If you come out to Country Fried Duck on Sept. 7 at 10:30 p.m., you might be able to catch Folk Friday, but it won’t be the Southern folk music you might expect.
The “folk” in Folk Friday actually refers to bhangra, which is an Indian folk dance. The UNC student group Bhangra Elite is hosting the event and, for members of the group, bhangra plays a very important role in their lives.
“Bhangra is my escape,” said Ragi Nayak, one of the team’s three co-captains. “I leave everything outside the studio and let it take my mind off of stress. It’s really my outlet.”
Nayak works with her fellow co-captains, Sahil Dadoo and Ashwin Punj, to create the choreography and make the musical decisions for the group’s sets, which are typically seven to eight minutes long. Bhangra Elite then performs these sets at competitions across the nation and has had much success in the past few years.
Many group members were not even exposed to this style of dance prior to coming to UNC. Organization officer Alisha Abhayakumar has danced competitively since she was 5 years old but had never tried bhangra before tryouts.