaining great popularity in Vancouver. Originating with the gypsies in Andalucia, Flamenco has grown beyond the boundaries of Spain and now belongs to the world. Flamenco dance and music embodies universal and genuine human emotion, which transcends culture to touch the souls of all people.

Al Mozaico Flamenco Dance Academy was founded by Oscar Nieto and Kasandra "La China" in 2002. The word Mozaico refers to the mosaic of students from different ethnic backgrounds, ages, fitness levels and economic circumstances who are drawn to the world of flamenco and come to study at the Academy. Over the years, Oscar and Kasandra have brought countless devotees to the art of Flamenco.

Al Mozaico Flamenco Dance Academy provides students with the very best flamenco training by integrating music, dance, and culture in its teaching methodology. Students learn to express themselves with dramatic movements and skillful footwork as they come to understand the exciting rhythms and soulful songs of gypsy music. Flamenco offers a rich transformative experience and a life long journey of discovery, challenge and development.

True Flamenco is a “cuadro,” an interplay between dancer, singer, guitarist, palmistas, and percussionists. In the masterclasses, our students are joined by Vancouver’s guitarists, cajon players, palmistas and singers for some real Jerez ambience! This setting provides a fun, enjoyable, non-competitive learning environment where students can explore, improvise and create their own choreography. Differences are celebrated, students encourage one another and teachers are firm but supportive. With this kind of training, students can realize their full potential and learn at their own pace.

Mozaico Flamenco has been a moving force in the world of Spanish dance for over 40 years, continuously pushing the outer edges of the artistic envelope. Al Mozaico Flamenco Dance Academy ensures that the tradition of innovation will be passed to future generations of flamenco students for years to come. We welcome a new generation of instructors that embody dance expertise as well as knowledge of kinesiology, music theory and flamenco cuadro performance experience.


Bhangra Beat Academy | Fraser Valley, BC

Bhangra Beat AcademyBhangra Beat Academy began in 2007 as one small team that has now expanded into teams ranging from beginners to juniors and seniors. They have competed in competitions all around North America, and have also placed in some of these competitions. Bhangra Beat Academy wishes to continue to spread the love and passion they have for dance.

Dave Bawa | Vancouver, BC

Dave_Bawa.jpgCutting-edge, versatile, unique and a true representation of home-grown Canadian talent—what better way to describe young newcomer Dave Bawa? Born and raised in Victoria BC, in an area with a minuscule South Asian population, he persevered to keep close to his roots and cultural ties. Dave showcases a unique style that reflects his urban influences yet stays true to his traditional roots, creating a perfect blend that provides a refreshing change to industry standards. Dave has recently joined forces with musical powerhouse Rayman Bhuller, whose undeniable production skills and extraordinary musical talent have accompanied Dave’s vocals flawlessly. Rest assured that this duo is ready to set the standard and provide the long overdue sound of real Canadian bhangra that listeners worldwide have been yearning for.


DC Metro Punjabi Arts Academy | Washington, DC

DC_Metro_Punjabi_Arts_Academy.jpgThe DC Metro Punjabi Arts Academy was created in 2006 to encourage and share traditional and folk Punjabi cultural knowledge amongst youth. Through the years, DCMPAA has opened four academies and teaches 10 different classes. Along with teaching students Bhangra, Dhol, and Giddha, DCMPAA strives to create a friendly, comfortable, and educational environment for youth.


 Grupo Axé Capoeira

Axe_Capoeira.jpgGrupo Axé Capoeira began in Recife in 1982. Today, as Canada’s first academy of Capoeira, the Group continues its rise as one of the world’s leading Capoeira organizations. Backed by worldwide releases of eight albums of music on CD, several VHS and DVD performance releases, and a four-volume instructional DVD compilation, enrolment continues to steadily increase with over 10,000 members around the world.

The Group continues to travel around the world and participate in competitions, such as the 2001 International Capoeira Competition in Argentina. Furthermore, Grupo Axé Capoeira is renowned for its promotion of the history, music, art, and culture of Brazil through interactive and educational demonstrations.


 Inder Kooner | Vancouver, BC

Inder_Kooner.jpgMulti-talented Vancouver artist Inder Kooner does it all: he’s a singer, songwriter, and, most recently, a solo artist: just this year, he released his very first single, “Gut Nagni,” produced by Popsy “The Music Machine” from the UK, which immediately shot to the top of Canada’s iTunes charts. He began in 2007 as a prominent member of En Karma, one of North America’s most successful bhangra bands. He has played at some of the top venues, supporting some of the biggest names in Punjabi music, including Shin DCS, Apna Sangeet, Heera, KS Makhan, and Malkit Singh. In 2012, Inder and En Karma opened the “Maharajas” tour for Jazzy B and Sharry Maan in North America to further cement their position as the best live band around. 


 Jawani Ka Jatka – Vancouver, BC

Jawani_Ka_Jatka.jpgJawani Ka Jhatka is a Bollywood and hip hop fused dance group from Vancouver, BC. They are an independently-managed group who not only represent their culture, but want to show everyone their individuality, passion, and unique style. With four diverse dancers, they are self-taught and have performed at festivals and fundraisers, collaborated with deejays, served as backup dancers for other artists, travelled throughout Canada, and much more. They also performed welcoming dances for the iconic singer Sonu Nigam and the highly anticipated Indian TOIFA awards in Vancouver 2013. They are one of Vancouver's top Bollywood dance groups and love being able to share their passion with everyone on stage.


Juggie Hundal | Port Coquitlam, BC

Juggie HundalBC grown talent, Juggie Hundal, has been progressing as an artist since his childhood, getting audiences of all ages on their feet and dancing without fail. Also known as the "Powerhouse Singer," due to the natural raw power in his voice and his dedication to music, Juggie is determined to become the face of BC in the Punjabi music industry. With his impeccable vocals and high energy, Juggie is ready to move past barriers and take Punjabi music to a whole new level. So stand back and get ready to blown away, because Juggie Hundal is just getting started.

Karima Essa | Vancouver, BC

Karima_Essa.jpgLocal dancer, choreographer, and instructor Karima Essa brings her passion for Bollywood music, movement, and expression to the stage, studio, and screen. Her performances capture the magical blend of fantasy, narrative, and spectacle that is the essence of Bollywood, which she in turn uses to captivate her audiences. Unmissable!


Nachde Shokeen Gabroo (NSG) | San Jose, CA

Naches_Shokeen_Gabroo.jpgNSG was born in California’s Bay Area in the summer of 2011. The dancers are bound by their love of bhangra, passed down from preceding generations, which compels them to showcase their talent to audiences all across North America. With their high-energy, crowd-pleasing performances for all ages, they hope to inspire others to carry on their traditions for centuries to come. Bhangra may has evolved over the years, incorporating modern culture into all of its aspects, but NSG is a team that never forgets its roots!


Nrtya Creations Bollywood Dance Company | Vancouver, BC

Nrtya Bollywood Dance SchoolNrtya Creations is a Bollywood dance company operating at the Scotiabank Dance Centre in downtown Vancouver. The company focuses on presenting classical styles of Indian dance—as well as Western dance forms such as Hip Hop, jazz, and contemporary dance—with a Bollywood flair for entertainment and storytelling. At Downtown Bhangra 2015, a team of engineers and scientists from UBC is showcasing an Indian folk style called "Lavani," a combination of powerful rhythms and beats of Dolki, popular in Maharashtra, Central India.


Orr Vancouver Israeli Dance School | Vancouver

Orr ChadashOrr Chadash ("New Light" in Hebrew) is the senior performance group of Orr Vancouver Israeli Dance School, which has been successfully running Israeli Dance programs around the Lower Mainland for over 10 years. Orr Vancouver fosters friendships and provides a sense of community for all dancers, in a creative, fun, and welcoming environment. Orr Vancouver, in Hebrew, means “the light of Vancouver,” and with our dancing we spread the light and spirit of Israeli culture in Vancouver and beyond.

PANJ (Pehchaan Apni Nachdi Jandi) | Surrey, BC

PANJ.jpgPANJ is an all-girls team from Surrey, BC. Since 2008, they have taken part in competitions all over North America, placing and winning trophies wherever they go. Their distinctive bhangra style, rooted in folk with a dash of modernity, will take you on home to the Punjab!


Rayman Bhuller | Vancouver

Rayman BhullerRayman has dedicated his life to pursuing his passion for music. Travelling the world from a young age, Rayman has had the opportunity to perform with acclaimed bhangra artists and bands. Inspired by his musical guru in Mumbai, Rayman opened up his own musical school called “Dhol Nation Academy.” His school taught youth the fundamentals of music as well as the importance of community involvement. His connections grew in 2009 when he met Sal Ferreras, a well-known percussionist, educator, and producer. Through meeting Sal, Rayman further developed as a seasoned musician with understanding of world music. He continues to learn and grow and believes that “music can be used as a platform to bridge the gap between cultures and communities.”

Similar to others in the industry, Rayman was born into a musically-orientated family. Although he grew up in a household where music was always around, it was never pushed on him. He was brought up with the support to pursue anything he wanted, but learned from an early age that music was and always will be his ultimate passion.

Starting off as a programmer and percussionist, Rayman ventured off and started discovering his own sound. One of his favourite projects was an album called “Inquilab,” produced with a non-profit label called Revolution Records. This label uses music as a medium to promote social awareness and change for South Asian youth. This aligns with his passion for working with youth and educating them on social issues taking place back home in India as well as in the western world.

He has performed with VIBC as a percussionist for the past 11 years, and has always encouraged his students to take part in the #BhangraLove offered by the non-profit organization. He believes VIBC enables youth in the community to showcase their talents and feel a sense of pride in their culture, which is in itself priceless.

Rayman’s next steps include continuing his work with RMB (Rayman Bhuller Music) and teaching with non-profit organizations such as South Asian Arts, a VIBC community partner run by Gurp Sian.

He is participating in Disorienting Bhangra on June 4 as part of the City of Bhangra Festival 2015.


Royal Academy of Bhangra | Surrey, BC

Royal_Academy_of_Bhangra.jpgFounded in 2011, the Royal Academy of Bhangra is the first not-for-profit academy in Canada to offer a formal Punjabi Folk Dance education with a syllabus consisting of three grade levels. The Academy’s Dance Director, Hardeep Singh Sahota, was key in the development of the bhangra syllabus program for all Canadian Dance Teachers, BC Branch. The Academy successfully uses the art form of bhangra as a creative outlet to promote skill, discipline, and physical fitness, and to provide team building and leadership initiatives for youth. The school offers training in Punjabi folk dances such as Bhangra, Jhummar, Dhamal, Luddi, and Malwai Giddha.


Shaan Mutiyaaran Di Bhangra Club (SMD) | New York, NY

Shaan_Mutiyaaran_Di_Bhangra_Club_(SMD).jpgSMD is an all-female bhangra team based in New York City. SMD was formed in June 2008 by women truly passionate about understanding bhangra as an art form, and dedicated to raising the stature of women’s competitive teams. In no time at all, it proceeded to establish itself as a premiere team in North America! Taking the competitive bhangra scene by storm in its inaugural year, SMD earned second place at Bhangra Masti in Toronto, ONT and third place at Bhangra Fever in Binghamton, NY, continuing its success at Bhangra Allstars in Albany, NY, where it placed third. In 2010 SMD placed second at Bhangra Fever in Binghamton, NY, second at Bhangra Fusion in Detroit, MI, and second at VIBC in Vancouver, BC. Since then, SMD has continued its resounding success at competitions across North America. The team marries femininity and grace with the fast pace of New York City, performing a beautiful style of folk dance that embraces its identity as a female team, while infusing the bhangra scene with a high-energy intensity that continues to excite audiences worldwide.


Shan-e-Punjab Dance School | Victoria, BC

Shan-e-Punjab VictoriaWith over 20 years of combined experience, these advanced students are also teachers—some of whom have been with SEP for 19 years. SEP held its 22nd year-end show on May 10, 2015 at the University of Victoria, where 200 students performed. SEP believes in promoting bhangra to the mainstream community, and has taught over 100 students at the Dunsmuir Dance Academy and Sooke Dance Academy. Together, they have many performing accomplishments:

  • Summer of 2014, opening ceremonies for the 20th reunion of the 1994 Victoria Commonwealth Games
  • Raindance Festival
  • Lester B. Pearson College’s 30 year reunion (bhangra workshop)
  • Office of the Auditor General, Diwali Celebration Event
  • Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Health (bhangra workshops)
  • Chinese New Year Gala event at UVic earlier this year
  • TV commercial for the Heart & Stroke Foundation on BC OMNI Punjabi TV
  • Grand Opening of Ten Thousand Villages in Uptown Centre (first Punjabi-managed bank)
  • Opening Ceremonies of the World Martial Arts Games in 2006
  • Performed for the Premier’s Office at the Parliament Buildings (BC Legislature) for the inauguration of the month of May as Asian Heritage month in 2010
  • Empress Hotel Gateway to India Event
  • BC Maritime Museum, Panama Maru Trial (The first ship of settlers from Punjab & India who landed in Victoria 6 months before the Komagata Maru)
  • Royal BC Museum as part of the FREE SPIRIT Exhibition in 2008
  • Bhangra Nation World Competition in Toronto in 2009
  • VIBC Junior World Competition in 2007
  • Disneyland in 2012


Shana Narula | New York, NY

Shana NarulaOriginally from Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania, Shana Narula is participating in Disorienting Bhangra on June 4. She received her BA in public health from The George Washington University and a Master's in public health from Emory University. She currently works as a public health professional, specifically in tobacco control, in New York City. She has been a member of Shaan Mutiyaaran Di (SMD) since 2012 and has been dancing since she was a young child. Shana and Laamia Islam, another SMD member, have recently started a new venture, Shaan Studios NYC, a dance studio for NYC youth.

Shan E Punjab Arts Club | Vancouver, BC

Shan E Punjab Arts Club (Vancouver)This club was founded in April 2007 by a group of passionate bhangra and giddha devotees, all of whom have countless years of practice and knowledge under their belts. Their joint passion for their culture, heritage, and musical art keeps this academy flourishing. Shan E Punjab Arts Club promises to keep the next generation connected with their beautiful folk dances, and to keep the ethnic Punjabi culture and heritage alive.


Shot of Scotch | Vancouver, BC

Shot of ScotchShot of Scotch was first formed in February 2011 in New York City as a venue for experienced, premier level competitive Scottish Highland dancers to continue to dance with the level of precision they had trained for so many years to achieve. In the fall of 2012, two of the founding members independently moved to Vancouver, BC, so Shot of Scotch is now an international group, with one branch established in NYC and a new branch in Vancouver! Both groups have a primary focus on performance, but also offer some highland dance lessons.

Along with a strong technical background, Shot of Scotch Vancouver brings innovation, showmanship, and a love of sharing their passion for highland dancing to every event they're a part of. Under the Artistic Direction of Susan Nase, Shot of Scotch Vancouver strives to create new, exciting, contemporary dance pieces while maintaining a high standard of technique, but also remaining true to the deep Scottish roots of the centuries old art form of Highland dance.


Surrey India Arts Club | Surrey, BC 

Surrey_India_Arts_Club.jpgFormed in 1975, Surrey India Arts Club is formed of like-minded individuals who are dedicated to preserving and promoting Punjabi/Indian language and traditions. In addition to performing at such major Canadian events as Expo 86, the Montreal Olympics, the Dragon Boat Festival, and Canada Day celebrations in Vancouver, Surrey India Arts Club has also taken part in events south of the border, such as the 2004 Blowout Bhangra 11 conference at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington DC, and the 10th Annual Punjabi American Festival in Yuba City, CA, where they performed alongside Jazzy B. Can’t wait to see what they have in store for us at Downtown Bhangra this year!

Video gallery

Tarun Nayar | Vancouver, BC

Tarun NayarTarun 'Tspoon' Nayar is a Vancouver based DJ/producer and tabla player obsessed with fusing Asian music and electronica. He tours the world with his band Delhi 2 Dublin, and is constantly crate digging for fresh sounds from second hand bazaars in Mumbai to the streets of Shibuya in Tokyo. He sees a trend around the world in the creation of a genre of music that is essentially genre-less… music that blends cultures, words, beats, and bass.

A prolific songwriter and producer, he is currently working on Delhi 2 Dublin's 4th studio album (with Nick Middleton of The Funk Hunters) and his second solo album. Tarun is also a founding member of Vancouver's Beats Without Borders collective (hosts of the city's longest running global electronica club night) and Jam Camp (an organization which runs improvisational music camps for kids). In everything he does, Tarun brings his hapa attitude: mix, mash, and repeat.

Tarun is participating as a panelist in VIBC's Disorienting Bhangra event on June 4, 2015 and performing with Delhi 2 Dublin at Downtown Bhangra at 9 pm on June 5. (Josli Rockafella photo)


UBC Ladies Bhangra Club

UBC Ladies Bhangra ClubMeet the UBC Girls Bhangra Club, a group of enthusiastic students who have a limitless passion for dancing! They enjoy performing at the UBC Bhangra Club’s annual fundraiser, “Exhibition India” (which this year raised thousands of dollars for the Make-A-Wish Foundation), and at other campus and charity events. Despite coming from diverse backgrounds, the team is united through their love of bhangra, and extremely proud to represent UBC on the prestigious VIBC stage.


Vancity Bhangra | Surrey, BC

Vancity_Bhangra.jpgThis Surrey team was established in 2012 through collaboration between young members of two local bhangra teams: PANJ Bhangra and BC Cultural Bhangra. The boys of Vancity love to showcase their passion for bhangra, and have already been acknowledged as worthy competitors on the bhangra circuit, winning Best of the West 2012, and placing second at Best of the West 2013. They enjoy performing as part of local celebrations, in music videos, and on stage with great artists.


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