MV Bhangra no longer a club

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Co-authored by Ada Chen

2014-2015 Bhangra team at Bellermine High School's show Nazaara.

2014-2015 Bhangra team at Bellermine High School’s show Nazaara.

“Bhangra is a Punjabi folk dance, with a lot of high intensity moves,” junior Shiv Nair said. “However, you also need grace and finesse.”

Nair and junior Pallavi Saharia have been on Bhangra since freshman year and are now co-captains of the team. Saharia, who had been practicing mostly classical and folk dance, joined Bhangra to try something new and fun. Nair’s brother, who had been on the team, inspired Nair to follow in his footsteps.

Bhangra Captains Shiv Nair (left) and Pallavi Saharia (right)

Bhangra Captains Shiv Nair (left) and Pallavi Saharia (right)

“I remember watching my brother and thinking ‘Woah, that’s so cool!’” Nair said.

Since joining, Nair and Saharia have made many fun-filled memories as a part of Bhangra and to them, Bhangra is more than a team: it’s a family.

Unfortunately, last semester MV Bhangra disbanded as a club.

“We weren’t following the rules, so Mr. White told us that we either need to follow the rules or [disband our]club so we decided not to be a club,” Nair said.

According to the rules, the team needs an advisor present at every one of their events, and some of these events can be about 12 hours long. The captains did not think that anyone would be willing to sit for that long.

Last year, assistant principal Mike White called a meeting to discuss the lack of advisor supervision with the three dance clubs: Raas, Bhangra and Bollywood, which is now known as Andaaz.

“They weren’t all playing by the rules,” White said. “They were having practices at night, without any paperwork or supervision. I just walked on campus and here they were, practicing. They were going on field trips — I’m talking about all three clubs, not just Bhangra — and not filing any paperwork. Their advisors didn’t know they were going.”

According to White, advisors need to be present at all team practices. However, Bhangra’s schedule is quite demanding. There are practices not only every Friday, but also during breaks.

The 2014-2015 Bhangra team at Irvington High School's show Dil Se

The 2014-2015 Bhangra team at Irvington High School’s show Dil Se

“It’s a lot of commitment and time that a supervisor would have to [invest],” Saharia said. “We weren’t willing to ask any teacher to spend that much time with us, especially because we know [how busy]their schedules [are], so we didn’t want to burden them with that.”

Disbanding the club has had its drawbacks for Bhangra. Although still an organization on campus, Bhangra is not officially a club and cannot be called “MV Bhangra”. They are also not allowed to promote on campus, or hold practices on campus. Now, for practices and tryouts, Bhangra meets on Kennedy’s campus instead of at MVHS.

Because Bhangra can no longer put up posters or participate in Promo day, Facebook and other forms of Social Media have become Bhangra’s main style of promotion. But because of the limited reach of social media, the class of 2019 has not been familiarized with the club.

However, losing club status is not synonymous with losing presence on campus.

“I don’t think [not being a club]will make an impact on [show attendance]because we are still the same MV Bhangra,” Saharia said. “We’re just not called MV Bhangra anymore. It’s just a matter of the name. What is in a name?”

Check out Bhangra’s performance at MVHS Spotlite on India 2015:

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