Sri Sai Dance Academy is an institution dedicated to learning, understanding and fostering interest in the classical art form of Kuchipudi. It was founded by Smt. J. Sarada, a patient and dedicated teacher with over two decades of teaching experience. Sarada focuses on developing technical perfection, theoretical understanding and, most importantly, passion for the art form.
The dynamic class environment allows for both individual attention and learning in groups. Additionally, the class’s informal mentorship system encourages students to hone their own skills and learn from each other, as well as forge strong relationships. Sri Sai Dance Academy also offers classes on specialized topics such as talam, nattuvangam, and development of abhinaya that are open to students of other classical Indian dance forms.
Sarada’s students have performed not only in the Richmond area, but also in India with Kuchipudi Kalakshetra’s troupe. They have also toured across major cities in the United States as part of Sri Hari Rama Murthy’s dance drama Mohini Bhasmasura. Two students have taught basics of Kuchipudi and choreographed theater courses at the College of William and Mary. Students have organized and participated in performances to raise funds for charitable causes such as the Borgen Project, Big Help, and the Children’s Hospital.
To develop the experience of the school’s students, Sarada has brought together musicians in the local area to form an orchestra that provides musical support for some of the school’s major performances, such as rangapravesams.