Street dance is gaining popularity in Bhutan.

Bhutan held its first national dance battle in 2015. In the third national dance battle, an intense competition was observed with participants across the border and internationally recognised judges.

The first dance studio, Gokab, also came in place with dance enthusiasts this year.

Tashi Dhendup, 17, and Manish Ghalley, 16, are preparing for Youth Olympic Games (YOG). B-boys or B-girls are those who perform breakdance or b-boying (athletic style of street dance).

In past months, guided by members of Gokab Studio, three students aged between 15 and 17 uploaded a 45-second recording of their best dance skills on the official dance page – Breaking for Gold. Out of thousands of uploads, 395 were chosen for the second round.

A ninth grader at Loselling Middle Secondary School, Tashi Dhendup, said it is a good opportunity.

He added that he had support of his family members and friends. “To me, dance is an art, truth, desire, and dream that lets me focus and channel my energy to good habits. Dance has helped a lot of my friends as well. I believe dance can change life in a good way.”

A student of Motithang Middle Secondary School, Manish Ghalley, said that the competition had driven him to work and show even more dedication for dancing. “The more I learned, the more interested I became. Today, I intend to make it my life-long career.”

He said that a local dance group, Druk Dream Team, has played a major role in shaping his passion for dance.

A mentor with Gokab Studio, Tregxel, said that Gokab has been trying to seek international opportunities and support for the dance enthusiasts. “As we are not a funded organisation, we try to keep that energy alive and hopefully we are able convince to support our dreams.”

Winners of the dance battle in Taiwan, which will be held tomorrow, will also go to the final round of Breaking for Gold.  YOG will be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina next year.

Phurpa Lhamo