Ninakshi Dance Studio

Ninakshi Dance StudioNinakshi Dance Studio are people who not only love to dance but also love to impart their talents to others. Their director and their instructors come from all different dance backgrounds and from all different walks of life for ONE purpose: to spread the love and art of Indian dance. They know the value of having culture and dance in our lives and want to share their gifts with the world. Their greatest moments of pride and joy are seeing their students on stage showing off their talents and hard work. Students often come and express their gratitude to them for being instructors, but, it is them, who are grateful for the opportunity.
Nina Kottakuzhiyil
(Dance Director)
Nina started training in Bharatanatyam (Indian Classical Dance) at the age of 6 as a student of Kalairani Natya Salai (KNS) under the teachings of Guru Rani David. In high school, she started choreographing cinematic and folk dances and continued to teach and choreograph for local Indian community programs. She graduated from KNS in her senior year of high school. She would have loved to further her training to an Arangetram level, but put it on hold to attend St. Johns University Queens, NY to pursue a Doctorate in Pharmacy.
When she went to college, one of the first things Nina’s dad told her was to “not even think about dance”. So, of course, being an 18 year old with her first real taste of freedom, she quickly looked up and auditioned for the all female south Asian dance team (SJU Raaz) the very first week of college. After countless performances, placing in numerous competitions, judging various competitions and receiving her Pharmacy degree, she returned home to Maryland.Ninakshi Dance Studio
The dancing still didn’t stop. She contacted her Guru and started to train for her arangetram. She is sure her parents thought “omg – This girl is STILL trying to dance?!”. But, yes, she was. She finally completed her arangetram in October of 2013. About eight months later, she opened up NinaKshi, LLC on June 21, 2014 (a day before her birthday!)
She still works as a Pharmacist, but dance has always and will always be her gift, her outlet, her blessing and her calling. She knew from an adolescent age that she wanted to open up a dance studio to Create dance routines, Teach dance lovers and Perform the art of Indian Dance. She is blessed enough to know what she wants to do and who she wants to be in this thing called life.
Amruta Panth
Dance is one of Amruta’s deepest passions that runs in her blood; literally. Amruta grew up in a dance world watching her mom and cousins all learn and practice Bharanatym. Since the age of 6 Amruta has been performing on stage as a dancer with cultural events and parties.
She started learning Bharatnatym from her mom, at the age of 6 and later was a student of Smt. Vani Ramesh with Srishti Dance School for 6 years. Throughout highschool Amruta participated in many different activities including: Tae Kwon Do; achieving her first degree black belt in 2008, she was a part of her high school bhangra team, sprinter in track and field, and took two years of ballet & jazz throughout high school and later in college.
Ninakshi Dance StudioDespite the various activities, dance has always had a special place in her heart. Amruta continued to choreograph and dance at various events in and out of college throughout her college career, while working and running a part time business. Although she informally whad been teaching for many years, transitioning out of college Amruta became an Art Teacher for Toddlers at Gymboree and is now a Ninakshi Dance Instructor.
She joined Ninakshi Dance Studio as a student in 2015 and shortly after became an Instructor, mainly teaching kids ages 5+. Amruta’s passion for dance continues with her youtube channel that she is pursues as a passionate hobby along with wedding choreography. Amruta says, “Teaching is one of the most fulfilling activities for me, seeing the kids grow as dancers and as people is a great joy”
Pallavi Malla
Pallavi started her dance career at the age of 4, performing Bharathnatyam at venues such as Kennedy Center, Fox 5, National Cherry Blossom festival, and more. The once shy girl soon found a love in performing, and, in high school, she started her competitive bollywood fusion journey. She then went on to complete an arangetram at age 17 from Natyabhoomi School of Dance and moved to Wisconsin for her undergraduate studies. In Wisconsin, she joined and became captain and choreographer for the bollywood fusion dance team, Wisconsin Surma. With Surma, she competed around the nation; winning multiple awards. In addition, Surma was featured in Buzzfeed’s The Art of Dance, ZeeTv’s Dance USA Dance, and DanceOn’s DanceStories. Pallavi then became Executive DIrector for University of Wisconsin’s national bollywood and bhangra competition Aa Dekhen Zara, and she also became an ambassador for Desi Dance Network LLC.
Along the way, she received her BollyX certification and started teaching adult fitness classes. After she graduated, she moved to Maryland and got the opportunity to perform at the Wizard’s game halftime show with America’s Got Talent semi-finalist Ishaara and Bhangra team Top Naach. She has been trained in Hip-hop, bellydancing, contemporary, ballroom, bollywood, and Bharatnatyam, and is well-versed in bothNinakshi Dance Studio Bhangra and Raas too.
Rinal Patel
Rinal began her journey as a dancer at the young age of 5, right after watching Madhuri Dixit’s “Ek do teen.” Little did she know, Madhuri would become her dance inspiration for the rest of her life. Rinal has performed in various pieces showcasing Bollywood, bhangra, garba, raas, and semi-classical. While in college, Rinal actively choreographed and performed for cultural events throughout the University of Rochester’s campus and the local Rochester area. She also founded the University’s competitive garba and raas collegiate team; which won several national competitions and continues to thrive. Dance has brought her closer to her Indian heritage and been a constant source of happiness, strength, and creativity. She loves how NKDS has brought the joy of dance back into her daily life and is eager to share that passion and the Company’s vision with the rest of the world.
Rochana Jayakumar
There hasn’t really been a time when Rochana wasn’t dancing. She was raised in Cary, North Carolina and has been dancing since the age of 7. Throughout her childhood, she participated in numerous Tamil cultural events. Over the years, she progressed from being a participant to choreographing several songs for all ages. Being able to express your creativity through the movement of dance, showcasing entire stories through intricate facial expressions, and sharing this passion with her friends are the many Ninakshi Dance Studioreasons she loves to dance. She joined the Kalaanjali School of Arts in Morrisville, NC to learn Bharatanatyam under Smt. Chanchal Hari in 2007. Despite her rigorous undergraduate and graduate curriculum, she kept up with dance and completed her arangetram in 2013.
After completing her Masters in 2015, she moved to VA and had to find a local dance studio that encompasses bollywood and classical elements. She loves being apart of Ninakshi Dance Studio and being able to spread her passion and love for dance to all Ninakshi students as an instructor.
Stacy Matthew
Stacy has been dancing since the age of 4. She studied bharatnatyam under Shobha Subramaniam in the Jayamangala School of Dance and had her arangetram in July 2012. In high school, Stacy began choreographing and performing filmi-fusion and semi-classical dances for cultural organizations in the area. Stacy was a dancer on the nationally competitive team Drexel Jhalak for one semester before transferring to UMBC.
At UMBC, she was on the fusion dance team Adaa which she became captain for during her senior year. Her experience in Adaa exposed her to different styles such as Kathak, Bhangra, and contemporary. During her senior year as captain, UMBC Adaa entered its first national competition and Stacy had the chance to network and collaborate with dancers around the region in order to better understand how to improve her craft. As a recent graduation of UMBC, Stacy now enjoys both teaching and performing alike.
Sridevi KamathSansappelle
Sridevi has been dancing in one form or the other since she was about four years old. Bollywood dancing, in particular, has always been her passion. Growing up, she performed in front of her family and friends at least once a year to a routine choreographed by her own mom. In high school, Sridevi continued dancing by joining a local dance team and presenting at a showcase at the end of each year. Sridevi took a break from dancing when she went off to college to study engineering, but she continues her passion for Bollywood dance at Ninakshi Dance Studio.

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