Local team S.W.A.T Singapore (S.W.A.T) did Singapore proud last weekend, October 8, at international bhangra competition, Bhangra Down Under.
The only participating non-Australian team, S.W.A.T beat five other teams at the competition to clinch third spot at the annual competition at Bunjil Place in Melbourne. This was the dance group’s second time taking part in Bhangra Down Under.
First and second placings went to Bhangra All Star Sydney Boys and Bhangra All Star Sydney Queens respectively, S.W.A.T. said in a press statement on October 10.
Captains Sukhpreet Kaur and Inderpal Singh were both elated at the team’s win. They attributed it to the grit and dedication of its members, some of whom pushed through despite injuries. “What makes us unique is that we are comprised of members from different local teams, which bonds us and gives us an edge. I am very proud of how the team banded together and how everyone gave it their all on stage,” shared Sukhpreet.
On the team’s commitment, Inderpal commented, “Without a competitive circuit in Singapore, it has been a challenging journey in maintaining a strong driving force for ourselves to continuously travel overseas at our own expense time and time again. We truly believe that our team's passion, and our commitment to represent Singapore on the global stage, is what synergises us.”
The team met to practice three times a week in the month leading to the competition, and daily on their own. It was also the first time that 21-year old Prithipal Kaur and 19-year old Dashmesh Singh Bajaj participated in an overseas competition.
Prithipal is grateful to the team for helping her grow and improve. “I was very nervous since this was my first competition, but my team mates were very encouraging and supported me in many ways. They were all so welcoming to me as a new member even though most of them have worked together for a while. I could not have asked for a better experience!”
The experience has stimulated Dashmesh to be more involved in the international bhangra community, “I’m ecstatic and very excited for the future. The competition really opened up my eyes to a whole new community in which the space for one to grow is immense,” he commented.
The S.W.A.T bhangra team was set up in 2015 to bring Singapore’s bhangra community together under one umbrella with the aim of improving the calibre of bhangra in Singapore. It is part of RedDot Bhangra, a volunteer-run group that is dedicated to providing a platform for youth to engage with their roots and heritage.
The multi-racial group also aims to foster understanding and harmony among diverse groups in Singapore by sharing the joy of bhangra through community outreach efforts.