1426. Rajeev Gupta
Rajeev Gupta, from Manchester, is a Bhangra dance instructor who is live-streaming free online classes during the pandemic for people isolating at home.
Rajeev has run ‘Bhangracise’ for over 15 years, holding regular dance fitness classes in Manchester, Birmingham and Reading, and has performed at the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics, and taught professionals on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing about bhangra, which originates from Punjab in North India. With lockdown closing physical classes, Rajeev decided to post an online video, which received over 100,000 views, and he is now running, for free, dance workouts three times a week for thousands of people across the world.
In a personal letter to Rajeev, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“Over the last few months, your online bhangra classes have brought a surge of energy to participants across the country and beyond, lifting the bodies and souls of thousands who have been staying at home during our battle against Coronavirus.
“You have been a Point of Light for so many during this difficult time, and so I am delighted to be able to recognise you in this way.”
“I feel blessed to have been in a position to have helped people during the lockdown with my Bhangracise sessions. I’m truly grateful to get this award. I would have never thought it would have made such a powerful impact.”