Beyond the Dance Class

We are excited to share updates about our Shakti dancers. Building on the success of training and performing at Shakti, Viji’s disciples continue to be inspired to articulate the significance of their experience at Shakti. The training has affected the lives of our dancers in powerful and meaningful ways and important work has been created. Shakti dancers today continue to provide key assistance with ongoing class instruction while several are professional dancers with their own dance companies.

Uma Kadekodi

Bharata Natyam is one of Uma Kadekodi‘s greatest treasures as she feels a profound connection with the art.  Uma began her journey in Bharata Natyam 30 years ago under Guru Viji Prakash and presented her arangatram in 1996.  Since that time she has performed extensively across the US and Canada with the Shakti School including tours such as Shyama and Bhagavad Gita.  Uma has given several performances here in LA including Young Emerging Dancers and has done solo and group performances in India.  Uma’s love for dance continues to grow as she strives to delve deeper into dance and explore the world of choreography.  Under the guidance of Viji and Mythili Prakash she created choreography for Shakti’s Shyama in 2018 and assisted in choreography for Shakti’s Meera production in 2019.  Uma is married with two children, Shyam (7) and Suri (4), and works as a pediatric speech-language pathologist in Southern California. Uma’s sacred connection with her Guru and the art keep her dancing as life continues into different chapters.

Kiran Bhalla is a student of Viji Prakash and has been assisting her in teaching at the Shakti School of Bharata Natyam for over a decade. She appreciates that bharata natyam brings together athletic ability, technical complexity, artistic grace, cultural storytelling, mellifluous music, brilliant color, and deep emotion.  Kiran enjoys the community, creativity, and love of classical art at Shakti, and she especially loves the interactions between students, teachers, and parents. Having attended the first Shakti dance camp and done her arangetram as a teenager under the tutelage of Viji Prakash, teaching at Shakti as an adult has made Kiran appreciate the multi-faceted complexity of the bharata natyam art form and the way it challenges the human body to learn and master technical and artistic nuances.  Kiran has a B.A. and M.A. in International Relations.