Now You Can Take Bhangra Classes For Credit In High School

SURREY – B.C. high school students can trade in their gym classes for instruction in Punjabi bhangra, a traditional Punjabi dance that is way more fun than gym.

The B.C. Ministry of Education now allows students to take bhangra classes for credit at the South Asian Arts Academy in Surrey, reported CBC.

“Students love it. A lot of kids have danced and played music throughout their lives, but now they can actually get credits for it — towards their graduation,” said Gurpreet Sian, an instructor at the academy.

It took Sian and fellow instructor Rayman Bhullar over five years to work out the details with the Ministry of Education and get the program running.

At no cost, students can learn how to play the dhol drum and get lessons in the vibrant dance of bhangra.

Students register through the Ministry-approved  iLearn DL, and once signed up, attend practices at the South Asian Arts Academy.

The only catch, they say, is that students must complete a couple of assignments and tests before a letter grade and credits are assigned.

Bhangra dominates the Indo-Canadian cultural landscape with year round programs that feature the dance.

“I like to compare bhangra to hip hop,” Sian said. “It’s this big underground subculture with competitions that happen all across North America, teams all over the place. Vancouver is sort of a hub you could say for bhangra dance, bhangra music.”

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