Learning Bhangra for Entrepreneurs highlights the key lessons I have learned from studying Bhangra dancing over the past year. So what is Bhangra you may be asking? Bhangra is an amalgam of traditional dances chiefly from the Punjab in Northern India and Pakistan. This dance grew out of the custom of farmers to celebrate the harvest and express their jubilation for a successful crop. Hence, Bhangra is all about being festive and celebratory, while getting the aerobic workout of your life!
My Bhangra journey started almost one year ago after many years of wanting to learn Bhangra, I finally got the opportunity to enroll in a virtual online class. As a long-time fan of the WORLD FAMOUS Bhangra Empire, based in California, from watching their AMAZING dance competition videos on Youtube, I was eager to learn Bhangra. I am such a HUGE Bhangra Empire fan that I even mentioned them in my book (page 281), before ever taking a class! So when the founders of Bhangra Empire, Omer and Puneet Mirza, the BEST BHANGRA INSTRUCTORS, launched BhangraClasses.com in 2020, I jumped on the opportunity to join.
At the time, I did not realize that I was going to learn way more than dancing. Bhangra was going to teach me entrepreneurial lessons that I could apply to my business and beyond. I liken my Bhangra journey to my personal entrepreneurial journey, and now to the Super Charge Method I use to coach early stage entrepreneurs. This method is based on the cornerstone principles of: Vision, Mindset, Strategy, and Growth.
The learning process starts with having a clear vision of the desired outcome. By being able to easily visualize what success looked like, it motivated me to start the journey and apply myself to the process ahead. I had a vision of myself dancing with (or at least like) the dancers of Bhangra Empire. I also had an understanding of the commitment necessary to get results.
There is so much involved in learning Bhangra and the first is adopting a new mindset. This entails being resilient and pushing forward despite being tired or in some degree of pain. This does not mean to put oneself in danger, to the contrary. Instead it means pushing yourself a little farther than normal to achieve a lot more than you think possible.
In my first week of Bhangra class, I thought there was no way I would have the stamina to keep up with the moves, let alone get them close to right. I was filled with self doubt and totally self conscious. Nonetheless, I understood that anything new feels just like that – new and uncomfortable. I had to develop a new mindset of patience, going slowly, and giving myself grace for showing up and trying my best. Plus having great teachers and fabulous classmates to encourage and support you along the way, make all the difference too.
Along with mindset development, came an appreciation of the culture from which the Bhangra dance emanates. Then I had to look the part, giving me a great excuse to go shopping for some salwars, dupattas, and shararas!
Now comes the fun part, actually learning Bhangra moves and what it takes to execute them well. But before doing that, there is preparation work – stretching and warming up. From there it is all about breaking the moves down into their smallest parts, working on the details. First working on the hand movements, then the footwork, then putting it all together. Finally, practicing slowly to gain precision. Also, understanding the music, rhythm, and coordinating to make it all look effortless.
Strategy involves the practice routine that includes the warm up and cool down. My main plan was to practice first thing in the morning or in the evening (or in the middle of the day as an office break). Then go swimming to build stamina, then a hot shower, followed by cold shower, to super charge my day.
Along with the practice comes the timeframe within in which to learn the dance routine. Each week we learn a new routine to a new song. This keeps thing fresh, interesting, challenging, and fast-paced. It also cultivates the discipline to keep trying and not to give up as things get harder. Just like in business, challenges are expected, so it takes the right strategy to get the right results.
In order to fulfill the vision, it takes embracing the growth process – the desire to get better, stronger, and faster. This is also connected to mindset with the strategy to keep moving forward no matter what. In my Bhangra classes we have different levels designed to move us from stage to stage. I started out in the Beginner’s class, moved to Intermediate, and now further honing the craft in the Advanced class. I even won the equivalent of what I consider the “yellow jersey” of Bhangra dancing for one of my class sessions for my dance video. To see my Bhangra videos, checkout my Bhangra playlist on my Youtube channel where you are all invited to subscribe.
In addition to all the above lessons, Bhangra taught me three key things that are excellent principles to apply to entrepreneurship, life, and everything:
In the words of my indomitable Bhangra instructor Omer, remember to always: “Stay safe, wash your hands, and do Bhangra”!! If you want to start a Bhangra journey of your own, sign up for some classes – one of the ultimate super charging experiences ever!
In addition, if you would like to get some tips on how to sharpen your mindset for bhangra and entrepreneurship, get your free download of the 7 Entrepreneur Mindset Traps and Tips How to Avoid Them – Super Charge Your Self Talk Roadmap.