Jaskarn Singh Darad, an undergrad at York University, is working towards completing his degree in order to become a professor for Social Science. He believes that his past experiences, with handling students, have given him the skills to understand them and their needs, thus providing him a solid basis for teaching. He enjoys watching students grow into mature individuals with personalities that inspire others and that aim to create a positive environment whenever they go. Currently, he works for a dance academy called Nachdi Jawani. It is an established institution, with over ten years of experience, that produces dancers that are well versed in executing bhangra technique and are professional dance trainers that continue to promote the culture all throughout North America.
You are very active on Instagram and have been featured quite a bit on the Daily Bhangra account. What makes you want to keep posting videos of you dancing (and you singing) and how do you choose your songs? Are these videos freestyles or things you do choreography to?
Growing up, I always wanted to stand out in the crowd and inspire others to pursue their true passions. I used to dream that people would look up to me, as a role model, and learn ways to improve their lives. We often experience hatred, or have low self-esteem, and this hinders our ability to fully explore and express our personalities. This, in turn, causes us to shut ourselves out from the world and prevents us from growing. Instagram became a platform that helped me reach out to my audience and promote singing and the culture, art, and dance of bhangra. It became a means of which I could tell the public that no matter what flaws they possessed, they should never stop expressing themselves. It set an example for youths, around the world, to spread the culture in a positive manner, instead of getting involved in drug consumption, fights, and other bad behavior. Bhangra is an art that should never be associated with negative activities. Bhangra is about bringing people together, culture, fitness, happiness, love, and passion. When I receive messages from individuals wanting to be more like me or wanting to do something to influence their community in a positive way, it only brings me joy. It pushes me to make more videos, innovate within this dance style, and enable change in the lives of people globally. I tend to select my songs in the moment and I mostly freestyle my bhangra videos. If it is a concept video, then I prepare everything beforehand and the song selection is generally based on what is currently trending.
If you could collaborate with any other dancer, who would it be and why?
Popularity as never been a concern for me. I would love to collaborate with any dancer that has a good heart, is selfless and positive, and does not dance to boost their ego. I am free and willing to work with anyone that wants to work with me and follows the same mindset that I have.
What team(s) are you associated with and how did that come about?
Since my teen years, I have mostly been associated with Nachdi Jawani. I learned bhangra from Gurmukh Sagoo and he gave me the opportunity to not only be his student, but to later teach students at the same academy where I learned.
Do you have any other interests other than dance? Give us a little more background.
My interests, outside of dance, include singing, playing soccer, training dogs, and teaching. One of my goals is to become a well-known singer and release either a single or an entire album. I also love being outdoors and, throughout my childhood, soccer was always my go-to activity. I would never skip a day without it. Through owning two dogs of my own, because they are my favorite animals, I have learned a lot about how they affect one’s mental and physical health. They immediately boost moral and keep you in-shape by making you active. I also began training dogs and primarily focused on correcting behavioral issues. Teaching allows me to bring positivity and growth to the community around me. Teaching at a dance academy, and hopefully becoming a professor in the future, will only help fuel my desire to spread my knowledge.
Check out one of JSD's videos below!
Fun Facts & Social Media
I do not drink
I love to prank people
I unexpectedly sing out loud in public for fun