Bhangra Nationals System Idea (Proposal)


Whats up BTF!

Last year and again recently there has been an idea that a Bhangra Nationals should exist for the circuit. When the conversation was first brought up around this time last year a couple people from around the circuit began to talk about a system that could be implemented to qualify teams to an eventual Bhangra Nationals and the feasibility of putting together said competition. We would like to present the initial methods for selecting teams and some of our plans moving forward.

Why Nationals?

From 2010 - 2015 there existed a competition such as Elite 8 or World’s Best Bhangra Crew that invited some of the best teams from across the world to compete against one another. These competitions fostered some of the most memorable performances still talked about on the circuit today. These competitions pushed teams to bring their very best throughout the year in order to be selected for these competitions and would further push them to their highest potential at the competition itself. We would like to bring back a competition like this in order to achieve that level of competition on the circuit once again.

What kind of system?

We looked at many many systems to see what would be most fair. We selected a modified Raas All-Stars (RAS) point system where competitions are tiered into either high tier and low tier. Designations are based on both 1) how long the competition has been running and 2) number of teams the competition usually hosts. To be qualified as a high tier competition the competition must fit both of these criteria. HOWEVER, a competition that proves in its first year they can bring a high caliber line up and host at least 8 teams may be bumped from low tier to high tier. There will also be ways for a low tier competition to prove themselves and be bumped to a high tier the following year. NOTE: this is not intended to call a competition out. If you look at the spreadsheet and feel that your competition should be placed in a different category please send me a message on BTF!

How are teams ranked?

For high tier competitions, points are assigned to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place as 5-3-2 respectively. For low tier competitions, points are assigned to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place as 4-2-1 respectively. An average of total points per competitions is taken and teams are ranked based on their average from highest to lowest. The average is used over total points because some collegiate teams or academies may have higher funds to compete 7 or 8 times in the alloted time period compared to another team competing 2-3 times. That being said, a team must compete at least twice in the time frame to qualify to Nationals. To account for collegiate turnover from year to year, a team must place at a competition between August-Feb before Nationals occurs. All placings from April-July would still be valid but this is in place to account for a team that may have done well one season but is in the process of rebuilding the next season.

When would this competition take place and why does the season run April - February?

Great question! We noticed that the dates of competitions like Elite 8 and WBBC were often late Feb to late March and is the time frame we would want the competition to occur. Because the bhangra circuit generally runs year round (as compared to raas or fusion that follow an academic school year) we thought that April to February maximizes the competitions available for teams to compete at least twice in order to qualify to nationals. We made the cut off for competitions to qualify end of February in order to allow 2-3 weeks for a team that gets in last minute the opportunity to figure out their logistical situation of attending the competition. The competition would then take place and reset the first week of April for the next year.

What next?

We obviously would like to hear any feedback or initial thoughts on the system (both good and bad). Please let us know if you think the system is feasible, if it is an accurate representation of the top teams in the circuit, etc. We understand that logistically there are many issues that will arise, but we would simply like to focus on the points system for now. While there is no set date/venue/location for Nationals as of right now we hope to make this competition a reality for the circuit. If you want to get involved feel free to send me a message on BTF with your thoughts and how you might possibly want to be involved.

Without further ado, the 2017-2018 Bhangra Nationals spreadsheet:

Again, this spreadsheet is not meant to call out a team or competition! If you see any discrepancies in the sheet please let me know! This spreadsheet also does not mean these are teams for the first Nationals. This is a simulation of if bhangra nationals were to occur this season.

***Note 1*** Some academy teams have been grouped together only because I did not know which team competed when and I apologize for that. If you have an issue with that please just send me a message with the correct info and I’ll be sure to fix it.

***Note 2*** West Coast Bhangra is a match-up style competition. The overall winner still received their 1st place points; however, every match-up winner was given the equivalent of a 3rd place finish since there were no proper 2nd or 3rd places.

***Note 3*** This was done for only MUSIC teams. Logistically we had to pick and choose our battles and while eventually having both live and music teams could be a goal we figured the best starting point would just be music teams.


New Member
Lmao the bhangra circuit just played itself.

For many years, I have wondered why bhangra has not created an actual championship; one that mimics Bollywood America, Legends or Raas All-Stars. Conceptually, it seems amazing. It methodologically distinguishes the best of the best. However, after taking part in the fusion circuit this past 2 years, I can say that there are many practical issues with a championship of this nature.

(1) It lessens the significance of every other competition. I am a dancer on a fusion team and this year we placed first at a bid competition (bid comps are distinguished comps whose placings are used to determine a team's ability to compete at the championship comp, Legends). However, due to technical legalities with the competition (you must attend 2 Legends bid competitions), we are inelegible to attend Legends. I am not speaking on behalf of my team but rather myself: as much as I loved the experience and am grateful for the experience at the comp we won, it was a bittersweet moment knowing you cannot portray the set at nationals. This is not just a one time problem, it happened this past weekend with another team. I am telling you guys this story not to fix the problem with this technical issue or anything but to encourage you guys to think about it from a competition board's perspective. If you are on board for any competition apart from the championship, your dancers care more about another competition than your own and your competition simply becomes a mean to get to the championship competition. That's a pretty hard feeling to acknowledge.

(2) It prevents bhangra performances from being diverse and taking risks. When the goal of every team is to win the championship, they focus even more on trophies and less on the impact of their set/ testing the bounds of bhangra. Take KPGD @ BBC for example. This team took a huge chance in portraying a plot within a bhangra performance. With everyone's perspective on their set aside, their set was very risky and pushed the circuit in a unique direction. Now, if KPGD's inherent goal is to attend the national championship (which it will be... every team's at their caliber will have this goal), then they would have never done this performance since they will use every competition they attend to increase their status on that list.

(3) It makes the circuit dynamic stagnant. It focuses everyone's attention, including audience member's, competition registration team's and judge's, on the teams that are at the top of the list. It makes it even harder for new teams to enter the bhangra arena.

(4) You guys are trying to objectify teams' statuses. That is exactly what placing at a competition does but the majority of the circuit can agree that our judging circuit is flawed. Before you guys compound flawed judging with a probably flawed championship competition entry method, fix the problem with our judging. I say this with high respect for judges; I can imagine it being a very difficult job. Still there are problems with placings (and these problems will probably always occur when you try to judge art). This just reiterates my point though, its nearly impossible to objectify a dance team's status. Even right now, in its conception, the "top 10" teams on that national's spreadsheet are very... controversial. I'll leave it at that.

I understand that theoretically, a bhangra championship sounds great. However, in action, there are many cons to it. As a simultaneous fusion dancer, I have had the opportunity to compare championships that occurred in the bhangra circuit's past (Elite 8, WBBC and Bruin) to fusion's (Legends and Bollywood America). My take away is that most of bhangra's circuit's championships have provided a means for teh most competitive teams to compete against each other without negatively exploiting the entire bhangra circuit. There are many things to consider before introducing this system into the circuit. Please consider them.


♥ BTF ♥
Staff member
Good post - I support this initiative (idea), but before deciding to move forward, it would be very beneficial to get input from the fusion & raas circuits. Especially, from those individuals who have been a part of those circuits for YEARS.

Also, all "chosen" competitions would have to be on board with this idea & where their competition sits in the rankings. Once on board with the idea, the competitions could help promote the idea by placing it in their marketing materials as they try to get teams to apply.

~ Basim :)
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These are definitely some good points that you bring up and again i just want to reiterate that this just an idea. we're not actually forcing onto the bhangra circuit. we're presenting it because it's talked about multiple times now. @Basim thanks for changing the topic title

In regards to your four points:

1) So yes it sucks that you guys only were able to get into one Legends bid and won but won't qualify to legends. I think to combat that we want to try to have as many competitions as possible fall under the umbrella for Nationals. By doing so there should be the opportunity for a team to compete at at least 2 competitions and if they place at both qualify them towards nationals. When it comes to these competitions, we really want to avoid interfering in the competition itself. We want them to keep their rubric and their MO. We believe that if we are hands off and just providing points afterwards, comps shouldn't have a major issue or feel like we’re taking away from their comp.

2) For nationals itself, we believe that certain competitions in the past have presented a rubric that has appeased to both folk and modern/risk take/creative/whatever-you-want-to-call-it bhangra teams. If your team were to win MCB for example you’re probably on the folk side whereas if you win Mela you might be on the more creative/crowd pleasing side. Yet your team won and should be recognized. By having a nationals rubric that’s balanced in between it still allows teams to take risks, be create, push the boundaries of bhangra if they choose too without stepping outside of their teams MO to fit a rubric just to win.

3) While yes, maybe some comps will go out of their way to recruit a current big name according to the current standings of points; there are so many competitions and so many comps that overlap that theres no way that it would only be the top set of teams competing. In addition, if you take a look at the spreadsheet, some teams that actually competed more but did not place at all the comps or had bad luck or blame the judges or whatever you want to say, ended up having lower averages. This will encourage teams to be a little more strategic in picking and choosing competitions they compete at. This goes back to your first point about lessening the significance of every other competitions. I think it would actually be more important for teams that they choose competitions that are the best fit for them and compete often enough to give them the best chances of qualifying to nationals.

4) Yes, I agree that some of the judging is flawed in the circuit but no matter what (like you said) its going to be subjective. However, something that’s always been told to me that the reason a panel exists and comps aren't judged by one person is so that there is balance going on. It comes down to picking judges that judge to a rubric and we hope that any competition, not just ourselves, would hold their judges to that. But at the end of the day it can’t be perfect and nothing that we’re able to enforce.

You talk about how comps like Bruin, Elite 8, WBBC never really interfered with the circuit and i agree and thats what I would like nationals to do as well. The only thing we'd like to do is justify our line up using the placings from other competitions. At the comps you mentioned there were always teams in question as to how they made the line or in the case of bruin being late in school year that teams can't always go. By providing a competition at a more convenient time with a justified line up we hope that we would be able to push teams to want to push themselves to be in this competition and ultimately win and be recognized for the work they put in the entire season.


Well-Known Member
BTF Mixing Mod
To put it simply, this is a bad idea and I’m confused as to why anybody with so much circuit experience would think it’s not. I also do not know how it is possible to compare the Bhangra circuit with the raas and fusion circuits as they are barely similar except for the fact that they involve a bunch of brown people dancing.

The raas and fusion circuits are predominantly if not fully collegiate, which almost completely removes the possibility of a team like Tune Squad or DDR to compete. Under this system neither of those teams would be able to compete at a nationals event if they have not competed all year, even if they will bring in the best dancers and sets. Same goes for teams like JJ as was mentioned in the mbt many of the most insane performances on the circuit came from teams who only competed at one comp all year (NJ Boston, JJ elite 8 2015, BK Bruin 2014, etc...). I understand your point that this system will hold these teams accountable and more likely to compete throughout the season, but that’s just not reality. These independent teams are not school funded and a lot of the time they have to drop comps since they cannot raise the money on their own.

Also, there is literally no fair way to determine how many points each competition gives to a team/how heavily it’s weighed because of the huge differences in the rubrics. There is in that regard a huge difference between folk and modern comps like mcb and Bruin. A team can excel at one and experience a train wreck at the other just depending on their style of dance. I assume there is no folk form of fusion and that raas rubrics are pretty standardized throughout for this system to work in those circuits.

So again, building a model for college teams and imposing that on independent teams is just a bad idea altogether. I understand that when teams like mbt don’t get into comps like blowout it’s a big deal, but making this circuit more like Bollywood America is not ideal.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
I'm assuming you have, but have you thought about using the ELO ranking system? Might combat the obvious bias that'll pop up when it comes to 'ranking' different comps


Well-Known Member
Staff member
I really support this and think it has the potential to take off into something amazing for our circuit.

@TegHans had a good point in my opinion that this system works well in other circuits due to their circuits consisting of mostly, if not all, collegiate teams - whereas our circuit has many, and is driven mostly by, independent teams. It makes our circuit unique, and like Teg said, has been responsible for some of the more recent memorable performances. However, I think that overall our circuit can be a little more cohesive than it currently is. Some sort of competition like a nationals (whether it is formally called "nationals" or not) could very easily produce the best lineup of the year and build some hype around other competitions if points are on the line for certain teams to qualify.

So what if this same idea at least started out as another invitational competition (essentially an Elite 8 or WBBC that was based on this point spreadsheet)? I know a common critique for Elite was the subjectivity of deciding who was invited, so this could help resolve that issue. This way it wouldn't impact other competitions in the circuit (which was an important critique from above), yet it would still provide that extra level of cohesiveness to the circuit. This sort of game-changing idea will obviously have some teams buy into it hella and other teams not buy into it at all, so making it a separate competition can be a great starting point.

Let's be real, who wouldn't want to see Soormay, NJFL, FCB, AEG, Vancity, etc. battle it out with a touch of collegiate teams in the mix?
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Tough times never last, but tough people do.

I disagree with every competition having less significance...

If every comp had a greater impact, meaning, if you went to a competition, and winning or placing meant more than just winning or placing at that specific competition... winning or placing becomes an even bigger goal. Then every team comes in hungrier and the show just gets that much better.

You are correct in teams maybe taking less risk... But I'd argue that the competition itself should be designing their rubric the way they want to promote risk, promote dancing, folk, etc. whatever that comp wants.

Howie Magz

Well-Known Member
I think this is a great idea. Having been a part of the WBBC board in the past, we have always selected teams based on reputation, consistent wins/placings throughout the season, and having a general knowledge of the circuit. This model has worked in the past because our board included members who have danced/ currently dance in the bhangra circuit. However, I think that we should put some points system in place because it helps give people something to work towards. With competitions like WBBC and Elite 8 no longer existing within the circuit anymore, I think that before we get this topic going, we should formalize a competition that used to have the prestige of Elite 8/ WBBC.

If people are against that idea of bid competitions, we should have a board of let's say 5 individuals who are experienced that can pick the lineup for this so called "championship". This can include 3 current people active in the circuit who have wealth of experience (independent and collegiate captains) and 2 people who used to be a part of the circuit (independent and collegiate as well). Also judges should be elected by these individuals and for the teams competing in this competition to agree upon to get rid of judging issues that can arise.


New Member
The only criticism I have stems from how much independent teams have an impact on competition lineups/placings. Many strong collegiate teams find themselves in competition line-ups stacked with strong all male/all female teams. The performances at these competitions may not make the cut for placing, but definitely warrant a spot on an all collegiate line-up.

It also brings a disadvantage to strong teams who can't afford/ fund to go to many competitions-esp if they aren't blessed with being a good location. BB 2013 & 2014 winners UVA weren't exactly super active, but when they were, they were in strong lineups and had strong performances.

Ro-B don't you have like exams to study for...SMH