The first ever South Asian dance competition at the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre proudly announced the winners of the hotly contested dance event.

The sensational Just Naach night of dancing took place on Saturday 1st October with Ultimate Bhangra taking the top prize.

The inaugural event – Just Naach (‘Just Dance’) – celebrated the incredible South Asian talent in Wolverhampton and The Black Country with support from The Grand Theatre’s South Asian ambassadors.

Just Naach winners Ultimate Bhangra with Parambeer SamraiWGT
Just Naach winners Ultimate Bhangra with Parambeer Samrai

The thrilling evening was packed with colour, music and vibrant dancing, with all the contestants performing to an enthusiastic audience who cheered and clapped as each group of dancers took to the stage to try and become Wolverhampton’s first South Asian Dance champion.

Bollywood, Bhangra, Regional Folk, Indian Classical and South Asian Fusion were just some of the styles that made up the wonderful world of South Asian dance magic that spun and swirled across the stage of The Wolverhampton Grand Theatre.

The senior dancers of Aaja Nachle take to the stage during the eventWGT
The senior dancers of Aaja Nachle take to the stage during the event

A range of local dynamic dance acts competed to be crowned Wolverhampton’s first South Asian Dance Champion.

Jodi Dancers, Colton Hills Community School, Avneet Kaur, Dancing Queens, Ultimate Bangra, Bollywood Dreams Dance, Aaja Nachle Let’s Dance and Sohniya Punjabna Group all took part and created dance magic for the appreciative audience.

The Just Naach show opened with Wolverhampton’s own super popular group Back2Back Dancers who are described as “a band of brothers on a mission to fearlessly explore the depths of our imagination and artistic purpose” through dance.

Back2Back Dancers entertain the audience at the Just Naach eventWGT
Back2Back Dancers entertain the audience at the Just Naach event

The Back2Back dancers have performed nationally on hit shows like the West End Bhangra Musical and in hundreds of Punjabi music videos.

The Just Naach live celebration of South Asian dance in Wolverhampton and The Black Country was hosted by BBC presenter Qasa Alom who recently co-hosted the opening ceremony at The Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022.

Cllr Sandra Samuels, a former NHS nurse who made local history by becoming the first person of African Caribbean heritage to be elected to the prestigious post of Lord Mayor since the post was established in 1848, was in attendance at the Just Naach dance competition and showed her support.

Cllr Sandra Samuels OBE - the first ever person of African-Caribbean heritage to be Mayor of Wolverhampton - attended the eventWGT
Cllr Sandra Samuels OBE – the first ever person of African-Caribbean heritage to be Mayor of Wolverhampton – attended the event

The panel of judges for the dance competition were Jaivant Patel (Artistic Director of award-winning Jaivant Patel Dance), Sajida Carr (Director of Operations and Development at Creative Black Country), Satnam Rana (BBC Midlands Today and Radio XL Presenter), Manpreet Darroch (campaigner for Youth for Road Safety) and Vicky Price (The Grand Theatre’s Associate Director of Development and Communications).

Vicky Price, said: “Wolverhampton has a vibrant culture and at the Grand Theatre we celebrate the talents of our local communities.

“We thoroughly enjoyed showcasing the best in South Asian Dance from Wolverhampton and Black Country talent at the inaugural event, Just Naach.”

Just Naach winners Ultimate Bhangra celebrate on stageWGT
Just Naach winners Ultimate Bhangra celebrate on stage with Parambeer Samrai

At the end of a hotly contested dance championship the judges handed the Just Naach trophy to the youthful Ultimate Bhangra by Parambeer Samrai. Dancing Queens took the runner up prize.

The Just Naach event threw a beautiful spotlight on South Asian dance and producers hope the positive energy of the competition will encourage people – both young and old, and from diverse cultures – to reach out to each other during divisive times and build bridges of communication through dance and theatre.

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