Sarika Parekh has been a Kathak practitioner for over three decades and has been teaching Kathak style of Indian classical dance in San Francisco since 2004. She holds a Kathak Visharad (BA in kathak) with distinction, and has earned multiple gold medals, city and state awards in Kathak while in India. Sarika 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.
Sarika started learning dance initially from her grandma when she took her first baby steps. With constant encouragement from her parents, grandparents and grandaunt late Shri Vasanti Mhapsekar, a renowned harmonium player, she started her formal training in Bharatnatyam form of classical dance from Shri Neela Rawal. Within few years of training in Bharatnatyam style she had to quit due to scheduling issues but was immediately enrolled in Kathak, another classical dance form, with renowned Gurus-Late Shri Dhirubhai Jariwala and Shri Umeshbhai Jariwala (disciples of Guru Shri Sundarlal Gangani and Shri Gopi Krishna).
It was under Guru Shri Umeshbhai Jariwala's guidance and tutelage that she had attained her Visharad degree (BA in Kathak). She continued advance level training in kathak until she moved to US in 1998.
Sarika credits her family and grandaunt late Shri Vasanti Mhapsekerji for nurturing the love for classical dance and music into her at a very young age. It was under her wings that Sarika learned the importance of discipline, riaaz (practice), respect for the art, humility and the value of guru shisya (pupil) parampara (tradition). She has also been blessed to have received sound advice from stalwarts like Birju Maharajji, Kumudiniben Lakhyaji, Parveen Sultanaji, Keki Jijinaji, Aban Mistriji, Ghulam Mustufa Murtuzaji, to name a few. Her association with these renowned artists set the bars high for Sarika in learning Kathak and taking the art form very seriously.
In addition to Kathak, she also choreographs in various folk dance styles, as well as semi classical dances, and is fluent with Gujarati and Hindi languages.
Sarika has completed her schooling from Lourdes Convent School - Surat, received her Bachelors in Commerce from SPB college of Surat (South Gujarat University), a Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing Management (offered by All India Council of Technical Education) and Project Management from University of California, Berkley.
Sarika currently works as the operations coordinator and research manger for department of emergency medicine at University of California San Francisco. However in order spread the love for Kathak, and pass it on to the next generations she offering to train pupils in the same way she was trained.
Before making US her home, Sarika served as an instructor (grades three – eleven) in St. Xavier’s school and Vidhyabharti Vidhyalaya of Surat.