Through performance, civic engagement, and cultural awareness, Raasadelphia aims to promote South Asian culture and provide a platform that supports our local community. Raasadelphia was founded in 2012 by a group of passionate raas alumni who aimed to spread the culture further around the nation, empower teams to reach their full potential, and drive recognition of the dance form to the next level. 

About Raasadelphia

Raasadelphia is a student dancer-led nonprofit based in Philadelphia. This year, on our first year coming back since 2013, Raasadelphia will be donating its proceeds to Puentes de Salud, a non-profit organization that aims to help Philadelphia’s growing Latinx population thrive. By having 8 of the best garba raas teams perform here in Philadelphia, we strive to put on an event that everybody - no matter their background - can enjoy while supporting a noteworthy cause.   

Garba is a folk dance from the Western Indian state of Gujarat that is performed during Navratri – a 9-day festival celebrating Goddess Durga. Navratri symbolizes the triumph of good over evil and values the divine shakti (feminine energy/power) that Durga represents from her victory against the Demon Mahishasura. The dance is traditionally performed with rhythmic steps in a circular form around the figure of Durga.   

Raas is a traditional folk dance from Gujarat and Rajasthan that is also performed during Navratri. Raas is performed with sticks called dandiya that represent the swords of Durga. Dancers energetically whirl and move, striking their dandiya to the rhythm. 

In the United States, nearly 60 collegiate garba raas teams perform these traditional steps in a high energy choreographed piece, complete with theme, props, and dandiya. By hosting 8 of the best collegiate raas teams here in Philadelphia, we strive to put on an event that everybody - no matter their background - can enjoy, and promote the immigrant communities here in our own city.