Sarika Parekh has been a Kathak practitioner for over three decades and has been teaching Kathak 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.
A Few years later she started her training in Kathak classical dance form, with renowned Gurus-Late Shri Dhirubhai Jariwala and Shri Umeshbhai Jariwala (disciples of Guru Shri Sundarlal Gangani and Shri Gopi Krishna). Under their guidance and tutelage she had attained her Visharad (BA in Kathak).
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 dances 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 at University of California San Francisco in the Emergency Medicine. 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.
Ami Bhatt is well rounded artist with many talents. She is an amazing folk dancer, keyboard player, vocalist
(North Indian classical music) in semi classical and folk songs with passion for folk painting, Rangoli and
Indian traditional arts. Being neighbor to a classical music school and daughter of vocalist Smt. Saroj Bhatt,
Ami grew up listening to finest musicians teaching and performing in her home town Navsari. She became
passionate about North Indian classical music and would practice for hours to master the skill. She has been
a music practitioner for over four decades
Ami has been volunteering her time teaching music at BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir San Francisco for the past
several years and has lead and performed musicals, choreographed folk dances and directed dramas at the
Mandir’s women’s events.
Ami routinely sings folk songs at Bhartiya Mandal hall San Francisco with SF Kala Kendra’s events. She brings in extensive experience working with kids and adults of all ages and performing classical/Indian arts.
Her other hobbies include Garba, Dandiya, Dodhiyu, Indian inspired vegetarian/vegan cooking, reciting Sanskrit slokas.
Suhani Jagirdar started learning dance since a tender age of 4. Along with Dance, she also brings in
a lot of experience of Music and Theatre with her.
Suhani is a Bachelor in Bharatnatyam and did her Arrangetram at an age of 12. In 2016, she bagged
1st Position at International Dance Festival held at Paris, France. She has performed more than 50 stage
shows including Solo performances. She is known for her expressions and Abhinaya. She has been
pursuing her Bachelors in Kathak as well as Vocal( Hindustani Classical Music).She is a trained Harmonium
,Tabla and Guitar player. She is a Chitralekha Natya Spardha Best Actress Winner and has performed more
than 10 Plays, over more than 50 shows.
Suhani is an expert in Garba, folk dance and Semi classical dance with numerous accolades in her name and years of experience. She is also a bollywood enthusiast and gives her special touches to Wedding Choreography. She loves to experiment with different dance forms and enjoys fusion between western and eastern dance styles.
Apart from all the qualifications and accomplishments in field of arts, she has also earned a Master's In Commerce and Bachelor's in Education and teaches young budding children.