Smt. Ritu Daga started learning dance at the age of 5 under Guru Smita Shastri at Nartan School of Classical Dances in Ahmedabad. She completed her Arangetram, at the age of 14 and continued her training in Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi, as well as
various folk dances of Gujarat and India under her Guru. From 1986 to 1996, she performed at numerous local and national platforms including Doordarshan and for the President of India at the Gujarat Day Celebration in New Delhi. In 1996, she moved to United States and in 1998 established the Nartan Academy of Dance in Overland Park, KS where she teaches both Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi dance styles.
Guru Smita Shastri trained at the Darpana Institute of dance in Ahmedabad and trained under Guru’s Kittappa Pillai, Shri Chautini Panicker, and Guru Shri Kalyan Sundaram Pillai. The Nartan lineage goes back to Guru Shri Meenakshi Sundaram Pillai in the Pandanallur style of Bharathanatyam. Renowned Guru Shri C. R Acharyalu was instrumental in shaping Nartan student’s Kuchipudi Repertoire. In more than 40 years as a teacher, she has given the graduation “Nritya Tirth” to more then 200 disciples. Since 1980, she has organized 19 “Dikshant Samaroh” presenting more than 100 students in the Kuchipudi style of dance. She has also introduced and conducted a classical dance competition “Lila Mukut Nartan Vijaypadma” in Ahmedabad since 2007.
Guru Smt. Shirisha Shashank from Chennai has been a visiting faculty at Nartan since 2012, holding many workshops and guiding our students in the various nuances of dance. She began training at her five under Shyamala Murali and later specialized under Radha Sridhar of Bangalore. She has also trained in Nattuvangam under Guru Shri Pulikeshi Kasturi from Bangalore and accompanied her Gurus Smt Radha Sridhar and Guru Smt Vandya Srinath on Nattuvangam. She currently trains from Shri Balakrishnan from Chennai.