B-Unit 2011 Performance

Presenting The 2011 Diwali Show B-Unit Performance. We always kept note this team has stepped away from the normal and this is no different. The Visuals are amazing, the effects are apparent and the dance speaks for itself. Be sure to check out the brand Video by the B-Unit highlighting their 2011 performance.

Watch Now: Born To Be United


Did I Make It?

An audition is a chance to make a great first impression to the panel of judges. When entering an audition, you must not let yourself be overwhelmed. There are certain things to keep in mind so that your audition experience can be fulfilling, whether or not you get the part you are seeking.

The atmosphere was intense and the nerves were high on April 30th at Simon Fraser University, when the GSBC Raas Garba committee hosted the 2012 auditions for all who plan to play a role in this year’s competition which takes place in Calgary.

Once individuals completed their trek up on the mountain they checked in at the registry table and were assigned numbers to classify them in several groups. Once all the hopeful dancers checked in, the process took flight and Garba Choreographer Divya Thakore initiated the teaching procedure. The applicants were taught a minute of choreography that tested the basics and the probable challenges that one may face on the road to the competition.Some were prepared, some were eager, and some clearly lacked the experience to master the set. In the end, it’s precisely what each applicant needed, a challenge which illustrates that the expedition is not going to be a walk in the park.

The room was soaked with sweat, sprinkled with fatigue, stirred with talent, baked with excitement, and consumed with a hunger to succeed. It was a unique recipe that exemplifies what this entire competition is about. If you plan on hoisting the cup, you better put in the work from day one.

As the procedure continued each hopeful dancer marched into the room and performed in front of Randy, Paul and Simon… (According to their name tags). The room was soundless and edgy and the only sign of joy came from the expressions of the dancers who gave it their all to demonstrate that they deserve a spot on the roster.

Dancers were tested on their ability from head to toe, ranging from cleanliness, alignment, body structure to facial expressions and overall appeal. The judging criterion was well-defined and each dancer knew exactly what the judges were looking for, but it was up to each performer to add their own flavor to the mix.

After every registered participant completed their audition, there was nothing left to do but hope and analyze. Every applicant admitted to making a few mistakes while some left the room with a frown and chose not to speak about what went down. The expressions following the try-out were mixed, some were confident while some were unsure on what the future holds.

The judging panel and the selection committee will sit down and analyze the scores in order to make their final decisions. With so many eager individuals the most difficult aspect of building three teams is dealing with the numbers. The process will be intricate and measured accurately to ensure that each team is given a legitimate shot from day one.

I hope everyone is happy in the end and if for some reason the decision is not what you were expecting, just be sure to keep your head up continue taking the steps towards the overall goal. If anyone is itching for a spot it’s the men, I mean, they are the minority and this field of dance is usually dominated by the females. So good luck to all the men, I’m sure you’ll make the Raas Team 😉

To all the participants, the more you sweat in training the less you bleed in battle…

Until we meet again…RD Out.

Check out the previous blog: 
Back at it again

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Back at it again…

In a room full of Gujarati’s deliberating budgets, marketing strategies, and approaches to fundraising, any educated GSBC member would assume something rather large is in the works.

As I stretch my fingers and scrabble up the words to illustrate these thoughts, it’s surprising to realize we’re back working from the ground up. Ladies and Gents, get your popcorn ready, camera’s charged, money set aside for gas and a few new outfits, it’s time to prepare for yet another community road trip!

The meeting which lasted 150 minutes on March 30th in Burnaby was for the 2012 Raas Garba competition in Calgary. It’s the time of year again where countless members of the community work behind the scenes and in front of the camera to ensure the finest product is presented on stage, but more importantly, an experience that will be remembered forever by all in attendance. Over the last twenty years, this event has brought together many individuals in and outside of the community who work together to partake in one of the Society’s greatest events.

In 2010, Vancouver had a clean sweep – taking first in Adult Garba by Lady GarbaAdult Co-Ed Raas by CobRaas, and Youth Folk by the VanGopis (need facebook login to watch).…And of course the first overall was awarded to the infamous Raas group…It’s a bias perspective, deal with it.

For those of you who weren’t a part of the 2010 troupe, let’s just say it was an opportunity for the competing teams to purchase the latest version of the Swiffer sweeper. However, it’s a new year and each squad will have to take it from step one and put forth a paramount effort if they have any hopes of returning to the throne.

There were new faces in attendance and old as well, some of which have contended in the past and are considered veterans in the field of dance. One of the greatest assets of the competitions is its ability to entice the new and upcoming talents; a quality that truly came to form after the introduction meeting.

After discussing the administrative factors of the competition, it was a mutual decision that auditions would be the next step in the process. Because of the overwhelming response to the competition, there must be auditions to confirm and place the precise number of individuals on each team. Unfortunately, some may not arrive to their anticipated location and some might have to take a seat on the sidelines by the end of it, it’ the nature of the business and each participant is well aware of the consequences. However, the talent is immeasurable and while some may not make the cut, they will still hold a vital spot to the big picture.

It’s sad to the see lack of male dancers on the field, I know you’re out there but this competition is a substantial commitment both in time and effort and it is tough to prioritize and juggle it all while still giving your all for the team. I get it, I understand, but we’ll still pester those who should be in the line-up….

That’s all to report from the first of many gatherings amongst the participants and family members. Before you know it, practices will fill the hours of the day, sore muscles will need time to heal, and you will be washing muddy vehicles for cheap change…sounds exciting right?

It’s what comes with the territory and whether you come back empty handed or with a trophy; the experience is one you won’t regret.

Check the blog for summaries and/or updates with the competition or you can check it because you’re bored and all your friends are at the beach while you’re at home waiting for a ride to practice, both scenarios work just fine.


Auditions are currently scheduled for April 29th.

Check for the latest updates via Twitter and/or Facebook.


Until we meet again…RD Out.


Ronil Desai is a Youth Ambassador for the Gujarati Society of British Columbia. 



Raas Garba Competition 2012 – Get Ready!

Mark your calendars, the Western Canada Raas Garba Competition is taking place in Calgary, Alberta over the September long weekend (August 31-September 2, 2012) and we are looking for you to participate!

Over the last two decades, this competition has evolved into an all-encompassing North American Gujarati Cultural Festival, which includes socials, the legendary dance competition, sports competitions, seminars, raas and garba nights, and opening and closing parties. This festival has preserved and enriched the Gujarati culture across Western Canada and has provided our communities with countless opportunities to increase awareness and promote Gujarati dance, music and art to the Canadian cultural landscape.

In 2010, Vancouver had a clean sweep – taking first place in Youth Folk by the VanGopis, Adult Garba by Lady Garba, and Adult Co-Ed Raas by CobRaas. For those of you who weren’t a part of the 2010 troupe, check out some of the footage and highlights here. This year, we will be sending three new teams to compete in Calgary with the hopes of expanding Vancouver’s dancing roster and keeping the first place trophies in Beautiful British Columbia.

We are seeking Metro Vancouver-based South Asian male or female dancers practicing traditional, modern, contemporary or classical dance, or if you are simply interested in exploring the Gujarati art culture and becoming a part of a folk group contingent to represent Vancouver in Calgary this year.

The GSBC will be taking three teams to compete:
Youth Folk (ages 13-17)
Adult Garba (ages 18+)
Adult Co-Ed Raas (ages 18+)

REGISTER HERE by Wednesday, March 28th


Friday, March 30 will be an information session where you will meet the board and go over the details and schedule of the weekend in Calgary, and general rules and regulations of the competition. The audition date and details will be released then.

Choreographers: If you want to choreograph or help manage a team, please contact Sheila Siekham via email sheilasiekham@gmail.com.

Volunteers: If you want to volunteer for the organizing committee or for performer services, logistics, finance and marketing subcommittees, contact Junita Thakorlal via email junita@gsbc.ca.

On behalf of the Raas Garba 2012 Committee, we want to thank you for your continued support.


Rajan Raniga
Raas Garba 2012 Committee

GSBC Navratri Festival – Thank You

Dear Members and Friends,

As you all know, GSBC has just completed a major series of community events: Navratri, Disco Dandiya, and Sharad Purnima. The feedback we have received from our community is positively overwhelming and most gratifying. Behind any major undertaking, there is a silent, dedicated and hardworking group of individuals whose efforts cannot go unnoticed and must be applauded and appreciated. First and foremost is our entire community: without your continued support, our efforts would have been in vain to have hosted such a successful event. Please accept our sincerest Thank You to each and every one of you. We look forward to your continued support. To our many donors and sponsors, we owe you our deepest gratitude. To our seniors volunteers that worked tirelessly in preparing Prasad for Navratri, snacks and tea every night: we greatly appreciate your sacrifice and effort and pass our heartfelt gratitude. A big Thank You to our local and talented live band, The Melody Makers for making the event memorable and an absolute blast. To the many volunteers and board members in our community who undertook numerous and difficult tasks, we cannot say Thank You enough.  We know who you are and we are forever grateful for your hard work and support.

We look forward to seeing you all soon!


Thank you,

The Gujarati Society of British Columbia

“I am a huge believer in giving back and helping out in the community and the world. Think globally, act locally I suppose. I believe that the measure of a person’s life is the affect they have on others.”
-Steve Nash, Professional Basketball Player