BFunk group fuses South Asian and western dancing in SoCal after they notice lack of representation

"I wanted something to be able to connect to people from my culture." BFunk brings South Asian fusion dancing to SoCal.
GLENDALE, Calif. (KABC) -- Shivani Bhagwan, 30, and Chaya Kumar, 30, are a women dance duo in Los Angeles, teaching South Asian fusion dance classes.

The Glendale residents say they grew up doing various Indian dance styles like traditional Khattak and Bharatanatyam dancing.

Years ago, they happened to meet at a restaurant and since then, they've been best friends. Dance is what bonded them.

Now, they've taken dance to a completely new level, creating a career out of it.

"We really enjoyed the fusion space and we liked to fuse western styles of disciplines of dance with eastern styles of disciplines of dance, and that's what brought about the funk element, and we were like, 'OK, this sounds bhangra funk,'" Kumar said.

Bhangra is a type of traditional folk dance from Punjab and the dances are upbeat and fun.

Bhagwan and Kumar are now known as BFunk and they teach classes all over the United States.

"I wanted something to be able to connect to people from my culture and be like, 'Man, bollywood and South Asian styles of dance also deserve to be seen on this type of platform. What if you create a class where you come in, you warm up, you learn a bhangra routine and you film at the end,'" Bhagwan said.

They say stepping out of the norm in South Asian society and taking a leap of faith to do something creative was a risk they were willing to take.

"We were trying to keep dance a part of our lives and not have it be something where you did it in college and your done now, you have to get serious with your life and become a doctor, engineer or go into law school. It was like, 'OK, maybe we can try to create a career out of this,'" Bhagwan said.

The power of social media has helped connect them to others within the South Asian community in Southern California who feel like they now have a space to express themselves through dance.

"If you guys want to come to a BFunk class, all you have to do is sign up at our website bfunkdance.com. We're teaching monthly," Kumar said.

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