Founder & Artistic Director
Karishma is recognized for her creativity, high energy and versatility in her works. Her recent works include a Kathak Contemporary piece Manja in the most recent product Melange 2019, Morning in Melange 2017, which was also showcased in Choreographers’ festival at Dance Mission, SF.
Karishma started her dance training at Mumbai’s premiere dance school – Shiamak Davar Institute of Performing Arts (SDIPA) where she was placed in the institute’s very first Special Potential Performers’ batch to train as a Company Dancer and had an extensive performance career for the next 10 years. After moving to the bay area in 2000, she studied ballet and modern dance for 4 years at Dance Mission, ODC in SF. She performed and choreographed for several local organizations such as Dance Mission(SF), Counterpulse, GarageSF, Brahmakumari Society and ASHA.
Karishma spearheaded the first dance fitness program at the India Community Center in 2005. She was invited by Cabrillo College, Santa Cruz to give a lecture on Indian dance classical and folk dance forms. She founded Monsoon Dance Company in 2008 while managing a full time consulting career. Karishma brings a unique perspective to her work, continually exploring dance stories through Indian dance forms in a contemporary light.
Karishma is trained in Kathak for over 10 yrs in the Lucknow Gharana. She underwent numerous workshop trainings at the leading Kathak dance academy in Ahmedabad, Kadamb. She furthered her training under Guru Prashant Shah, senior disciple of Padma Bhushan Smt. Kumudini Lakhia and is now part of their dance company – Prashant Shah & Dancers. Karishma loves combining rigorous footwork with the agility in the movements that Kathak demands, while preserving the authentic form of Kathak but also experimenting its contemporary elements.
Lead, Bollywood Programs
With 10+ years of experience in teaching Bollywood, Divya has done collegiate competitions including Bollywood, Hiphop, Bhangra, and Kuthu. She has been part of professional dance crews and assisted choreography in the Telugu movie industry. She loves to dance and teach, because it brings her pure joy and happiness to connect with students, instructors, and artists that share the same passion for performing arts. In her class, students (kids, preteens, & adults) experience fun and technique. She encourages her students to learn rhythm and understand Indian music. She strongly believes dancing will bring students together for the betterment of their lives and that it teaches students self-confidence, discipline, and structure in one’s life.
Divya’s favorite style of dance is Bollywood and Hiphop. She joined MDC because of the values and promises the company offers to not just their students but instructors as well. She has had the opportunity to participate in dance videos with experienced dancers and instructors on a few projects. One thing she loves about MDC is how connected the whole team is and the genuine interest and curiosity of the instructor’s growth in dance offering multiple styles and creative projects of dance.
Instructor & Company Member
Originally from New Jersey, Ruchi started dancing when she was 3 years old. She has trained as a tap dancer for 15 years and taught kids throughout high school. Ruchi has also learned Bollywood, Kathak, and Contemporary through the years. Ruchi enjoys sharing her love of dance and the Indian culture with her students. In her class, she begins by focusing on the fundamentals of dance and working on core and flexibility through basic yoga flow. While teaching choreography, she helps her students understand the rhythm and beats of the music. Her goal is to build confident dancers who find joy in sharing their love of dance on stage (and currently through Zoom!).
Ruchi joined Monsoon in 2018, when she was looking to grow as a Kathak dancer. She started as a Company dancer, learning Indian Contemporary. She has performed with MDC on stage and in videos for both Contemporary and Bollywood, and is a Kathak student today as well. She loves that MDC has provided her with the opportunity to learn a wide variety of styles, created an inclusive community for her in the Bay Area, and allowed her to share her passion of dance with the next generation of dancers.
An instructor, performer and a parent of a Monsoon Dance student.
Dance for her has always been a way to express joy, celebration and happiness. It Inspires to fly beyond boundaries. Her childhood was full of dance and love for music. As a Punjabi , Bhangra made her tap her feet and convert any floor to dance floor. She grew up in Rajasthan, which gave opportunity to learn and participate in Rajasthani folk Dance as well.
In 2018 She enrolled her daughter at Monsoon dance company, and joined Monsoon dance company as an instructor.
For the past two years, as an instructor she has been able to learn and pass on her passion for dance to young kids, fostering their love and appreciation for movement and music.
As a mother of three, understanding kids of different ages comes naturally to her.
As a performer, she likes to take up challenges, learn from the best and spread her wings more to learn and deliver what she got.
Adarsh is a dancer, choreographer and instructor from San Ramon, CA. He has been dancing for nine years in styles such as Hip-Hop, Bollywood, Raas/Garba, popping, turfing, and tutting. He has performed with many dance companies that are internationally known and recognized and has worked with many talented artists such as Lilly Singh, Mickey Singh, Fateh, Amar Sandhu, and Jubilee Media. He has also taught classes for 4 years and has taught students of all ages all over the world for some of the best dance companies. He hopes to bring his unique style of Hip Hop/Bollywood fusion to each and every class and make every class as exciting and fun as possible.
Kinni started dancing at the age of 10. She has studied Jazz dance, Indian folk and classical over a period of 10 years. Kinni has 10 years of teaching experience with young children and has been teaching kids and preteens at Monsoon for 3 years. She encourages her kids to express themselves through creative movements. Kinni also teaches yoga and integrates her practice with dance to enrich the mind, body and the soul.