About the Rhythms School of Dance
Since 2006, Ranjana Warier has been training hundreds of dancers of all ages in traditional Indian dance techniques. The Rhythm School of Dance is dedicated to educating, entertaining, and engaging the community with Indian culture, tradition, and dance. The teachers and students of the studio accomplish these three focuses with different types of performances and events across Broward County.
Traditional Performance: This type of performance is geared towards individuals of Indian decent who already have knowledge of Indian culture and tradition. More technical in nature, the show contains traditional themes and dances that carry religious and cultural elements.
Educational Performances & Demonstrations: The Rhythms School of Dance actively promotes the art form by presenting and performing Indian dances in the community at museums, libraries and other event centers. This type of performance aims to educate the general public and engage them through community dialogue. The event is an opportunity for more advanced students to practice public speaking.
Thematic Performances: This category of performance blends both traditional and modern styles to appeal to audiences of all cultures. It has a balance of traditional Indian techniques and new themes based on collaborations with different artists and cultures. The show is meant to educate and entertain everyone.
Class Curriculum and Requirements
The Rhythm School of Dance gives youth of Indian descent the opportunity to connect with their native culture and heritage as well as build discipline and develop new skills. It requires a long-term commitment from students since it can take 7-10 years to reach an advanced skill level. The recommended starting age is six, although all ages are welcome.
The school’s curriculum includes introductory material, footwork, hand movements, choreography, reading, fundamentals of Indian religion, and public speaking. Teachers give students videos so they can take the lessons home with them and practice during the week.
Students also participate in workshops throughout the year to demonstrate their skills and engage with the local community. As students advance, they focus more on technique. Even for artists, technique is important. Our educational style is holistic; we want our students to be able to not just perform, but also promote the art, present it, and share it with others in an engaging manner. We develop useful skills that they can keep with them for life.
The Rhythm School of Dance Provides:
- Certification courses in Bharatanatyam in affiliation with Alagappa Performing Arts Academy (APAA) based out of Escondido, California, USA. APAA offers an online degree program in Bharatanatyam through Alagappa University. Visit the APAA site for more details on the certification programs
- Commitment to artistic excellence and authenticity
- A warm, friendly environment promoting creativity and love of the arts
- Professional systematic Bharatanatyam classes developing a strong dance foundation
Benefits of Indian Dance
Exercise: Indian dancing builds muscle strength, coordination, balance, and stamina. It is a great contributor to a healthy lifestyle.
Discipline: Indian choreography builds a lot of discipline since it is a challenging art form and requires a lot of commitment. Time, patience, and endurance are necessary to reach an advanced level.
Spiritual Peace: Our dance studio helps you achieve spiritual peace by helping connect your body, mind, and soul. By aligning these three areas, you can relieve stress and feel peace.
Rhythms of India
Rhythms of India is a nonprofit organization that does performances and demonstrations in public schools and other local venues to explain the art form of Indian dance and create new relationships. Our goal is to spark interest, teach, and leave the audience with something new, inspirational and informative. Our hope is that they will come back to learn more and share their experience with others.
We focus on the younger generation in the community as well to give them exposure and a platform to take the dance to the next level. Each generation thinks differently and approaches it differently. Even though this is a tradition, we give students the ability to excel at it and attain a holistic set of skills that will benefit them in every aspect of their lives. We want to train artists to be efficient in the community and also train the next generation.
From the Director Ranjana Warier:
“Our shows are always thematic, so we try to educate the public on something about Indian culture. We put in a lot of effort into collaborating with other artists too. Something that’s not just engaging to people from Indian culture, but people who are outside of that as well. Many times we focus on an Indian theme and explain the symbolism behind it. Many people find our traditions fascinating, but they don’t know why we do them. So we focus on the reason behind the traditions, and hopefully that builds more understanding for diversity and increases tolerance. Because the more you understand something the more you appreciate it. You can use art as a medium to go deeper into a different cultural aspect or collaborate with other cultures.”
“When we do shows based on history, it’s a way of getting people to think and understand something in an entertaining way. I am always looking for ways to work with other people who we don’t traditionally engage with so we can bring our audience something brand new.”
Method of Special Performance
From the Director Ranjana Warier:
“When I start creating a new show, I begin with a high-level idea of what I want to do. That idea can come from various sources. It can be an artist that I came across and liked. The first step is to have a high-level idea.
Then from that point, I expand it a little to have a structure and I make a rough draft of the script. I create one page of how I see the beginning middle and end. I also develop the message I want to focus on. Then once I have that, I usually think through the dances I want to do, how they fit and then look for music that can represent the message I want to do. I do a lot of mixing music from different sources.
At that point I do base choreography. Then it’s an interactive process. I change the music, choreography and experiment to see what I want to finalize. I don’t settle on the costumes until I finalize the choreography. After that I expand on the script and pick the right people for the show. Then by the time we get all the people and practice, there may be revisions again. I go through a cycle of many revisions until we get to the final. Then there’s the reality of what we can do – based on the financial and facility restrictions and time. All of those things play a part in the final product.”
Ranjana Warier was introduced to Indian Classical dances at the age of six. She got her training in Bharathanatyam and Mohiniyaattam from Kalamandalam Devaki and Kalamandalam Indira and had the opportunity to perform under the guidance of her gurus at several festivals over the years.
She has been an active performer/choreographer at several charity events in United States. Her efforts to educate children on culture and history using dance as a medium has received wide recognition. She is a Knight Foundation Arts Challenge winner for 2012 and 2014, multiple grant recipient from local Government organizations and a routine presenter at various libraries, universities and museums promoting Indian art forms and culture.
Her choreography work was commissioned by several institutions including Florida Grand Opera, Town of Davie, Miami Book Fair and Miami Children’s Museum to offer educational programs for children. Her productions such as, "Dances of India", "Symbolisms behind Festivals of India", "Pancha Nidhi – The Enigma of Five", "Once Upon a Time – An adaptation of western fairy tales through Indian dances", "Bharatanatyam to Bollywood", “Evolution of Indian dances“, "Anvita – an adaptation of Sleeping Beauty in Indian Classical dances" and "SURYA - The Eternal Rhythm" were huge successes.
Ranjana has an Engineering degree and a Master’s degree in Computer Science. She was a nationally seeded chess player and has won several prestigious tournaments. She is currently working in the field of Cyber Security. She is the artistic director of “Rhythms School of Dance” in South Florida; which offers certified degree courses in Indian Classical dances.