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Around Town: South Fayette woman teaches Indian dance

| Friday, Jan. 13, 2017, 11:00 p.m.

Performing artist, choreographer and educator Shambhavi Desai moved to South Fayette in 2000 and opened the Sanskruti School of Indian Dance and Music in 2002.

The studio is at 3131 Millers Run Road in Cecil, and there also is a location at the Hindu Jain Temple in Monroeville.

Desai has a master's in performing arts and is trained in Indian classical vocal music from M.S. University, Baroda, India.

She teaches beginners through advanced students in the art of Bharatanatyam, Lok Nritya (folk dance), Hindustani classical and devotional music.

Dances reflect the influences of contemporary Indian culture while retaining the unique Indian essence that defines the Indian diaspora. Students learn through a variety of performances, workshops, educational outreach, formal dance and music instruction.

Her school performed last week at the North Indian Harvest Festival, “Lohri.”

Upcoming performances include the Weirton Festival of Nations and the Women's Empowerment Conference Series by Inspire Health Solutions in March; the cultural festival at the Sri Venkateswara Temple and the Holi festivities at the Hindu-Jain Temple in April; Sanskruti's annual students' day and the Pittsburgh International Folk Festival in May; the University of Pittsburgh Nationality Rooms' India Day Celebration in August; and Diwali Festivities in October. Other performances will be in the Pittsburgh International Airport's Performing Arts Series and at the South Fayette Township Community Day this fall.

Students also can appear in a formal exam conducted by the Pandit Jasraj Institute, where Desai is on the faculty.

“It is very satisfying to see how rapidly South Fayette has grown in all respects and, as the founder and director of Sanskruti School of Indian Dance and Music, I am happy to be a part of this diverse community and have the opportunity to culturally enrich the people of the Greater Pittsburgh area,” Desai said.

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Charlotte Smith is a Tribune-Review contributing writer. Reach her at

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