BHARATANATYAM: CLASSICAL TEMPLE DANCE
AN EXCEPTIONAL LEARNING EXPERIENCE
(Teacher Assist may be present to
provide one-on-one help).
Group Classes : $380/Term or $100.00/Month
Semi Private Classes : $130/month
Private Classes : $250/month
Temple Dancing Style learned from a renowned Andal-temple performer,
Smt. Muthulakshmi Pillai (1922-1990)
Temple dancing follows a pure, traditional way prescribed by the dance Guru to students, derived from the Natya Sastras - A Vedic dancer's texts
(Brand names such as a school, place, and teachers' names as dance styles are in fashion only in the current day. Any accomplished dancer or artist will agree that the hype of styles becomes irrelevant as long the instructions and knowledge of the art are passed on without altering the original texts.)
Bharthnatyam is a visual performing art that has evolved into several classical dance forms. One of the dance forms known as Bharatnatyam. The benefits of learning Bharatanatyam include increased self-confidence, self-awareness, and discipline.
Basic classes promote team building, develop memory skills, and even help students achieve better performance in academia. Dancers learn basic adavus, mudras, jatis, and sollukattu. Dance yoga simultaneously to improve flexibility. Students in Arengetram Prep classes are committed to performing a public solo performance in the traditional lineage of Temple dancers.
Students will have the opportunity to advance to various dance sequence/dance repertoires depending on their progress and levels of prior experience. Students achieve mastery through the rigorous process of adavus, sequence, Korvai, jatis, Abhinaya (expression training), yoga for flexibility, interpretation, and choreograph major dance pieces. Students in these classes have the opportunities to perform, express their talent in nattuvangam, help assist in the beginner classes, and explore various elements of stage performance and production.
Semi-Classical Dance class is a combo of Bharthnatyam, Kuchipudi & Kathak. This class is exclusive for dance competitions, performances & events.
Sundays In person(South Location):
Level 1 : 9:30 am CST (Ages 4-6)
Level 2: 10:30 am CST(Ages 7-12)
Level 3 : 11:30 pm CST
Arangetram Prep 12:30-8:00 pm CST
(Pre approval needed)
Tuesday In person(South Location):
Level 3 : 5:30 - 6:30 pm
Ladies Level 2 : 6:30 - 7:30 pm
Ladies Level 1 : 7:30 - 8:30 pm
Beginners : 6:00 - 7:00 pm
Arangetram Prep:7:00 - 8:00 pm
Arangetram Prep : 8:00 - 9:00 pm
Thursday : Private sessions (North)
Friday : Online Private sessions
Saturday : North Location(TBD)
- Private Sessions require pre-approval from teacher
- Clothing: Salwar or comfortable pant and long shirt with shawl
- Dance journal
- Dance Anklets
- Water bottle
Online & In Person
Everyone that enters her door becomes part of a special and supportive community because of the warmth she radiates.
Hema Raja is Known for her dynamic choreography, beautiful expressions, statuesque poses, and uncompromising style in tradition and devotion. She is a disciple of Smt. Mutulakshmi who was a prominent Bharthanatyam dancer in South India in a lineage of temple dancers. Temple dancing follows a pure, traditional way prescribed by the dance Guru to students, derived from the Natya Sastras - A Vedic dancer's texts
(Brand names such as a school, place, and teachers' names as dance styles are in fashion only in the current day). An accomplished dancer or artist will agree that hype of styles become irrelevant as long the instructions and knowledge of the art are passed on without altering the original texts.
Hema has been teaching in Austin for over 20 years. Several students performed traditional Bharthnatyam Arangetram (dance graduation) under her able guidance. She has been giving dance performances from age 6. She has over 100 performances in the USA and India. Many of her students have graduated, completed Arangetram, and performed in various places within the USA & abroad.
Hema's dance instructional focus is towards traditional Bharatnatyam. However, some of her choreography and dance performances, have elements of Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi, and Kathak forms, to convey the stories, poems, culture, traditions, myths, and legends of various genres. Her passion for Bharatanatyam, arts, and culture is evident in her ways of teaching.
As a guru, she works tirelessly to train her students to perform to the best of their abilities. She truly loves every child that enters her doors. At the same time, she is an extraordinary dance professional. She takes the time to make sure the steps, expression, and energy are just right and honor this art form at the highest level. Hema has an educational background in Microbiology, Educational Curriculum, and Administration.
Thank you for your support. People like you are my true inspiration to do more. I look forward for your performances everywhere.
- Dr. Rupa
What can I say, my fear was my kid growing up without having enough linkages to her roots and the richness of heritage she comes from! Surely I feel she is at the right place under the right teachers, who are kindling her interest in culture and a sense of belonging amidst a probable threat of identity crisis, kids like mine might otherwise face. You guys truly rock Ms. Hema.. and all the other teachers who have come together under the roof of Samskar and Parampara and truly upholding it under the banner of SamsPra! A true spirit of diversity, global outlook, and instilling the sense of pride and belongingness to places we come from and the places we are discovering along the way!
- Vani Kaushik
Would like to convey my heartiest congratulations to Samspra for Student Arangetram the other day !!! All dance pieces were beautifully done and the Abhinaya pieces were amazing !!!!
I now know that Arangetram is a beautiful teacher-student journey based on trust, hard work and mutual respect and it was a pleasure to watch your student !!
Hema Raja guided my daughter to a beautiful culmination of dance studies, and a base for future exploration of the realm.
- Marguerite Eliot
Hi Hema Aunty! This is a bit random, but I joined a dance team at UT today! It’s a non-competitive bharatanatyam and kathak group and I loved being able to dance again with so many people after a year and a half of not dancing. I just wanted to tell you that I really appreciate all that I have learned from you over the years and hope to learn even more!
We attended Kirthi’s Arengetram by Samspea Academy dance Student.Awesome performance by Kirthi. We could see Hema Raja’s true dedication and efforts in the student performance. Truly mesmerized. Kudos to you, Hema.
Our family enjoyed a lot and best wishes to Samspra Academy.
Very many congratulations Ms Hema on kirthis arangetram! You have sculpted her into a magnificent dancer! Beautiful choreography, loved the varnam, maha kaali songs! And andaal was a befitting finale!! Loved the depiction and the story telling aspect of each piece! You know how to hold audience captivated by the very good mix of dance and drama and aesthetics of it all! Congratulations again!