Seeing bhangra for the first time: In 2012, I had never seen or heard of bhangra before. I had taken a few Bollywood dance classes as a teenager and already had an interest in Indian dance styles. One day my mom was watching a television show about new fitness trends in Denmark and they shortly mentioned this Indian dance concept. On that day, I thought to myself, “I’m gonna go to India, learn Indian dance styles, come back to Denmark and make something big out of it”.
My first bhangra class in Mumbai: In 2013, I went to India for the first time to learn more about Bollywood dance. That was the time I seriously fell in love with bhangra. As soon as the music started it kind of did some magic to me. I forgot about the Bollywood dance, I actually wanted to attend and have been focusing on bhangra ever since then.
Getting recognised on the streets of Chandigarh: In 2015, I had moved to India (Chandigarh) for a year and started making my own bhangra videos. I had made a video on Neha Kakkar’s Pyaar Te Jaguar with my best friend from Indonesia. After we had uploaded the video, it simply went viral. People would stop us on the streets and in our local store, and asked if we were the Pyaar Te Jaguar girls who had just gone viral on WhatsApp and online.
Creating my company Bhangra By Christine: After moving back to Denmark in 2016, I decided to finally do something bigger in dancing, so created my company Bhangra By Christine. I changed the name on all my social media and started focusing on making more videos and teach bhangra at different festivals and events in Denmark.
My first bhangra workshop in Delhi: In 2018, I decided to organise my first bhangra workshop in Delhi. I collaborated with Bhangra Arena and together we managed to have nearly 100 students at the event. I had never expected, that so many people would actually show up.
Getting 100,000 subscribers on YouTube: In 2018, my YouTube channel passed 100,000 subscribers. When I started my YouTube channel it was one of my dreams. I did not believe it was possible, so it was a dream come true. Today, my channel has more than 300,000 subscribers.
Travelling: Every time I travel abroad to teach bhangra, it is a great dance moment for me. I feel so blessed that so many people know me for my work and that even people with a Punjabi background want to learn from me. Thinking about it makes me laugh sometimes, but it makes me truly happy. Being able to travel and dance at the same time was one of my childhood dreams.
Getting Punjabi music industry support: It’s a big moment whenever a well-known Punjabi singer compliments my work or shares my videos. That recognition means a lot to me.
Performing for my family: One of the funnier dance moments was in my childhood. I always loved to dance. During holidays, I would tell my entire family to leave the living room and create a small stage, and put numbers on every sofa and chair. Later, I would tell my family to buy tickets for £2 and come for my dance show. I didn’t take no for an answer. When they had all found their seats, I forced them to watch me dance for at least 30 minutes.
My first interview: In 2016, SBS Punjabi from Australia called me, because they wanted to interview me. I think that was my first interview ever and it has kind of changed a lot. Knowing that journalists from faraway places wanted to write about me feels like a true blessing.
Christine Meier is a dancer, choreographer and teacher. Visit Bhangra By Christine, Facebook, Instagram & YouTube: @bhangrabychristine