Children & Youth
The Leela Academy’s children and youth division provides students ages 5-17 with access to a range of programs that foster creativity, build foundational skills in kathak dance, and provide extensive cultural education.
The Leela Academy’s year-round program provides age-appropriate, standards-based education in kathak for children and youth ages 5 to 17. Students receive foundational training in kathak dance technique as well as supplemental training in Hindustani classical music. The academy’s curriculum also provides in-depth education in the historical, philosophical, and cultural context that surrounds the dance. As students advance, they have the opportunity to study and train at the pre-professional level with some of today’s leading Indian classical dance and music artists. Take a look at our FAQ for more information.
Every summer, the Leela Academy hosts a week-long camp for children ages 5-12. The camp provides children with the opportunity to study kathak dance and Hindustani classical music in an immersive environment with some of the world’s most renowned artists and educators. The camp is held in California and proudly hosts students from across the country.
Leela Youth Dance Company
Leela Youth Dance Company is an elite pre-professional, audition-based training and performing group under the mentorship and artistic direction of Leela Dance Collective artist and co-founder Rukhmani Mehta. The program champions excellence in kathak dance with students training rigorously 5 hours/week in addition to home practice. LYDC also serves as a platform for dance empowerment and youth leadership, where teens become advocates and rising young leaders and ambassadors for Indian artistic heritage. LYDC has performed nationally in numerous prestigious venues and festivals, including the WorldWideWomen’s Girl’s Festival, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Philadelphia Youth Festival, San Francisco Symphony Hall alongside students of the San Francisco Ballet.
My girls have been attending Leela Academy for the past 5 years. Rinaji and the other teachers are amazing. This is one of the few schools of classical Indian dance that stays true to the form. They spend a tremendous amount of time teaching and perfecting the art. The kids have done many performances through the past years, including many on the professional stage. My kids will continue to attend this school due to the high integrity and care they have.
— Seema P., Los Angeles, CA
I was searching for a good kathak class for my daughter when I came across Leela’s Online Workshop post on Instagram and Facebook. I immediately enrolled my daughter there and I would say we were happy and fully satisfied with the classes and workshops. Ria DasGupta and Rina Mehta are awesome teachers. I strongly recommend Leela Academy to everyone who is interested in kathak.
— Anjana S., Greensboro, NC
My daughter and I began attending virtual classes after the shutdown and have been so impressed by the quality of teaching. We’re not only learning how to dance kathak but also the proper practice, terminology, and even history. Even though we’re just beginners, these world-class teachers treat us with such respect as though we’re actual performers, honing in on the details of our movement, practice, and expression.
— Deepa P., Seal Beach, CA
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