Chaya Kumar and Shivani Bhagwan, the creators and founders of BhangraFunk and BollyFunk, have quickly become a worldwide phenomenon, known as BFUNK. Their viral YouTube dance videos featuring students from their sold-out classes in Los Angeles have caught the attention of many. They have collaborated with the King of Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan and received co-signs from other Bollywood superstars like Diljit Dosanjh, Arjun Kapoor and esteemed choreographers Geeta Kapoor and Tricia Miranda. With over 200 million cumulative views on their dance videos, Shivani and Chaya have built an enormous fan base around the world. (#FUNKFAM) This has allowed them to travel and teach workshops internationally and bring a new style of dance to many renowned dance studios. They are pushing boundaries with their messaging and proving that dance can be a career.
360 had the opportunity in joining #BFUNK for a special dance class focused on crafting background dancers and the proper techniques during an on-stage live performance. The crossover between Bollywood and Hip-Hop formed powerful combos and an overall fluid routine that both choreographers taught. The whole experience felt like joining a family dance camp. Kumar and Bhagwan made it comfortable to ask questions, repeat steps and took the time to identify common mistakes. Hearing how proud they were of the class and watching them interact with familiar and unfamiliar faces showcased their passion for others to succeed. Classes are perfect for dancers of any experience and background, with this class emphasized on dancers breaking into the industry. Surprise guest and recording artist, Raja Kumari (whose song the routine covered), was invited as an example of how one should perform alongside a known performer.
“As South Asians, there exists no system of representation for an industry dancer to be booked on a professional job within their niche. In this class, we provided our students the opportunity to back up an artist, as it would be on stage. It is our hope that this venture will create a clatter and foreshadow new beginnings for South Asian dancers.”
Kumar and Bhagwan will continue to foster a positive environment in their classes and relentlessly strive to change the conversation, eliminating labels and discussing dance as simply, dance. At age 26, their careers only continue to skyrocket into new heights.