Today’s guest is Lavesh, the producer of the Learn Bhangra app. Bhangra is a traditional Indian dance which is rapidly growing in popularity as both part of Indian culture and as a fitness craze. If you’ve already seen – or tried – Bhangra, you know it’s a physically demanding dance form, which has led to its growing popularity as a fun way to stay in shape.
Lavesh’s skill in Bhangra and his popularity as an instructor recently led to him and other members of his dance troupe being invited to perform at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janiero, Brazil.
From his childhood in North Carolina, Lavesh was surrounded with a large extended family, and as he moved to high school, became more interested in his heritage, which led to his interest in dance. He was self-taught until meeting a coach in his later high school years, who trained him in the traditional manner.
Lavesh saw people become interested in Bhangra for two basic reasons: either fitness, or to look good on the dance floor. His focus, though, was also to teach an appreciation for the cultural aspect, and to be able to teach kids and work with them as they grew.
It was when grabbing dinner with a friend that the idea for an app came to life. Lavesh was looking for a new project and new ways to share his love of Bhangra, and his friend, an app developer, was looking for a fresh idea for a new app.
- The development of the app took about 6 months
- It was released in October 2015 and by the end of 2015, had about 1000 downloads
- Family played a huge role in producing the app, as well as promoting it. His cousin, actor and product Shaan Dasani, played a huge role in being able to film the training videos.
- Currently there have been around 20,000 app downloads
There have been hurdles – for instance, there was a copyright issue with one song they thought they’d gotten rights to use. Later on, an app update didn’t go as planned, and led to some negative reviews and slowed growth
Trying to add new and fresh content to the app led to doing choreography of popular songs, which included his team’s accidentally viral video of Bhangra to Fetty Wat’s 679.
The app is designed to teach appreciation for this dance form, as well as including a fitness component, and Lavesh hopes both aspects continue to grow.
Among the important factors that have helped Lavesh attain this success have been
- His extended family
- His coach
- His own passion for Bhangra
- His gift for time management