MSA students dance for charity through App Ki Bhangra

The App Ki Bhangra dance team after their competition at Wake Forest University last weekend. Ariel Nicastro | Courtesy Photo

Ryan Morris

The App Ki Bhangra dance team after their competition at Wake Forest University last weekend.  Ariel Nicastro | Courtesy Photo Members of the App Ki Bhangra dance team traveled to Wake Forest University last weekend to show off their skills at the World Cultural Dance Off.

The competition collected money for a charity that helps send children in Kabul, Afghanistan, to school. The group raised more than $1,300.

There were 10 dance groups competing this year, seven of which were from Wake Forest.

Although a group from Wake Forest won this year, in 2010, the year that the club formed, App Ki won the competition.

“I feel that ASU had the biggest fan base there,” said Ariel Nicastro, a member of the group. “We had a ton of support.”

The Bhangra dance group is a subgroup of the Muslim Student Association, although there are a few members who found out about it other ways, Nicastro said.

“You have to tryout to be on the team, and when you are on it you are committed to a few competitions and different celebrations that App Ki dances at,” she said. 

This includes a commitment to perform at the Diversity Celebration in April, Nicastro said.

Bhangra originated in Punjab as a folk dance to celebrate the beginning of the harvest season.

The dance style is now regaining popularity worldwide and is being performed and taught at many universities. App Ki was formed in 2010 by some of the women in MSA.

“Ambi Khan and I choreographed several performances for on-campus events when we were first starting out,” said Puja Gosai, a member of App Ki Bhangra.

Gosai said her interest in Bhangra began in her family, as a way to bond with her three sisters.

“Before App Ki Bhangra began, my sisters and I would perform at family functions, just for fun and entertainment,” she said. “When I realized that there are people on campus who shared similar cultures with me, and as I met people who showed an interest in learning to Bhangra, we decided to create and become a team.” 

Despite not winning, the competition at Wake Forest was still an event to remember for some of the members.

“It was a night filled with cultural dances from different parts of the world, and united all of the attendees by showing that anyone can dance,” Gosai said.

Story: EMMA SPECKMAN, Senior A&E Reporter

Photo Courtesy: ARIEL NIASTRO