On Saturday night, students from around the country visited Penn State to witness the cultural celebration of Bollywood dance.
Penn State’s Urban Dance Troupe began the night with a special performance and was succeeded by an inspiring video on the necessity of teamwork and community effort. More than 700 tickets for the event were claimed.
Rutgers University’s “Sapa” won second place and the Broad Street Baadshahz from Georgia Tech took first place, earning the Broad Street Baadshahz the opportunity to compete in Bollywood America in April.
The University of Delaware’s dance group “Kamaal” began the competition with its performance about a woman who is in a prearranged marriage but finds her true love in Vegas in their story, titled “Vegas Main Kya Hota Hai.”
The performance included well-designed props and traditional Bollywood dance incorporated with modern day music.
University of Delaware junior and “Kamaal” President Sohil Modi said, “we made our own props, did our own stunts. It was all student run.”
Madi said that it took weeks to prepare for the performance exhibited that night.
Of the 10 teams performing Saturday, there was one all-female team, Drexel University’s “Jhalak,” and two all-male teams, Georgia Tech’s “Qurbani” and the “Broad Street Baadshahz.”
A team favorite — Georgia Tech’s “Qurbani” — stole the night with their inspirational story that reflected the struggles of the homosexual community.
“I loved that Georgia Tech was representing the gay community,” said Temple University senior Evan Burgess of the “Broad Street Baadshahz. “They made a statement, it was something that I wish I could have had my team do.”
Georgia Tech senior and member of “Qurbani,” Tejas Oza said that he knew that the theme that his team chose was controversial, but it was well worth it.
“We took a risk with our theme, but we wanted to dance for a cause,” Oza said.
But that risk did not help Qurbani win. But for the teams, the night was not about the prize.
“It’s not about winning,” Madi said. “It’s about making sure that we as a team come together.”
Oza said that being a part of the Infusion circuit allows for connections and friendships to be made.
“It brings huge networking opportunities,” Oza said. “We get to meet some of the smartest people in the country.”
Though the competing season is over for the year, some of these teams will be competing for nationals this April.
Look out for “Sapa,” “Qurbani,” “Zeher” and the “Broadstreet Baasshahz” in Miami for Bollywood America.