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Sruti Pisharody

Meet our first instructor, Sruti Pisharody. Sruti has been learning Bharatanatyam since she was 6 years old, and she completed her arangetram in 2010 under the tutelage of Smt. Meena Rajagopal, disciple of Alarmel Valli of the Pandanallur style of Bharatanatyam. She has also been trained in folk and Bollywood dance styles by Rohini Thakkar Joshi of Taal Harmony. As an undergraduate student at Duke University, she went on to become a choreographer and captain of both Duke Lasya, a competitive classical fusion dance team, and Duke DBS Raas, a competitive raas-garba dance team. She has performed extensively on local stages as well as in national inter-collegiate dance competitions. Sruti has been teaching folk, classical fusion, and Bollywood dance in the community for over 10 years. She was able to make a return at Taal Harmony and teach her very own raas dance! We’re so excited for her garba class on June 8th at 5pm EST.

You need nothing for the class! 🙂

You can signup for the classes here: https://forms.gle/KwRRCP3WVyrL4qYZ8
Visit docnc.org/dancenc for more information!

Ananya Ranjan

Please join me in welcoming our next instructor, Ananya Ranjan. Ananya has been dancing for a total of 20 years. In those 20 years she has earned the title of a National Level Champion! She is currently training National Level Dancers at VPAC, where she is the assistant director. When she is not busy helping run VPAC with her mom Vandana (the director), she is studying for her masters in counseling therapy. Not only is she talented in choreographing dances she is also amazing at touching our souls. Ananya has an ability to speak to the heart when dancing. She is going to be teaching the art of emotion during her lyrical class on Wednesday July 8th at 5pm EST! Be sure to join!!

Zakyya Kenny

On Wednesday, June 18th, we have Zakyya Kenny teaching about contemporary dance. Zakyya started her dance training at the young age of 3 in Sri Lanka. She joined dance after seeing girls learning Kandyan Dance, a traditional dance of Sri Lanka. She learned at Udarata Netuma. She continued her journey by learning ballet for many years, she even played Odette in the Swan Lake. When she moved to NC she started learning Kathak which she learnt for around 7 years in total. She was an instructor at Taal Harmony School of Dance for around 3.5 years, where she taught her students Bollywood, contemporary, lyrical, and folk. We’re ecstatic for her class in contemporary on June 18th!

Dhanashri Mirvankar

Dhanashri has been pursuing Odissi Dance form at Vaishnovi Kala Kshetra since 2009 under the teachings of Guru. Ms. Asha Nambiar and is currently learning under the able guidance of Guru Sanchita Bhatacharya. She completed Visharat in Bharatnatyam from Gandharva and later completed her diploma in Bharatnatyam from Nalanda Institute. She will be teaching us a class on Odissi on Wednesday, July 15th at 5:00 PM!

Pari Sidana

Pari is 14 years old and is a rising freshman, though she doesn’t think her age or anyone else’s is relevant in dance. She started Bollywood when she was 5 years old. Two years later, she started her Kathak journey with Smt. Rinku Battacharya Das. She started learning Bollywood from Zakyya Kenny and Rohini Takkar Joshi of Taal Harmony. She has been learning many different styles of dance such as contemporary, lyrical, and Garba at Taal. She interned at Taal Harmony for a year and a half now and has helped assist the teachers in class allowing her to learn more about the art form and how to teach. She has been continuing her Kathak journey with Hasita Oza Ji. She thinks the most important thing people will need to know is that she is passionate about teaching and passing on dance as an art form to younger generations. Seeing little kids entering the studio with grins from ear to ear reminds her of why she loves to dance and why she even started dance in the first place. Dance has given her a place to express herself and she is ready to share that with the world. She hopes that over the course of these next few 8-weeks that everyone can grow as dancers and people.

Guru Kubherini Hanumanthappa

Guru Kubherini is the artistic director of Sri Venkatesa Kuchipudi Academy. Trained under a Kuchipudi legend, Guru Padmashri Dr.Sobha Naidu and Vidhwan Jeelan Basha, Kubherini has carved a niche for herself in the Triangle region for her dance as an artist, a teacher, a choreographer and a director. She has staged many performances and directed various well known mythological ballets like Kalyana Srinivasam, Sri Krishna Parijatham, Jagadanandakaaraka, Pada Kavita Pitamaha Annamayya. She has performed on SVBC Nadaneerajanam in Tirumala mutiple times. She is currently choreographing and directing Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Kuchipudi ballet.

Ishita Chavan

Starting with her first performance at three years old, the stage and the studio have always been Ishita’s best friends. Over the years she has performed at many events including Cary Diwali, India Fest, many fundraisers and even Bollywood musicals. She have been a part of Rhythm Dance Group ever since it was established eight years ago. Ishita has always been involved in RDG’s endeavors, first as a student and trainee, and now as a performer, choreographer and instructor. She has learned and taught Bollywood, Hip-Hop, and even some Indian Folk styles while being a member of this group. Dance has been a large part of her life and it is something she strives to share with the world.

Kriti Rakesh

Kriti Rakesh, is a multi-faceted Kathak exponent, performer and teacher. She is the Director of Aakriti Kathak Academy founded in 2012, in Cary, North Carolina. She is also the co-founder/director of OORJA Productions, a theatrical production company known for its memorable thematic shows like Rustic and Royal Rajasthan (2012), Oorja (2013), Samraat (2016), Ritu Chakra (2017) Jogan (2018) and Rangeela (2018), Gat Bhaav (2019). Kriti is a disciple of renowned Guru Sangeet Natak, and Academy Award winner, Dr Shashi Sankhla (disciple of late Nrityacharya Shri Kundan Lal Gangani) of Jaipur Gharana. Kriti began her training at 4. She won a scholarship award from Government of Rajasthan for 2 consecutive years and performed her first Kathak solo recital at the age of 9. She has Diploma in Kathak from Jaipur Kathak Kendra (Jaipur). Kriti has been teaching and performing Kathak in the Triangle since 2007.

Sanskriti Inamdar

Ishanya Dance is RTP’s award winning dance school specializing in Bollywood style of dance. Our training draws from a variety of dance forms ranging from traditional to modern and from Eastern to western styles. We also offer high intensity Bollywood and Bhangra cardio dance programs for those interested in getting a full body workout. We not into build strong dancers but also build strong individuals by emphasizing teamwork, building confidence, nurturing passions and dreams, and pushing each dancer to give their best. We have been chosen to dance with Bollywood celebrities such as Badshah, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Shaan, Shreya Ghosal, Mika Singh, Ila Arun, Rekha Bharadwaj to name a few. Under the guidance of the school’s Artistic Director Ms. Sanskriti Inamdar, the dance school has put forth several dance productions, workshops, and training sessions.

Sridevi Jagannath

Sridevi Jagannath is a proficient Bharathanatyam dancer, an art which is one of the oldest and magnificent Indian Classical dance forms. She has been a performer and choreographer par excellence for 2 decades. Her dance institution in Durham celebrates its 25th year this year!!

Under the banner “Laasya school of dance and music” Sridevi has been grooming innumerable students in this rich art form. Several of her students have completed their graduation under her able guidance and have begun teaching others as well. Sridevi is a proud currently mentor for over 100 kids.

She has won various awards including the Heritage India Award for Teaching Excellence, Aryabhatta International Award from the Karnataka government, Kala Ratna Award, Leadership Excellence Award from the Pratham RTP chapter. She is also a World Ambassador at the International Festival in Raleigh.

Hasita Oza

Hasita Oza, a senior student of Guru Pandita Rohini Bhate, is a founder and director of Gurukul Kathak Dance Academy in Raleigh, NC, USA. After receiving rigorous training from her Guru She performed extensively as a solo and as a member of Nritya Bharati troupe in India and abroad. Having exposure to Western Dance she has explored fusions with Tap, Ballet.
Hasita is a recipient of the title Sringar Mani from Sur Singhar Samsad Bombay. She is a choreographer Fellow of North Carolina Arts Council and National Endowment of Arts, USA. She was selected as an Emerging Artist and a Visiting Artist for the City of Raleigh, N.C. to share and promote art form through Education in society. She has published a booklet “Kathak Parichaya Pustika” in Gujarati. She has authored several articles on Kathak. She has given lectures and workshops in USA and Europe on Kathak, Anatomy of Kathak, Neurology and Dance. She holds Nritya Visharad from Gandharva Mahavidyalay. Currently, she runs her Academy to teach and promote Kathak in USA while holding strong ties with her academy Nritya Bharati, in Pune.

Rinku Bhattacharya

Rinku Bhattacharya Das is an empaneled artist with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) as a Manipuri solo dancer.She is a senior disciple of the late Guru Bipin Singh and Padmashri Darshana Jhaveri having received intense training in Manipuri dance for 25+ years. She has promoted the vision of her gurus to promote and preserve Manipuri dance internationally. She has taught several workshops, choreographed many dance productions collaborating with other classical and contemporary Indian dance forms, and currently providing private training to Indian and non- Indian students. She regularly visits India to perform, receive additional advanced training, and remain well connected to her classical roots. She has broadened her horizon of classical dance knowledge by pursuing rigorous training in Kathak dance from the late Guru Parveen Gangani and Guru Sanjeevani Kulkarni. Initially from Raleigh, NC, she is now based in Dallas, TX.

She has been honored with the 2014 Naatya Saradhi Award from Nataraj Music & Dance Academy of Vizac, 2012 Ella Fountain Pratt Emerging Artist Award from the Durham Arts Council and the 2009 Heritage Award for Excellence in Indian Dance from The Hindu Society of North Carolina.

Dinesh Thenozhi

Dinesh Thenozhi has been a dancer and a choreographer for 14 years. He is an expert in numerous dance styles such as Hip Hop, Freestyle, Locking, Jazz, Dubstep, B-boy, Contemporary and Folk. He is currently a beginner in learning Bollywood, ChaCha, Tango, and Salsa. Dinesh has won several inter-corporate and reality dance competitions. Additionally, he has directed dance covers.

Ashwin Punj

Ashwin Punj has been dancing Bhangra for 7 years. He competed with teams such as Gajjdi Jawani, NCDT, KPGD, and UNC Bhangra Elite. He traveled across the United States and has placed several times. He has been the co-captain of UNC Bhangra for 2 years and led UNC to place several times. He won first place at Boston Bhangra, has been teaching this dance style for 2 years, and learned under the guidance of Lavesh Pritmani and Rohit Bulchandani. Ashwin is currently a senior at UNC majoring in information sciences.

Rohini Thakkar Joshi

Rohini has a formal training in Kathak under Guru Zafar Mulla of the Benaras Gharana for over 7 years  and has also learnt folk, western, hip-hop and contemporary from several noted dance teachers in India and abroad. She has an array of awards at national and international levels under her belt.
Now a choreographer for the past 20 years, Rohini’s vision reflects an amalgamation of several dance styles and have choreographed for Bollywood celebrities such as Kavita Krishnamurthy, Ila Arun, Sadhna Sargam, Shaan, Richa Sharma, Rekha Bhardwaj and Mahalakshmi Iyyer.
 She is the founder of award winning dance school Taal Harmony School of Dance which is a premium dance school in the RTP area. You can check out the school website: http://www.taalharmony.com/

Maitri Patel

Maitri Patel is a captain of NCSU Nazaare and this is her 4th year on the team. She is a senior in Business IT and she has been dancing all her life. Maitri did Garba for 12 years and performed locally. Her favorite dance styles are Bhangra and Garba. This past year on Nazaare, she and Aishu Gunashekaran choreographed for the Night at The Museum finale Bhangra segment!

Aishu Gunashekaran

Aishu Gunashekaran has been on the NCSU Nazaare team for 4 years. She is a senior in animal science and her favorite dance styles are Bhangra and Hip-Hop. She choreographed for Nazaare along with Maitri Patel and for the junior class dance Bhangra segment.

Poorna Gandhi

Poorna Gandhi has been on the NCSU Nazaare dance team for 4 years. She is currently majoring in Business IT and her favorite dance styles are Kathak and Bollywood. She is classically trained in Kathak for 9 years and choreographed the Kathak segment for this past year’s set for Night at The Museum.

Dimple Mahadeshwar

Dimple Mahadeshwar is a rising senior at UNC-Chapel Hill majoring in Statistics and Analytics and minoring in Entrepreneurship and Social & Economic Justice. She has been a part of UNC’s premier Bollywood Fusion Dance Team for the past three years and is classically trained in Kathak. Her favorite styles of dance are Bhangra and Kathak. 

Nehali Watwe

Nehali Watwe is a rising junior at UNC Chapel Hill with a major in Economics and Public Policy with a Statistics minor. She has been classically trained in Kathak for the last ten years and has been on UNC Chalkaa for two years as well!

Anisha Watwe

Anisha is a rising senior at Duke and is doing a self-designed major in Global Reproductive & Sexual Health Policy. She’s been on Duke’s competitive Bollywood fusion dance team, Rhydhun, for the last 3 years and was a captain this past year.