“Bhangra Dancers Awards was launched with the aim of uniting all Bhangra dancers from across the UK"
The first ever Bhangra Dancers Awards took place on Saturday 9th December 2017 at The Centre, Southall, London.
This entertaining evening celebrated another successful year of UK competitive Bhangra with over a hundred people in attendance.
With the increase in popularity of Bhangra music, Bhangra dance has also gained growing attention over the years.
The introduction of Bhangra competitions has fuelled the drive. Particularly for youths to get involved, take up the art form and experience the richness of Punjabi culture. And now, the next new thing to appear in the UK Bhangra circuit is the Bhangra Dancers Awards.
The Bhangra Dancers Award 2017, launched for the first time, celebrated the best of UK competitive Bhangra in a social dinner and dance setting.
The dazzling night took place at The Centre Banqueting, Southall. Uniting all Bhangra Dancers and those that appreciate the Dance, under one roof to enjoy an evening full of entertainment.
Fidpal, one of the organisers said: “Bhangra Dancers Awards was launched with the aim of uniting all Bhangra dancers from across the UK. The idea was to set up a platform that focuses solely on them and celebrate the successes throughout the year .
“My favourite part of the night was seeing all the different teams bonding together on the dance floor. You wouldn’t imagine that these are the same people who are about to go head to head against each other in 2018 season! It felt very rewarding!”
Eighteen teams had attended the event. Ranging from teams across London and even some coming from Birmingham and Southampton to support. Aside from this, there were dancers who had attended classes as well as friends and families of the teams attending too.
The awards were given out for the following categories: Best Male Dancer, Best Female Dancer, Best Jodi, Best Mixer, Best Bhangra Competition and Best Competitive Bhangra Team.
Here are the winners of the first-ever Bhangra Dancers Awards 2017:
Best Male Award
Sukhjinder Singh, Vasda Punjab at Bhangra Fest
Best Female Award
Jessica Gar-Lai Cheung, Loughborough Bhangra at Capital Bhangra
Best Jodi Award
Sanj Sanghani & Jessica Gar-Lai Cheung (Pink Jodi), Loughborough Bhangra at Capital Bhangra
Best Mixer Award
Lakhandeep Dhanda, King’s College Bhangra Mix at The Bhangra Showdown
Best Competition Award
The Bhangra Showdown X by Imperial College Punjabi Society
Best Competitive Team Award
King’s College Bhangra at The Bhangra Showdown
The winners had been voted for by the public using an online voting link. It was revealed that there was an overwhelming nearly 700 responses in a week! The voting had been extremely close, where within the last day, the winners had mostly all changed.
It was particularly that last few hours that made a huge difference with some categories tied. And in the end, there was only 2% difference for some awards, showing just how competitive it was.
All nominees have been entered either by default for winning the respective category title at a competition or by the renowned judges that have judged these competitions all within this current year.
Jessica, the winner of Best Female and Best Jodi said: “It was an absolute honour to be nominated for Bhangra Dancers Award in its first year of running!
“The event is a wonderful opportunity to bring together dancers from all different teams in the UK, from brand new recruits to experienced veterans, and recognise individuals for their contribution to the ever-evolving Bhangra scene!”
Performances on the night included Lakhy Bains. A London bred singer, part of Desi Crew and now Brown Boy Music. He is touted as the next big thing for Punjabi music. He has sung hits like ‘Yaariyaan’ and ‘Halaat’, where the latter has amassed nearly a million views on YouTube. Bains delighted the audience, accompanied by Dhol, with his debut performance.
Dancing performances included Bhangra segments from the organising team, Bhangra Punjabian Da themselves, and dancers from neighbouring teams Lok Nach Bhangra and Allaran Punjab Diyan.
Dhol performances were done by Imperial Drummers and the DJ who got everyone up on their feet all night were Calibar roadshow and Team B music.
The Bhangra Dancers Awards were organised by Bhangra team, Bhangra Punjabian Da. This West London based competitive team has diversified into promoting awareness of the Punjabi dance and encourage young people to take up the art form, by organising community classes for children and adults and performing at various events throughout the year.
Founders of the team, Fidpal and Natasha, recognised that there needed to be more in terms of recognition and celebration of the UK Bhangra Circuit. Out of their love for Bhangra was born The Bhangra Dancers Awards.
Natasha said: “Last year, our Christmas party was very successful and celebrated the success of 5 years of BPD. But it’s not just our team that celebrates at the end of the year; it should be a chance for every team to celebrate.”
Bhangra Punjabian Da has also teamed up with organisers to promote all Bhangra competitions as the ideal platform for Bhangra lovers. On the night, the committees of Imperial Punjabi Society and Folkstars, who both organise all of the Bhangra competitions in the UK, talked about what 2018 has in store for the teams.
Both university competitions will be happening in early 2018. The Bhangra Showdown will happen on 3rd February at Genting Arena, Birmingham. Whilst Capital Bhangra will indeed be staying in the capital for the end of March.
Isha Berik from the Folkstars Committee revealed: “Capital Bhangra 2018 will be completely different – an exciting competition between 16 teams across a weekend.”
Additionally, a charity raffle draw gave an opportunity for those attending to win tickets to these competitions. For the future, Natasha says:
“We hope to work closely with competition organisers and teams to bridge that gap between the two while still creating an environment to encourage positive and healthy competition between teams.”
Reflecting on a successful night, Natasha also said: “Next year we hope to have more award categories in store. We have learnt a lot from this event. And hope to make it bigger and better next year based on everyone’s thoughtful feedback.”
The Bhangra Dancers Awards 2017 was an exciting night filled with the zest of celebration, food, drinks, music and dance!
Congratulations to all of the winners!