Social media sensation Gurdeep Pandher of the Yukon shares joy, love in Parksville

Bhangra dance instructor Gurdeep Pandher performs his ‘happy dance’ at the Parksville Community Park on Saturday, Aug. 7. (Michael Briones photo)Bhangra dance instructor Gurdeep Pandher performs his ‘happy dance’ at the Parksville Community Park on Saturday, Aug. 7. (Michael Briones photo)
Bhangra dance instructor Gurdeep Phander shares his ‘happy dance’ with new friends at the Parksville Community Park on Saturday, Aug. 7. (Michael Briones photo)Bhangra dance instructor Gurdeep Phander shares his ‘happy dance’ with new friends at the Parksville Community Park on Saturday, Aug. 7. (Michael Briones photo)
Bhangra dance instructor Gurdeep Phander is greeted by a fan at the Parksville Community Park on Saturday, Aug. 7. (Michael Briones photo)Bhangra dance instructor Gurdeep Phander is greeted by a fan at the Parksville Community Park on Saturday, Aug. 7. (Michael Briones photo)
Bhangra dance instructor Gurdeep Phander leads a group with his ‘happy dance’ moves at the Parksville Community Park on Saturday, Aug. 7. (Michael Briones photo)Bhangra dance instructor Gurdeep Phander leads a group with his ‘happy dance’ moves at the Parksville Community Park on Saturday, Aug. 7. (Michael Briones photo)

Bhangra dancer and social media sensation Gurdeep Pandher of the Yukon made a brief stop at the Parksville Community Park on Saturday (Aug. 7) to spread some joy and happiness with his lively dancing.

Pandher, on Vancouver Island to share his message of love and inclusiveness, performed one dance and followed it up by asking onlookers to join him. He taught them a short dance move, and for every step shown, always ends up with an exuberant expression of the word “happy.”

The Sikh-Canadian began making Bhangra dance videos and sharing them on social media to help spread joy, hope and positivity.

His videos often feature him dancing and collaborating with musicians playing a wide variety of musical styles, illustrating how our differing worlds can find harmony, together.

READ MORE: Famous Yukon-based Bhangra dancer brings movements of joy to Long Beach

Pandher’s dance videos have been watched more than 50 million times from various platforms. His work has been published/used by the Governor-General of Canada, Canadian High Commissions, the Prime Minister of Canada, BBC News, Air Canada, and other diverse media and community organizations.

Bhangra is the traditional dance of Punjab. It is native to the Punjabi nation. Long ago, Punjabi-Sikh farmers started to use different aspects of farming to create a dance form.

This farming-influenced style of dance celebrates food-growing, harvesting and relationship to the land, which they later called Bhangra.

“It was created by Sikh farmers a long time ago,” Pandher told Black Press. “So this dance has a lot of connection with the land because it was created on land, it’s also known as the ‘Happy Dance.’ I was born into this culture, so I’m glad to share joy through this dance.”

Pandher then headed to Tofino, where he was slated to stay for three days before going to Victoria.

— NEWS Staff, Black Press file

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