Bhangra dancer goes viral after sharing videos from B.C. landmarks
Gurdeep Pandher's videos of bhangra dancing at iconic locations in B.C. have gone viral
Gurdeep Pandher wants to use bhangra dancing to fight racism.
The Yukon-based dance teacher's videos of him performing the traditional Punjabi dance with people across iconic locations in B.C., including Long Beach in Tofino, the Ucluelet Lighthouse, and downtown Victoria have gone viral.
On Friday, he brought his message to the MLAs at the legislature in Victoria.
"It was wonderful to travel your province and to meet so many lovely people ... and to spread the message of positivity and joy, which I think is even more important these days," he said to a group of MLAs and staffers.
Watch Pandher give a short tutorial on bhangra dancing:
Pandher, who is originally from the Yukon but is visiting family in Abbotsford this summer, said he started posting videos of his dancing earlier this summer to raise people's spirits and share a message of hope and inclusion.
"I find that one reason behind racism is lack of education," he said.
"When people come to learn ... it creates more deeper connections and when people know other people in a more deeper way ... through bhangra, it raises education. It creates awareness."
Bhangra, a traditional form of dance from Punjab that celebrates the harvest, has been part of Pandher's life since he was a child.
An IT specialist by trade, he gained internet fame earlier this year when he moved his dance classes online due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Sending happiness and positivity from Long Beach, near Tofino, of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve on Vancouver Island. <a href="https://t.co/UIyjbm4n6A">pic.twitter.com/UIyjbm4n6A</a>—@GurdeepPandher
He says hundreds of people signed up to learn bhangra during the pandemic. His classes were by donation and he gave a portion of the money to help fund COVID-19 relief efforts.
"I believe that through my bhangra, I will continue bringing people together," he said.
"It's a happy dance, its a positive dance, and dance is a universal language."
Honoured that Nanaimo Fire Chief Karen Fry & fire fighters visited me on my way back. They also brought locally made nationally famous Nanaimo Bars. The Fire Chief and I also danced some Bhangra moves together. Thanks, <a href="https://twitter.com/NanaimoFire?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NanaimoFire</a>, for your kind effort! <a href="https://twitter.com/cityofnanaimo?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@cityofnanaimo</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/Karen_Fry?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Karen_Fry</a> <a href="https://t.co/YpLFn2mPix">pic.twitter.com/YpLFn2mPix</a>—@GurdeepPandher