'Enjoy your life': Bhangra dancers debut in Yellowknife

A group of performers in Yellowknife is trying to share love, joy and Punjabi culture through the traditional dance of Bhangra.

'Pioneers of Bhangra' want to share their culture in the North

Mansher Singh, front, takes part in a Bhangra dance. Jeff Saini, back right, hopes to share the joy of Bhangra with Yellowknifers. (Kayla Rosen/CBC)

A group of performers in Yellowknife is sharing love, joy and Punjabi culture through the traditional dance of Bhangra (pronounced 'bun-gr-a').

At the first Multicultural Dance Gala and fundraiser for the Yellowknife sobering centre project on Saturday, the dancers took to the floor to put on what they say is the first Bhangra performance in Yellowknife, and potentially the Northwest Territories.

"I want to say that we are the pioneers of Bhangra in the Northwest Territories … and I, and all of our group, we feel so proud of this," said Jeff Saini, one of the Bhangra performers.

'We feel so proud of this,' says Jeff Saini, one of the Bhangra performers. (Kayla Rosen/CBC)

"Because Bhangra has been going on for centuries and we being Punjabis and being Indians, we were the first ones to do this in Yellowknife, this is so great."

It was important to Saini to perform Bhangra in Yellowknife, because he believes that life should be about spreading joy.

"I wanted to show to the world, you know, see, wherever we go we have fun, it doesn't matter where you are, you just have to do what you have to do, live your life and enjoy your life," he said.

The dancers want Yellowknife residents to join in.

They held a workshop last month and are hoping to do more in the future. Amrinder Singh, the choreographer for the group, said these free workshops will be open to anyone.

"I think around eight or nine people from outside [the group] joined us [at the workshop]. But I look forward to doing more workshops," said Singh.

Amrinder Singh is a Bhangra choreographer. (Kayla Rosen/CBC)

In the future, the dancers would like to put on more Bhangra performances and look forward to next year's Multicultural Dance Gala. They also urge anyone who is interested to join in.

"One thing, from the whole team, that we really want to share with the Yellowknife people and the people of the Northwest Territories is: please, please join us," said Saini.

"Our culture is to share love and we would like all of us to get together, participate together."