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GOKAB, an opportunity for street dance and Bhutanese-pop (B-pop) culture

Updated: May 7

In the last two decades, modern forms of pop culture such as B-boying, freestyles, and hip-hop music have been enthusiastically embraced by Bhutanese youth all over the country. However, since there was barely any platform for the youth to showcase their talents and passion, many could not pursue their interests. This is when a group of young people came up with GOKAB (a Dzongkha term that translates to an “opportunity” in English).

Interestingly, the name also stands for:

G-Generation gearing for an amazing present and a brighter Future

O-Opportunity to the ones who are willing and have the passion to achieve


A-Art, able, acceptance, ambition, aspiration.

B-Born Bhutanese.

Source: Instagram story highlights: gokab_bhutan_official

The group was formed in 2006 with 32 active members with a different names initially but the members altered and separated over time. Yet, because of the active members in the group, young Bhutanese people now enjoy enrolling themselves in the artistic expression of modern dance forms and music through GOKAB Community Center for Learning. They have a dance studio located in Thimphu which is open every day from 9:00 AM TO 9:00 PM.

Source: Instagram: gokab_bhutan_official

Apart from daily classes for k-pop covers, break dance, Zumba, yoga and dance fitness, the studio also holds summer dance camps for a selective number of children above the age of four. The package often includes beginner's dance lessons and fun choreography to build the self-confidence and esteem of children. Moreover, they also have games and book reading for productive engagement purposes.

Source: Instagram: gokab_bhutan_official

Every year the team initiates dance competitions for all age groups to perform in different forms of dance categories among which are street and hip-hop dancing is the most popular genre. They also have rap and beatbox competitions during the event.

The co-founders such as Tenzin Namgay and Pushpa Ghalley have inspired young enthusiasts to come forward and prove to the world that they are capable of bringing recognition for modern performing arts in the country. Although GOKAB members face difficulties due to a lack of financial support, their influences have grown over time and reached out to people who appreciate their efforts. In fact, the group sought several support from international bodies and got offered scholarships for young learners to pursue their dreams.

“B-boying is a growing universal culture and phenomenon, and Bhutanese youth have a lot of scopes if they can explore the avenues”

-Tenzin Namgay, Co-founder

Pushpa has been urging young girls to believe in their potential since she herself faced a lot of challenges as a young Bhutanese girl dancer and still faces difficulties as a woman at the present. Nonetheless, she continues to dance and work on being a professional dancer.

The team often posts their works, dance covers and announcements on their official Instagram page and YouTube channel. They also, produce new choreographies for contemporary Bhutanese music with a global touch and appeal. One such example is their recent dance choreography for “Na DhunG Na” a B-pop song by K3Nbeatz.

In 2020, the centre held a two-week “Dancing for Book” initiative in Thimphu. The program was conducted for youth to learn and explore new creative skills as the team performed in public places and parks and distributed books to the audience.

The initiative provides a platform for youths to showcase their talent, creative thoughts and dance”,

“It engages youths because the youth are easily influenced by the way people act, dress and communicate in social settings.”

Chado Namgyel, Founding Member of Gokab.

There are a lot more areas for Bhutanese youth to explore street performance and pop culture. Given the increasing number of participants, learners and artists in Bhutan, there might come a day when B-pop is recognized by people all over the world. All we can do is look forward to it and support the young enthusiasts.

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