Bharatanatyam - An Unconventional Career Opportunity

A student gets very less time after a busy schedule. With all the projects and assignments, mixed with 2 to 3 coaching classes spread out into different timings within the week. Add some surprise tests at the end of the week, and there! You have 4 years of your school life and 3 years of college right here.


It has been long debated on whether studies are the only important elements of a school life. Activities of all kinds are introduced in the curriculum with the idea that every student will achieve a holistic development in all aspects of life.

But most of these activities are generally overlooked, by students, parents and in some cases the teacher itself. The academics are time and again wining the battle of what is important against subjects like physical education, Dance, Art and Craft classes.

Bharatanatyam - An Unconventional Career Opportuni

Mostly this happens because, a majority of the society believes that there is no future in liberal studies like the above mentioned. Also many parents note that it is deemed much respectful in the society to be an engineer than to perform a dance. Dance is an art form that can resonate the energy of the performer right into the hearts of the audience.

What is Bharatanatyam?

Bharatanatyam is an Indian Classical Dance form that originated in Tamil Nadu. It has its theoretical foundation in the ancient text by Bharta Muni, called Natya Shastra. As career, you should only take it up if you have the passion towards, especially the form that Bharatanatyam offers. Students of the dance form are as young as 4 and 5.

Bharatanatyam Today

Today the art has been confined to few centres in the country which sees only few trainees. Many students leave the art after their Arangetram. Academic studies and other career options becomes an hindrance. In many other countries, especially in the west, Bharatanatyam is considered as a very important classical dance form. It is equated to ballet and Non- Resident Indians are the majority of the students.

During the 60s and 70s, the art of Bharatanatyam was important to be known to become an actress. Many famous women like Hema Malini, Shobana, Waheeda Rahaman are examples of the same. But as time passed this necessity began to shrink. So did the time given to performance arts on air, as the audience moved away from appreciating classical dance forms to more reality based and entertainment shows.

How to become a Bharatanatyam Dancer?

  • The early stages of training will involve- basic steps, exercises to endure long terms, development of the physique.
  • As the trainee moves on with their training, they learn different hastas that are gestures made by hand, which are very important when it comes to the performance.
  • The student learns about the history of Bharatnatyam. As the trainee passes each level, they learn complex choreography. After many years of training the student finishes the Arangetram, which is believed as the beginning of the journey to become a professional dancer.
  • One can continue studying and performing to become an experienced dancer and even start teacher when one attains the experience that is needed.

What will you be doing as a Bhartanatyam Dancer?

After one masters the art of Bharatanatyam, you can proceed to become a full time dancer. You can perform at events and if you are really good, you will be invited to do so.

One can also take up their dreams of becoming a choreographer and form their own group, and build their choreography. One can have the chances of touring around the country and world and perform at events, in front of audience who have a passion for the art.

There are many dancers who, after years of learning and experience decide to move their journey towards being a teacher. They will be imparting their knowledge to new learners and molding the art for the future.

As a form of dance it has always been a graceful one, Bharatanatyam has evolved as a representation of our rich culture and heritage. Not just academics but your interests like dance can become your career.

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Top Institutions in India that offer a course in Bharatanatyam

  • Kalalayaa Academy, Tamil Nadu
  • Jhinook, West Bengal
  • Kalamandalam, West Bengal
  • Khechara Academy Of Bharatanatyam, Karnataka
  • Kalakshetra College of Fine Arts, Tamil Nadu

Top Institutions that offer a course in Bharatanatyam around the world:

  • Natyananda, USA
  • Arpana School of Dance, USA
  • Kalaimanram, UK
  • Thrayee School of Bharatanatyam, Australia

So take up that spirit, and dance away to become a Bharatyanatam legend.

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