How do you rationalize to yourself and others the amount of time you spend on Bhangra?


Well-Known Member
Yes, you can explain to parents all the amazing job prospects offered by other college students at bhangra mixers and after parties.

I once tried explaining to my father why joining marching band in high school would be a great career development choice. He then left slapped me, and threw a mathematics book in my face.
And here you are trolling people on btf.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
I started Bhangra to break out my comfort zone. After my mom was diagnosed with cancer during my senior year of high school, I really closed my self off from people that were outside of my immediate family and grew distant from a lot of my friends. I had never danced before, so I knew that deliberately putting myself in an uncomfortable environment would force me to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. In the process I gained a support network that really helped me get outta my funk. Once my mom passed away, coming up on three years ago, it was my friends that I gained from being on the team that helped me cope with the inevitable depression that ensued.
Other than the support network, being a cap just prepared me for life in a lot of ways and I grew up because of it. Learning how to logistically run a team making sure finances and travel is all in order. How to manage my own emotions during times of stress and frustration, something I still work on today, but it's def something I'm getting better at. How to communicate with other people in order to better connect with them and teach them. All really valuable skills that can help anyone in pretty much any field.


Active Member
Bhangra has given me so much that I always feel a need to give back somehow, small or large. How much has bhangra given me? It has given me my husband, my best friend, majority of my other friends and brought me out of my shell. Sure, my parents didn't see it as such when I was actually dancing. They thought it was a waste of time. Now.. they're the ones who push me into the middle of the dance floor so they can show others how their daughter dances bhangra.

I was also more of a competition organizer than a dancer, and that it self gave me so many skills I utilize in my daily life. For one, organizing a wedding helps a ton when you've organized competitions before. It also looks great on a resume! Recruiters/hiring managers I've dealt with LOVED it when I explain bhangra and that I used to be a "competitive dancer" or a festival organizer (VIBC).

I rationalize still participating in it (albeit in a smaller way now) because bhangra gave me so much. My soul would feel empty if I was not still involved or stopped following bhangra completely.


Active Member
ayyy dawwgg you already know what it is eskettittt. I handle bhangra the same way Im winning this rap game (btw j cole got nothing on me eskettittt). yall already know I declined that Harvard scholarship bc the didn't have a D1 bhangra sqaud!

but yo yo in reality fam I spend all this time on bhangra bc without it I wouldn't have met my Gucci gang and my main homie smokepurrrppp. Now my Gucci gang on our way to the (top)!

and yo of ur mom/dad/aunty don't like u dancing around bc they think it's a distraction.... boiiii u go tell them that your Gucci gang (which ever Gucci gang you on) gonna be the best best A1 bhangra team in the world dawg. we all got dreams homie we gotta believe in ourselves first you know what I'm sayiinnn eskettittt.



Active Member
Staff member
Is the only solution to just get good grades and never bring it up? Any ideas?

@aabraham, Although that was my “solution,” I challenge you to do far better than me. I got into 3-4 years of shouting matches with my parents and wouldn’t answer their phone calls for weeks at a time. I regret hurting them for the sake of keeping my dancing secret.

In hindsight, I wish I did more of what I learned from transparent, take responsibility for mistakes, and understand that people can’t always help how they feel.

At the end of the day, it’s a privilege to have parents who want the world for you. But they often dream up these tightrope-like paths towards success. Of course you’ll fall off, but trust that finding your own way to move forward is when you can grow the most.

If I may suggest that give yourself permission to grow, and still forgive yourself as you find your own way to still be a good son.

Hope you learn from what I did wrong, and do keep us updated with your progress. :)


Another question for you guys since I’ve spent so much time thinking about this. Im a co captain of a smaller team in Nashville and all we want to do is learn more and get better which takes up so much headspace and time. Like many of you, all of my free time at school is spent on thinking about the team. Ways to improve, critiquing videos, thinking about our future etc. Because of this my parents have always wanted to me to step down from captain or just straight up quit the team. They think its a distraction and takes up too much time.
Your parents want what's best for you, they want you to be successful, but that's wrapped up in wanting you to be happy. That's ultimately what I had to tell my parents, something to the effect of "You want me to be happy, this makes me happy, I will be unhappy if I have to stop." Just keep your other commitments up, show them that the big picture is still one of you doing well in school, being healthy, furthering yourself, etc.

I will throw one caveat in -- I think the fact that you're trying to bring up a smaller team adds a unique element to this problem. Being a captain of any team is a huge time commitment and you priceless things learn on the job, but I definitely have felt that captaining a young/small/rebuilding team can be a much more draining experience than working with a more experienced team that has established systems and expectations of its dancers. So going back to this whole idea of dancing to be happy... make sure you are in fact happy. If you're spending all your free time thinking about bhangra, that's a sign of your commitment and passion, but it's really important not to solely carry the burden of your team's success. Bhangra can be a massive time suck, and it's worth it if you're seeing all the amazing benefits everyone here has already outlined, but if you're losing your sanity and not able to take any time to be yourself, hit pause and check to make you're giving your team a proportionate amount of your "headspace and time."


Tough times never last, but tough people do.
@aabraham the extra interest you're seeing from interviewers is how I got my parent more onto my side. its tough to try to explain to a generation of parents that grew up with nothing but school being the ladder to "success." So much is determined solely via test scores and grades in India that they just don't know how much everything else matters here in NA.


Staff member
I think my favorite part, and what really keeps me going without a second thought, is the period of preparation leading up the comp/comp itself. Looking back, my favorite memories are tied in with experiences that felt the worst in the moment. Like finishing a practice before Bruin at 3:00 am on a Wednesday, and then going to the library right after with some of the other dancers to cram for a midterm Thursday morning. We're all lowkey dying, but we're dying together. No one else knows that you just hit 3 run-throughs or that your shins splints are killing you, etc. Despite all that, y'all will still find some shit to laugh at. I really enjoy the camaraderie that's built in a group of 12-16 dancers in that time leading up to a competition. The icing on the cake is the performance itself. Going and performing in front of 50-60 family/friends/alumni who buy out the first 3 rows just to support is so powerful and addicting. No matter how our dancers feel about bhangra/comp prep etc. before a performance, the experience on stage changes their attitude 10/10 times.


I can relate to most of the people who wrote on this thread.

For me, my mom pushed me to start doing bhangra at a very young age (around 6-7 years old). At that time, I didn't see the point of doing it, all I knew was that forced to perform with other girls my age at vasakhi melas and other Punjabi events. As time passed, bhangra slowly grew on me, and I began to have a passion for it. I performed at every Punjabi event and couldn't stop.

Going into my teen years, I began to watch bhangra videos on GTV. Seeing those YouTube videos of teams competing inspired me to go to the next level and try to compete. So, with the help of my cousin (who found a team for me) and mom's support, I joined a collegiate team at 15. At that time, i didn't know that I would have to sacrifice hanging out with my HS friends and even a relationship with a close family member who disagreed with me competing at the college level. It did hurt to see those changes, but all I knew was that I just needed to keep my grades up for me to do bhangra. So, I did just that.

Now, at 17 I am grateful for all bhangra has given me not just for the countless lessons that I have learned about my culture but for the bonds I have made with people in the bhangra circuit. A huge reason why I continue to do bhangra is for the passion that still keeps burning in my soul to keep getting better and better.

My biggest thanks has to go to my mom not only for making me food when I come home from practice at 2 am but for the constant push and support since day one
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Ne Asi Gabroo Desh Punjab De ;)
Nice tag @sahab

Honestly when I started dancing I really didn’t rationalize the time. I probably should have ?

I learned either way you’re going to have to put in the hard work if you want to be successful in the circuit. You can can cram like cramming for an exam or practice ahead of time so it doesn’t all pile up. See what works for your schedule best and move forward with it.

In terms of WHY. My reason initially was because I saw videos of KJ and LBC and wanted to be on stage lol. As the years went on the training and atmosphere became fun. Then the desire to achieve a goal and improve season by season became very enjoyable.

Howie Magz

Well-Known Member
Dancing has taught me leadership skills as leading a Bhangra team is like leading a organization to success. Naturally I am an introvert and Bhangra has taught me to become more assertive and extroverted (thanks @Ankush ). I personally would say that you shouldn't sacrifice your grades for this dance, but if you have time management skills then you can succeed in college/grad school and still dance competitively. I have heard many success stories of people who did both in College/Grad School so reach out to them in regards to how they succeeded.

I started dancing Bhangra for the competitive aspect of it. I was attracted to this circuit because of the chance to compete against teams across the nation. Having played high school and travel team Baseball, I always wanted to continue competing and luckily I found Bhangra. Winning/placing at comps has always been the main driving factor for dancing. Seeing your efforts paying off in the form of a trophy has always been an addicting aspect. Alongside that note, I have made some of my best friends through Bhangra and was able to travel across the nation to compete visiting cities that I never thought I would go to.

Having a honest talk with your parents is key to helping them understand why you dance. I have had conflicts with my parents in regards to dancing as they were worried that it would conflict with my academics. I promised them that as soon as they saw my grades slipping in a single semester (less than a 3.5 GPA) I would stop dancing. I am almost 100% sure that if you perform well in school and dance simultaneously, they would have no problem with you dancing.

For all those who are currently dancing I highly recommend trying to obtain a leadership position within your team (captain, choreographer, making formations, and etc.) It really challenges you to be outside of your comfort zone and learn to deal with people's egos and personalities. You learn really how to work with other people and also how to make people work for you.


New Member
To be honest its always been more about the music than bhangra for me. If the music isn't fire then you're not going to want to dance, but the two go hand in hand you can't just be doing basic ass moves to fire mixes it just won't hit and vice versa. In bhangra you hear the hype in the mixes, but sometimes don't realize that some how the mixers find ways to take elements from so many sources you would never think of. Shout out to mixers like Klassikhz and 2Nyce, two role models who I am acquainted with and have like gotten music from since before they blew up because now both have professional careers from just being good producers, which is really cool to see and something I aspire to do. I think bhangra has grown a lot because of that and I have been fortunate enough to witness that live at Bruin. I've been watching Bruin and DRP, my current team, since I was a little kid. I grew up dancing cause my dad danced as a captain for GNDU in the 70's.

The reason I still dance is because its a cool way to connect with Punjabi culture and to my Dad. For me growing up in San Diego there weren't even many brown people to begin with let alone Punjabi people, so its a cool different vibe being exposed to so many various other people with similar interests as you that aren't just forced to dance at like a mela or reception thing. The fact that even non brown people have enough passion to care to watch videos of us let alone like participate or make teams still blows my mind because its just something I never would have believed if you told me that like a year or two ago. It helps spread culture and people learn about what kind of people do this stuff. I have witnessed a lot of racism growing up because my dad wears a turban, but then I came to college and heard someone that was not brown say "oh that's a pagh with a turla a traditional headwear for bhangra", which was really cool to me and made me proud to like be a part of this system.

One thing I do miss though from the old days is the competitive aspect of bhangra, which I have seen a lack of today. Like the people on the teams were a little overboard in my opinion getting tatted and stuff, but there is just a lack of competitive nature in the circuit. In the past a bunch of teams would show up to bruin like 07,08,09 and it would be like ok who is going to win not just one team that like everyone gives into. Nowadays teams will just drop if they see top notch teams show up like SPD,FCB, AEG, etc. Watching old elite 8 videos I saw that fire and genuine expression in those dancers in that moment they are dancing that's it. Going forward if big name competitions such as Bruin keep having competitive lineups like this past year I think the bhangra circuit may thrive otherwise it will cease to exist in a sense because people aren't going to pay to watch something not entertaining because that is what competition brings.