GLENDALE, Calif. (KABC) — Shivani Bhagwan, 30, and Chaya Kumar, 30, are an all-female dance duo in Los Angeles teaching South Asian fusion dance classes.

Residents of Glendale say they grew up practicing various styles of Indian dance like traditional Khattak and Bharatanatyam dance.

Years ago they met at a restaurant and have been best friends ever since. The dance is what tied them together.

Now they have taken dancing to a whole new level, creating a career.

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

Bhangra is a type of traditional Punjabi folk dance and the dances are lively and fun.

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

“I wanted something so I could connect with people from my culture and be like, ‘Men’s, Bollywood, and South Asian dance styles are also worth seeing on this kind 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 breaking 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 make dance part of our lives and not something where you did it in college and you’re done now, you have to take your life seriously and become a doctor. , engineer or get 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 them connect with other members of the Southern California South Asian community who now feel like they have a space to express themselves through dance.

“If you want to attend a BFunk class, all you have to do is register on our website bfunkdance.com. We teach monthly,” Kumar said.

Follow Jaysha on social media:
Facebook.com/ABC7Jaysha
Twitter.com/abc7jaysha
Instagram.com/abc7jaysha

Copyright © 2022 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved.