Your Guide to South Asian Arts at UCLA

By Pooja Nair

Normally Week 0 at UCLA centers around the Enormous Activities Fair, where you can check out clubs and scout for new groups to call home. With in-person events canceled, we figured we’d give you a run-down on the South Asian performing arts clubs here at UCLA so you can find those right for you! Check out these talented groups and how you can get involved. All of these teams will also be present at UCLA ISU’s virtual South Asian Mixer on October 1 at 7pm PST.

Naya Zamaana

UCLA Naya Zamaana is UCLA’s premier South Asian acapella team. NZ is a part of the All-American Awaaz circuit, and travels to compete with different teams from universities across the country. Naya Zamaana’s members come from a variety of musical backgrounds, from Carnatic

to Western training. They perform fusion sets, combining South Asian and Western music, offering a unique way to explore their culture and heritage. The close friendships formed on the team are strengthened by the shared passion for music.

This year, NZ is planning on continuing through a virtual format, maintaining arrangements over Zoom meetings and producing tracks from recordings. For more information, Naya Zamaana will be having an info session on September 30. Follow @uclanayazamaana to keep up with their audition and callback process! Check out Naya Zamaana’s performance at Spring Sing in 2018 here:


Root[d (Rooted) is a project dance team that was made with the aim to develop and showcase dancers within the UCLA/LA community. Root[d was created as a flexible alternative for people who may not be able to join a competitive dance team due to the time commitment, but are still looking for a dance community with a family

feel. Root]d’s motto is to “be comfortable with being uncomfortable,” which is championed by the variety of dance styles incorporated in their routines, ranging from Western hip-hop styles to South Asian styles such as Bhangra, Kuthu, and Bollywood. 

Root[d is holding a live Zoom workshop for their audition piece on October 9! For more information on the entire audition process and recruitment schedule, check out on Instagram or email Check out Root]d’s performance at USC’s Mehfil 2020 here:

UCLA Raas Bataaka NuShaak 

UCLA Raas Bataaka Nu Shaak is UCLA’s premier raas/garba team established in 2002. The team name is derived from a beloved home-cooked dish, and is meant to evoke feelings of family and friendship as a home away from home for its members. The team performs locally

in LA and travels around the country for a variety of competitions, promoting cultural awareness about the Gujarati folk style with a high energy routine.

No experience in garba/raas is required to join the team! Follow @bataakanushaak on Instagram or go to Bataaka Nu Shaak on Facebook for more details about their recruitment schedule!Check out BNS’ performance at Raasmania 2020 here:

UCLA Taara

UCLA Taara is an award-winning, competitive South Asian classical dance team. They combine various classical dance styles, including Bharatanatyam, Odissi, Kuchipudi, and Kathak to create innovative routines that preserve the traditional beauty of classical dance and provide

an explorative venue for modern-day storytelling. Founded in the fall of 2013, Taara is comprised of a small group of driven UCLA students committed to the preservation of the classical arts and its relevance to future generations. Taara challenges its dancers to use their training to create and execute their own stories.

Audition videos for Taara will be due October 4. For more information about their audition process, follow @uclataara on Instagram or check out UCLA Taara on Facebook! Check out one of Taara’s dance videos here:

Bruin Bhangra

Bruin Bhangra is UCLA’s premier Bhangra team. The team modernizes the Punjabi folk style bhangra, incorporating a lot of Western and hip-hop music/influence in its routines. Bruin Bhangra’s members range from undergraduate to graduate students at UCLA, unifying people of a variety of backgrounds while learning about Punjabi culture.

The team focuses on improving as dancers while forming lasting friendships.

This year, Bruin Bhangra will have virtual workshops before their tryout videos are due. Stay informed by following @bruinbhangra to keep up with their timeline! Check out Bruin Bhangra’s performance at Naach Di Cleveland 2020 here:

UCLA Nashaa

UCLA Nashaa is UCLA’s premier Bollywood fusion dance team. Nashaa is an expression of the intoxicating culture and joy which is indicative of the Bollywood genre. They are also the host of Jhoomti Shaam, the eldest and most prestigious Bollywood Fusion-dance competition in

Southern California. As a family Nashaa makes memories together and travels to unique locations, enjoying vibe checks, and getting a little emotional from time to time. They strive to grow as dancers, and their clock is always set to Nashaa time! 

Nashaa is hosting audition workshops on Sept 30 and Oct 2, with audition videos due on Oct 4. Follow them @uclanashaa on Instagram or UCLA Nashaa on Facebook for more information! Check out Nashaa’s performance at Jazba 2020 here:

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