Dance Styles

Bhangra (Bh is pronounced using a soft P), is a traditional national dance of the state of Punjab, India. The first four letters of the word Punjab "Punj" means five, and the last two letters "ab" means water; hence Punjab is known as the land of five rivers. Traditionally it was and still is performed by men, to a drum called a Dhol. The true meaning of Bhangra comes from the stories which are sung as poetic lyrics known as Boliyan (pronounced Bo-lee-ahn). The singing of Punjabi Boliyan are incorporated from Malwai Giddha, or now seen as Baabeyan (elderly men) Giddha. After several google searches, wikipedia knowledge and many online documents or websites it is safe to say Bhangra has a very deep and long history starting prior to the partition of India in 1947. Prior to 1947, all men performed the traditional Bhangra dance and of course millions of people were relocated between the new nations of Pakistan and India. Therefore the 1950's saw the development of the free form traditional Bhangra dance in Punjab. Free form traditional Bhangra developed during stage performances which incorporated traditional Bhangra moves. It also includes sequences from other Punjabi dances, such as Luddi, Jhummar, Dhamaal, and Gham Luddi. In the last 30 years with the popularity of Punjabi music so has evolved the dance of Bhangra, now currently being performed by many youth particularly women in either all girls teams or part of co-ed teams to Bhangra re-mixed music. Culturally it was performed leading up to, during and in the Visakhi month of April, the Sikh Harvest. Today it is performed for festivals, family celebrations, cultural education, special events, and as a performance for many events private or public. There is an ever growing trend of Bhangra becoming part of a high school and post-secondary educational curriculum as well as fitness. Shan-e-Punjab has been teaching Bhangra to both girls and boys since 1993.

Giddha (the dh is pronounced using a soft D), is a traditional national female dance of the state of Punjab, India. This dance incorporates singing in the form of rhymes or poetic lyrics the essence of which are true stories of the life of women in their marriages, extended family relationships or depicting cultural experiences. Giddha is performed for many special Punjabi cultural celebrations such as Lohri, and Jago. At Shan-e-Punjab our students have recorded their own CDs and have coordinated Boliyan/Giddha for Mother's Day, and Viskahi. As well as a special Giddha in tribute to Miss Pooja. Shan-e-Punjab has been teaching Giddha since 1997.

Sammi (pronounced as Sammee) is a folk dance of the state of Punjab, India. It is performed only by women. Similar to Giddha it is performed in a circle and swing their hands bringing them up from the sides, right in front up to the chest level and clap. This is continued in a circle, Sammi has been performed at Shan-e-Punjab starting in 2009.

Bollywood is a nickname for the Hindi language film industry. Bollywood is the largest film producers in India while there are many others. Bollywood is derived from Bombay (the former name for Mumbai and Hollywood). The dancing in Bollywood films, especially older ones, is primarily modelled on Indian dance: classical dance styles, dances of historic northern Indian courtesans or folk dances. In modern films, Indian dance elements often blend with Western dance styles (as seen on MTV or in Broadway musicals), though it is usual to see Western pop and pure classical dance numbers side by side in the same film. Shan-e-Punjab has been teaching Bollywood since 1997.