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Spotlight on ASU’s new Bhangra Dance Team

I always thought dancing was a funny thing because I assumed it was as simple as black and white: you either can, or you can’t. But during these past couple of weeks, I’ve learned that, as in life, there is a TON of gray area in between.

As a member of the Muslim Student Association on campus, one of the main points of the club is to give a diverse group of students an outlet to demonstrate to the rest of campus how learning about new cultures and religions can be fun and interesting. We would put on traditional Bhangra (Indian/Pakistani) dances during our events since our club was formed last year and were welcomed with extraordinary amounts of applause and interest to learn and have been growing ever since. (That's me, in the bottom left corner!) 

But we never really had a chance to perform outside of App State. Well, that is, until now…

This past Saturday, we were invited to a “World Cultural Dance-Off” fundraiser at Wake Forest University that was sponsored by WFU’s chapter of Amnesty International. We all jumped at the opportunity, but since we only had a limited amount of time to schedule practices and come up with a dance, it seemed like an overwhelming thing to take on. We only had two weeks to practice, but we were determined.

We went there and competed against five other teams and were just more than happy to be there representing ASU and the diverse student body that we have here in our lovely mountain town as well as do our part to help raise money for the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC.

There were teams dancing Korean pop, tap, hip-hop, Dabke and Bollywood, so we were very fortunate to have been able to interact in a new way with people we had never met before. The people there were from a variety of cultures and backgrounds, with different beliefs, but we all had one thing in common: passion for dancing and sharing our passion with others.

Not only did we perform an amazing dance, but we ended up winning the trophy and the ability to say that we were able to connect with different people and spread diversity through an unexpected medium.  

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