A Decade of Dancing

Local teenagers practice a dance technique from across the world.
Lisa Wiley

For the last decade, four girls have been learning and performing an Indian classical dance style called Bharatanatyam, in the Maple Grove home of their teacher, Seetha Thuraimanikam. The Singapore native learned the style of dance at the age of 5 and traveled the world performing before moving to the U.S. in 2000 and deciding to pass on her knowledge by creating the Apsaras Dance Group.
“I wanted to teach this Bharatanatyam dance, which is a South Indian classical dance, to the next generation and instill the passion in them,” Thuraimanikam says.

Amritha Ramsankar, Sahana Vandayar, Sharada Srivatsa and Kavya Rampalli are now in high school at Wayzata High School and Maple Grove Senior High. Years spent with this small group has created a special relationship between the dancers and their teacher.

“I wanted a small, dedicated group, and these girls are very dedicated to me,” Thuraimanikam says. “They came to me as little girls and it’s wonderful to see [them] grow up and become wonderful teenagers.”