Bhangra competitions have been held in the Punjab for many decades. However, now universities and other organizations have begun to hold annual Bhangra dance competitions in many of the main cities of the United States, Canada, and England. At these competitions, young Punjabis, other South Asians, and people with no South Asian background compete for money and trophies. In the West, unlike the Punjab, there is less emphasis on traditional Bhangra moves, but rather more focus on a general look of the dance; for example, many teams at these competitions perform several hip-hop moves. This synergy of the Bhangra dance with other cultures parallels the music's fusion with different genres. University competitions have experienced an explosion in popularity over the last three years (Bhangra Blowout, hosted by George Washington University on 1 April 2000, sold out to a crowd of 4,000 people, with scalpers reportedly getting $80 per ticket at the door), and help to promote the dance and music in mainstream culture. Lately, there appears to be a rise in philanthropic bhangra competitions, namely Bhangra in the Burgh in Pittsburgh, PA. In 2007, the Carnegie Mellon student run Bhangra in the Burgh attracted over 2,500 attendees and raised several thousands of dollars for the Homeless Children's Education Fund of Allegheny County.
In the UK, the first ever major Bhangra Competition "The Bhangra Showdown" was organised by students from Imperial College London and held on the 1st of December 2008. The competition was held at Indigo2 in the O2 in Greenwich, and was attended by over 1000 people. All proceeds from this show were donated to two charities, in Wateraid and The Child Welfare Trust, and the show looks to continue on an annual basis.