Kuntal Shah grew up in the Triangle area with a passion for Indian music and dance. His dancing career began at age 5 in the local Gujarati dance community and eventually became a competitive raas & garba dancer. Kuntal helped lead his raas team to a FOGANA National Championship in 2005.
He started his bhangra career in 2008 when UNC Bhangra Elite. Joining Bhangra Elite was a childhood dream of his, so it was no surprise that he quickly fell in love with bhangra. While on UNC, Kuntal was a dholi and dancer and an integral member of UNC’s North American championship performance at Elite 8 Bhangra Invitational, where he designed the integration of the UNC Drumline. He earned his Bachelors of Music in Percussion from UNC.
After his time on UNC, Kuntal joined Khirre Phul Gulab De (KPGD), North Carolina’s elite all-male bhangra team, and has been a part of the team since 2012. Since 2015, he has been a captain and has continued to push the envelope of creativity on the bhangra circuit. Kuntal also started his own co-ed team, Carolina Bhangra Squad (CBS), in 2013. Kuntal was also invited to join East Side Alliance (ESA), an east-coast collaborative team, as the male dancer representing North Carolina.
Kuntal’s diverse dancing bhangra has helped him develop creativity and leadership that has propelled his teams to place at over 15 competitions. His success as a dancer led him to become an established judge on the bhangra circuit. He is the Founder & Chair of the Union of Bhangra Judges (UBJ), which currently has over 50 registered judges. UBJ is a major initiative focused on helping improve the professionalism of judges across the country.
Kuntal has his MPH and currently works as a Clinical Research Coordinator for Duke University. He also teaches percussion at Enloe and Green Hope High Schools. Kuntal is extremely excited for the future of Carolina Indian Arts and looks forward to seeing the positive impact it makes on our community.