***Due to Covid19 we have transitioned to providing our arts education and after school programs virtually. We can do live lessons on Zoom or offer prerecorded videos with short assignments for students if required. Many of our school partners have successfully transitioned to virtual dance residencies, workshops and after-school classes. Please get in touch so we can help share dance, movement, culture and fun with your students at home at this time.***
Leading the way in South Asian dance education with programs that celebrate creativity, culture and diversity
Ajna was founded with the mission of celebrating diversity and fostering cultural inclusion through Indian dance programming for students of all ages and backgrounds. We offer dance programs to students in public, charter, and private schools, and community-based organizations.
Our programming focuses on the following core principles:
- Exploring identity, community and creative potential
- Celebrating diversity & fostering cultural inclusion through the arts
- Developing life-skills such as teamwork, self-discipline and respect for others
- Building confidence and social emotional learning (SEL) through learning, creating and performing Indian dance
- Exploring culture, history, geography and the South Asian diaspora through dance and music
We offer a unique way for children to learn about the global and historical significance of dances from India and the Indian diaspora in a way that is fun and relatable. Students learn dance technique and work on choreography but also develop a deeper understanding how dance and specifically Indian dance is used as a means of expression and communication.
- Video reel of our school assembly & residency programs
- Dance residency video from PS 4 complete with interviews with students and staff
- Grade Levels: Pre-K – 12
- We work with each school to cater our program to their specific academic goals and learning outcomes
- Ajna is a registered vendor for New York City Department of Education, Nassau BOCES accepted and we have worked schools in NJ, CT & PA
For more information, booking, or to request a quote please contact us.
‘Dances of India’ Assembly
Our highly popular ‘Dances of India’ assembly is a great way to introduce a larger group of students to Indian dance and culture. The lecture-demonstration format touches on concepts in geography, history and social studies in addition to dance and movement. The assembly is great any time of the year but popular during the celebrations of Diwali (the festival of lights) in the fall and Holi (the color festival) in the spring.
The lecture-demonstration assembly (45–60 minutes) includes:
- Introduction to Indian dance, movement and culture
- An interactive explanation and demonstration of classical (Bharatanatyam & Kathak), folk (Garba, Dandiya, & Bhangra), and Bollywood dance, highlighting the significance of storytelling in these art forms
- Active audience participation in learning facial expressions, hand gestures, basic movements, rhythmic counting, and more
- Authentic & artistic Indian dance performance by Ajna dance artists in cultural costuming
- Concludes with an interactive dance lesson where students (and teachers!) learn a short piece of Bollywood choreography
Ajna’s dance residencies provide the opportunity for students to get a truly in-depth experience of Indian dance and culture and culminate in a final performance by the students. In addition to learning dance technique and working on choreography, students learn in detail about the historical and cultural context of the dance. Residency program details:
- Bollywood, classical and/or folk dance residencies
- 6, 8, 10, 15 week residencies for 1-5 classes per day
- Includes an introductory planning meeting between the Ajna teaching artists, school administrators, and classroom teachers
- Emphasis on dance technique, creativity, choreography, increased cultural awareness and developing confidence
- Culminate with a spectacular student performance complete with staging and cultural costuming
- Ajna dance residencies are customized to fit a school’s or organization’s schedule and budgetary needs.
We also lead classroom workshops for individual classes, grades, or small groups of students or faculty. We can come in for a single period or more and share an interactive session of Indian dance. These programs allow for a more detailed interaction between the teaching artists and students and can vary in focus, depending on the goals and objectives of the group. Popular for:
- When classes are studying India or Asia
- The festivals of Diwali (fall) and Holi (spring)
- May for Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month
Parent Engagement Workshops
We love getting parents and the community involved in our work and up and dancing! We offer a 45-60 minute parent workshop with an overview of our Indian dance programming for students and an interactive dance lesson including a short choreography that is guaranteed fun.
A sample of our partners in education:
|PS 20||PS 182||Success Academy Williamsburg||Nord Anglia International School||The Katmint Learning Initiative|
|PS 244||PS 107X||Success Academy Fort Greene||The British International School||Hommocks Middle School|
|PS 7||PS 19Q||Success Academy Harlem||The Brooklyn Friends School||Deerfield School|
|PS 3||PS 253Q||Bronx River High School||Ethical Culture Fieldston School||Iona College|
|PS 4||IS 77||Lakewood Elementary School||Metropolitan Montessori School||Hunter College (CUNY)|
|PS 115||PS 166||Bronx Little School||The International Preschools||Suffolk Community College|
|PS 69||MS 124||Wilton High School||Allen-Stevenson School||Keene State College|
|PS 192||PS 316||Mott Hall Charter School||Bank Street School for Children||Ramapo College|
For more information, booking, or to request a quote please complete this form: