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Grouped Testimonials


Guru Hema Sharma
(click for Resume)

is a native of Chennai, India, where she started dancing (Bharathanatyam) at the age of 8 under the tutelage of Kancheepuram Gnaprakasam. She pursued advanced training under such renowned gurus as Padmashri Adyar K. Lakshman in Nattuvangam and Srimati Shanta and V.P. Dhananjayan in dance. She is also well versed in other Indian dance forms such as Kuchipudi, Mohini Attam, Kathak, and folk dances. She holds the titles of Natyaratna and Natyakalaratna. Hema Sharma established Nritya, School of Indian Dance and music in Kansas City in 1988 at the insistence of several community members who wanted her to promote classical Indian dance in Kansas City. The first dance school to be established in Kansas City, Nritya has come a long way in promoting the arts and culture of India through the Midwest. Over the course of her career as a dancer, Hema has been a dedicated performer, choreographer, teacher, and community volunteer, donating her time to spread the arts and culture of India throughout Kansas City. She is currently artistic director of Nritya. The school has expanded to currently include branches in Wichita, KS and Des Moines, IA. The Gateway Dance Theatre, Des Moines, with whom Hema has an on going collaboration, sponsors the classes in Des Moines, IA. Hema has worked tirelessly over the past 21 years to establish the Indian community as a strong constructive ethnic presence in Kansas City.

Nritya holds introductory workshops in Bharathanatyam specially designed to realize your dance potential. It is helpful for both children and adults to explore if they possess the inclination for dance before they enroll for a full time course. The introductory workshop is an interesting and informative package of dance and culture. Designed for the age group of 5 years and above, the classes will provide an insight into the basic structure of Bharatha natyam. Workshops will end with a performance by the students.

Mrs. Sharma is on the following Rosters: Touring Artists for Kansas Arts Commission, Teaching Artists for Kansas City Young Audiences. Mrs. Sharma holds a bachelor degree in accounting and economics, worked several years as a teller. She quit her job in 1993 to allocate more time to the community. Mrs. Sharma has been an active voice in the Indian Community since 1988. She has served the India Association of Kansas City on various different committees, as Program Chairperson. She was the Chairperson of Indian Association for the year 2002. She was the Program Chairperson for the year 2002 for the Hindu Temple and Cultural Center of Kansas City.

Mrs. Sharma has conducted hundreds of outreach programs integrating performing arts and cultural workshops in various Metropolitan Kansas City Schools and in the tri-state area. She volunteered her time every year for 2 weeks at the Center for International Studies of Shawnee Mission School District educating the 6th grade students on India. She has been the Mayor’s Ethnic Enrichment Commission Indian Commissioner since 1993.

Mrs. Sharma has been on the board for the past several years as a member, Third Vice Chairperson, Assistant Treasurer, Treasurer, and Chairperson for the past 2 years. Since she joined the EEC, she spent so much time volunteering for the good cause of EEC. Mrs. Sharma is the first recipient for 1994, 1995, 1996, 2001, 2004, 2007 Madalynne Brock Trophy award presented by the EEC for outstanding contribution to the cultural outreach community.

Guru Dr. Jayashree George

Jayashree is an accomplished Bharathanatyam dancer and very passionate about dance. She lives with her husband George and daughter Bijoya in Emporia, Kansas about 100 miles South west of Overland Park, Ks. She travels every week to come and teach Nritya. Jayashree is an assistant teacher helping the students to perfect their dance techniques. She is also a certified yoga instructor She holds a doctorate in Art Therapy from New York University, New York and is a professional art therapist. Jayashree uses her knowledge and skill to help children, adults and seniors deal with trauma and other mental disorders. 

Dr. Jayashree George is a student of and assistant teacher to Hema Sharma of Nritya School of Indian Dance and Music. She also studies with Sarmishtha Sarkar of Ahmedabad, India. Her dance education stems from the Vazhuvoor tradition represented by Smt. K. J. Sarasa of Chennai and Smt. Padmini Ravi of Bangalore, India. She also received her early training from Smt. Niloufer Tekchand of the Kalakshetra tradition and Kamala Iyengar of the Pandanallur style in Mumbai, India. She received the Iyal Isai Nataka Mandram Award in 1984-85 and completed her tour of performances in South India. Since then she went on to focus on her studies in art and art therapy, achieving degrees (BA & MA) in Fine Arts from Stella Maris College, India and a Doctoral degree in Art Therapy from New York University. She was a full-time professor teaching art therapy at the graduate level in Emporia State University, KS and Antioch University Seattle, WA. She is currently working as an art therapist, dancer and artist in Kansas. Under the aegis of Nritya, she collaborates in teaching dance & yoga and conducting art workshops for beginning and intermediate students. She has a keen interest in contemporary themes in dance and is working towards choreography where she finds newer expressions of Bharatanatyam to suit the problems of our times.


Guru Deblina Choudhury

Deblina Choudhury also known as Ria Choudhury began her dancing and art career at the age of five. Born and brought up in the heart of Kolkata in India, her first dancing Guru was Mamata Shankar where she learned creative dancing. At the age of 10 she got trained in Odissi, Creative and Kathak with Amala Shankar. I n 1997 she chose to excel only in Odissi under the renowned Odissi dancer and Guru Alokananda Roy. Deblina’s performances in several Bengali dance drama like Tasher Desh, Chandalika, Spring festivals became popular.

She was an active vice-president of the Eastern cultural Community in Loreto College 2006-2007. After her graduation she enhanced her creative aspects too. In 2007 she chose her career in Animation and worked with Pogo Channel for sometime. In Dec 2011,she got married to Suyash Choudhury a software developer and settled in the United States. It was here in Kansas where she got another opportunity to work with Nritya school and nurture her skills as a volunteer. Presently she is an Odissi dance instructor and a Fine Arts teacher under Hema Sharma’s Institute.




12013 Hayes Street, Overland Park, KS, United States
Phone: (913) 696-0213
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