Unlike the past events, the Gokab, 2017 event, which starts tomorrow, is expected to bring tough competition with participants coming from about seven dzongkhags.

The two-day event, which will be held at the Taekwondo hall in Thimphu, received 195 registrations under the categories of rigsar, boedra, beat boxing, bboying (breakdance) and all-style battle. Of the total registered, 106 are solo performers.

The founder of Gokab, who is a dental surgeon at Paro Hospital, Dr Tenzin, said the participation is 300 percent more than last year. “Last year the event had 37 solo and group participants,” he said.

There will be 37 dancers from India this year.

The rigsar category is for students who are studying in grade VIII and below while the boedra category is for the rest. Dr Tenzin said these two categories received 20 registrations.

He said the event is aimed to keep youth engaged during vacations.

The press release stated that the event is an opportunity for the young to look forward to every year.

A member of urban boomers, Zimba, said that during last year’s Gokab event, his group won the all-style category. “We want to keep the title this year as well.”

Winners will receive a cash prize of Nu 30,000 each.  The participants will attend a workshop after the event from the judges, who will provide guidance for appropriate dancing, understanding the right exercise, diet and body management.

Group leader of a dance troupe Marines Cree, Jigme Wangchuk, said the group is passionate about dancing. “It is our vacation and since we enjoy dancing, it is an opportunity to be with friends and share our passion and idea,” he said.

This January, Gokab also initiated its dance studio at Olakha.

The panel has three international judges, Po-Chun Chen (Bojin) from Taiwan, Cat Orawee from Thailand and Shawn Mendes from India. A beat-boxer, Rigden Penjor also known as Riggu-G on stage, will judge beat boxing.

Phurpa Lhamo