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'Dancing brings people together': Bhangra dancer brings joy, hope and positivity tour to Atlantic Canada


A Bhangra dancer from the Yukon has brought his cross-country tour aimed at bringing joy, hope and positivity to Atlantic Canada.

Gurdeep Pandher has been teaching Bhangra lessons for years. But it wasn’t until a video he shot in Whitehorse in 2016 went viral that Pandher took his dancing to the next level.

Pandher’s videos have been watched over 50 million times. He says the virality of his dancing has helped him create opportunities to collaborate with Indigenous dancers, CalTech musicians, and even highland dancers.

A traditional folk dance of the Punjabi people, Pandher explains that Bhangra was created by farmers “to express their [gratitude] to the land.”

Now, he adds, Bhangra dancing is becoming more popular at wedding receptions and is an effective workout routine.

Now on a cross-country tour, Pandher has spent the past week in Cape Breton and Halifax areas, before moving on to Newfoundland and Labrador.

“I’m really enjoying this side of the country,” he says, noting many Nova Scotians have recognized him and asked to take a selfie.

Pandher has been documenting his journey on social media, where he has shared videos of him dancing in Mabou, at Inverness Beach, and at Halifax’s Public Gardens.

A video of Pandher dancing to bagpipes at Peggy’s Cove has garnered more than 128,000 views on Twitter.

With a mission statement of togetherness and bringing people joy through dance, Pandher says he found himself becoming more passionate about his work when the COVID-19 pandemic began, and feelings of fear and uncertainty became more prevalent.

“I believe dancing brings people together,” Pandher says. “It breaks down barriers and it also creates hope and positivity, which we all need.”

For Pandher, the love and support of viewers around the world has been the most meaningful part of his teachings. Particularly through the pandemic, Pandher says he has received messages of gratitude from doctors, nurses, teachers and their students. One class even created a project based on his dancing videos. He was also honoured to receive a personalized and homemade hooked rug delivered to him in the Yukon all the way from Newfoundland.

“People from different cultures can make beautiful art together. It gives a very powerful and very important message: we can create a beautiful co-existence together.” Top Stories

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