It is already May. And with May, comes the end of the competitive bhangra season, at least for us. On Memorial Day weekend, we will be heading to Bruin Bhangra for the final competition of the 2011-2012 season. For those that don’t know, the ‘bhangra season’ usually follows the school year so it starts in September and ends in June, with the summer usually being off. The last time Bhangra Empire performed at Bruin was 3 years ago in 2009. And this year, the team was adamant to make a return to Bruin. And why not? Year in and year out, Bruin Bhangra is one of the top competitions in all of North America. It’s strategic placing of Memorial Day weekend, pretty much makes it the last competition of the year for teams. The crowd is always great and all the teams bring a little extra to the table. That being said, things will be a little bit different for Empire this time around.
Why? Well, for those that think all I do is run Empire, this might come as a shock to you. But school and work are both really busy for me this year. I’m coming to the end of my MBA, and with that comes much tougher, time-intensive classes. And I’ve started a new project at work that has me working late nights throughout the week and some weekends. That, combined with wedding preparations, forced me to have to make a choice. Unfortunately, I can’t quit my job, and I can’t drop out of school. So the only place I could manage to get some free time was by taking a little break from Empire. It was an extremely difficult decision for me, and a part of me felt like I was letting the team down. But I didn’t know what else I could do. So for the first time in a long time, Bhangra Empire will head to a bhangra competition without my guidance.
Okay, my guidance will still be there, but I won’t be at practices, won’t be coming up with the routine, and most likely won’t be at Bruin Bhangra to watch the competition (still trying to change that). I will still be doing the mix and will help where I can, but honestly, it’s really difficult for me to ‘half-help’. When I come up with a routine/mix/idea I usually need to have my full attention on it until it comes out just right. And I just don’t have the time for that. But what does that mean for Bhangra Empire?
It means some major changes are taking place. Simply put, the team needs to step up. They all have it in them. They are experienced dancers with creative minds and now is the time when they need to step out of their comfort zones and contribute much more than they have in the past. It’s already happening. The team has been practicing for a few weeks and is slowly but surely getting there. Dancers are stepping up one by one and taking charge. Responsibilities are being divided amongst the more experienced members. And that is exactly what has to happen. And who knows, maybe out of this experience, we find the next leader of Bhangra Empire. The person who can take Bhangra Empire to a level higher than I have. I’ve been looking for that person for years now. Somebody who can fill my role in the future, because let’s face it, I won’t be doing this forever.
And now, back to Bruin Bhangra. The competition has one of the best lineups of the year with teams from the Bay Area, the East Coast, and Canada, so definitely do check it out. Ticket information can be found on the Bruin Bhangra Website. And check out our shout out video: