(During the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, a student learning virtually from Gurdeep Pandher. In 2021, Gurdeep provided online lessons to nearly 10,000 school students across Canada during a time when they were struggling to find joy in education and their lives.)
As an educator himself, Gurdeep acknowledges, comprehends, and personally relates to the realm of schools. Visiting schools and spending time with students of all grades has been an important, meaningful and valuable aspect of his journey.
Program description of School Bhangra Classes:
Gurdeep’s classes are a fun introduction to bhangra dance and culture, as well as a great fitness activity. During the workshop, Gurdeep teaches a few of his favourite Bhangra moves one-by-one. He breaks down all the moves into several smaller pieces in order to make the learning process easier and more accessible. When all the pieces are put together, and the moves are well practised, everybody dances the previously learnt movements to uplifting Bhangra music. He has experience working with all levels of students from kindergarten to grade 12.
Physical Education through Bhangra:
Bhangra Dance Builds Motor Skills
Gurdeep also teaches fitness education lessons through Bhangra. Due to the physical nature of Bhangra, it is a hardcore workout and a suitable sport in school gyms, which students love to play. Moreover, Bhangra is a great way to build both fine and gross motor skills in a fun and entertaining way. These skills are developed through the use of coordination, balance and mental-physical energy in Bhangra.
Connection with the BC Curriculum:
Bhangra is a great way to teach cross-curricular lessons, as it seamlessly ties together three subjects- (1) Dance from Arts Education (2) Physical and Health Education and (3) Social Studies. Schools in the Yukon follow BC Curriculum, aiding in Gurdeep's familiarity and understanding of current Canadian curricula. This was utilized to create connections with Bhangra. His favourite "Big Ideas" from the BC Curriculum include:-
Dance (Arts Education)
- Dance provides opportunities to gain insight into perspectives and experiences of people from a variety of times, places, and cultures. (Dance, Grade 9).
- Dance uses a unique sensory language for creating and communicating (Dance, Grade 9).
- Dance offers unique aesthetic experiences that explore identity, history, culture, and community (Dance, Grade 12).
Physical and Health Education
- Daily participation in different types of physical activity influences our physical literacy and personal health and fitness goals (Physical and Health Education, Grade 7).
- Physical literacy and fitness contribute to our success in and enjoyment of physical activity (Physical and Health Education, Grade 7).
- Lifelong participation in physical activity has many benefits and is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle (Physical and Health Education, Grade 9).
- Finding enjoyable recreational activities can motivate people to participate more regularly in physical activity (Physical and Health Education, Grade 11).
- Canada is made up of many diverse regions and communities (Social Studies, Grade 5).
- People from diverse cultures and societies share some common experiences and aspects of life (Social Studies, Grade 3).
- Canada’s policies and treatment of minority peoples have negative and positive legacies (Social Studies, Grade 5).
- Immigration and multiculturalism continue to shape Canadian society and identity (Social Studies, Grade 5).
(Gurdeep teaching in Haines Junction, Yukon)
Gurdeep's Teaching Philosophy:
Please visit this page to read Gurdeep's teaching philosophy!
Gurdeep Pandher is currently registered with the Government of Yukon's Artist in the School Program. This program admits instructors after completing the "RCMP Vulnerable Sector Record Check", in addition to other community testimonials/endorsements to ensure well-being and integrity in all school spaces.
The size of the class is dependent on the space available. There is a maximum of 15 students when the Bhangra lesson is taught in a school classroom. However, if the workshop venue is a hall or gymnasium, then it could be 100-150 students. The amount of students is limited per session to ensure that Gurdeep is able to work with smaller or larger groups of students, depending upon the room-size and the preference of the school. For example, at Vanier Catholic Secondary School in Whitehorse, an estimated 250 school students attended his workshop at the same time in a huge hall, with much available space. Alternatively, at Grey Mountain Primary, teachers divided the whole school into small groups of 10 students. On occasions where there are multiple small groups present, Gurdeep is available to spend the entirety of the school day teaching. Another example includes F. H. Collins Secondary School, where the students were divided into two big groups with 50 students. Gurdeep taught two sessions, the first group taking place before the lunch period and the second subsequent to the lunch hour.
- Grade Suitability: K-12
- Maximum Class Size: 15 in classroom ( can also be done in larger groups in school gyms)
- Time Required: 1.5 hours (can be tailored to 1 hour or less if needed)
- Language of Instruction: English