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Kathak is an ancient Indian dance form whose origins date back between 1st century B.C. and 1st century A.D. 
This style is known for its speed, footwork, grace, pirouettes, fluidity and linear moves. The word Kathak is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘katha’ means story telling. Brahmin priests would narrate stories (katha) from Ramayan, Mahabharat and other scriptures using this dance form and hence the name Kathak was derived.

The Practice of Kathak dance is considered to be the highest form of practicing yoga as the style involves different stages of yoga - Sadhna (abstention), Niyam (regulation), Asana (body postures/exercises), Prayanayam (breathing exercises), Pratyahara- (shutting external impressions), Dharna (concentration), Dhyana (meditation), Samadhi (ultimate state of realization when subject and object become one). Along with yoga the style also uses mathematical calculations and rhythmic patters in compositions. 

Sarika Parekh founded SF Kala Kendra in 2010 to promote Indian art and cultural heritage by providing learning opportunities in the field of Indian classical arts in San Francisco.

What we offer:

SF Kala Kendra offers beginner, intermediate and advance level classes in Kathak dance on year round basis. We also offer North Indian music classes (Keyboard), Folk (Garba, Dandiya), Semi Classical and Bollywood dance workshops. Our classes are designed to enhance creativity, focus, confidence, team spirit, independence, culture, respect, discipline, multitasking, organization and bringing best out of every student.

Classes are offered in small group settings to ensure maximum supervision and attention.  We customize the sessions based on student’s interests, and needs while ensuring that the syllabus requirements are met.

We accept students ages four through adult based on their readiness for learning specific style.

Our Aims:

We aim to provide our students the confidence, knowledge and skills required to perform in public, either as soloist or in groups. We particularly focus on building strong foundation for the art form based on which any complex recitals can be performed with breeze. We do not focus on performances but rather equip our students with the skills that they can use rest of their lives. 

We believe that strong basics give students the self-confidence to master the difficult pieces of respective arts and become independent performers over time. 

Benefits (Kathak):
Sarika believes that learning Kathak is a complete nutrition for mind body and soul. It is not only a cardio workout, but also exposes pupils to yoga, meditation, acting and entertainment. Kathak helps in improving various skills such as multitasking, focusing, logical thinking, creativity etc. when practiced over a period of time. For beginners Kathak may not appear to bring these benefits right away but with the passage of time and with imbibing kathak in one’s life, one can realize its therapeutic and mind body benefits. 

Syllabus (Kathak):
We start with simple footwork (tatkaar), hastaks (10 hand feet coordination), chakkars (spins) todas (compositions) and as training progresses we move on to paltas, kavit todas (compositions on poems) gats, (narrating stories while walking) sloks, thumri, tarana etc.

SF KalaKendra - Kathak and More