Bhangra Beat returned to the Anderson Center on Nov. 9 to showcase the talented dance teams from multiple Virginia colleges. This was the ninth annual competition put on by International Living Community (ILC) in conjunction with the Association of Residence Halls. Competitive Bhangra teams from James Madison University, Virginia Tech, University of Virginia and Virginia Commonwealth University all participated.
The Anderson center was filled with three tiers of bleachers full of families, students and supporters of the different teams. The University of Mary Washington’s own Eagle Bhangra started the competition off and, while they did not compete, the Eagles showcased their talent and proved how impressive they are.
The different schools all had a chance to perform. Each shined with a mix of bright costumes and blends of traditional and modern music. Bhangra proved to be an energetic and exciting dance.
As part of the competition, each group incorporated props into their dance numbers. While all groups wowed the crowd, Virginia Tech really stood out.
Their performance left audiences amazed as the groups articulately used props and music to impress the crowd. Virginia Tech’s costumes also stood above the rest. Every male in the group wore a bright headdress. The magenta, yellow and turquoise left viewers in awe as Tech danced. In the end, all of these elements resulted in Virginia Tech winning first prize in the competition, followed in second place by VCU and third place by University of Virginia di Shaan.
In between performances, group members of the ILC and different Bhangra groups gave cultural lessons that afforded unique insight to the Punjabi culture. Audiences easily took away facts of the dance and the different elements of the traditional dress and culture.
The competition continues to grow and will celebrate a decade of Bhangra at UMW at next year’s Bhangra Beat.