Extracurricular Spotlight: Cornell Bhangra

Cornell Bhangra

Learning is a way of life. And life at Cornell is meant to pique your curiosity and stimulate your intellect at every turn. Indeed, the Cornell community is enriched by dynamic students with diverse backgrounds that pursue their passions outside of the classroom. There is no shortage of clubs, organizations, activities and traditions to enrich any student’s life.

Founded in 1997, Cornell Bhangra promotes awareness of Punjabi dance and culture in the community. Bhangra, a folk dance from the state of Punjab in northern India and Pakistan, celebrates the arrival of spring and everyday cultural life in Punjab. The group’s annual Pao Bhangra show in April is the largest student-run show on campus as well as the largest Bhangra exhibition in North America.

Arman Kapoor ’15, President and Co-Captain of Cornell Bhangra, shared his experiences, insights and perspectives on the team and the balance of student life at Cornell.

The Team: Bhangra itself is an art form that was developed in a region called Punjab in Northern India. It is a very high-energy folk dance, and bhangra itself means to be “intoxicated with joy.” Here at Cornell, we strive to keep these traditional elements of bhangra while mixing more modern music like hip-hop and classic songs into our routines to appeal to a wider audience.

The Accolades: In my time at Cornell, Cornell Bhangra has placed at seven competitions. More specifically, though, we are the two-time consecutive champions of the World’s Best Bhangra Crew competition. We hope to keep our title when we compete at this competition in March of 2015. Most importantly, Cornell Bhangra competed on the quarterfinals of America’s Got Talent this past summer! It was amazing not just representing Cornell, but representing South-Asian culture on mainstream American television.

The Balance: Extra-curricular activities allow students to explore their passions outside of the classroom. Without extra-curricular activities, students would just be focused on school and grades, and that’s simply not what college should be about. College should be about exploring new things, following different passions, and seeing the world in a different light, and that’s what extra-curricular activities help college students do.

In addition to his involvement with Cornell Bhangra, Mr. Kapoor also served as the President of the collegiate chapter of Cornell Hotel Society and as the Vice President of the Cornell Hospitality Consulting club. He will be joining LaSalle Hotel Properties as an analyst in Washington DC upon graduation.


Stay up-to-date on the activities and events of the Cornell Bhangra team by following them here.