Workshops and Community Engagement
"I really appreciated the brave space this created - a space where we felt comfortable to take risks and go outside of our comfort zone."
Master Classes and Workshops
These classes are often offered in conjunction with a performance residency. Classes can be adapted to different populations from professionals to students to non- professionals of all ages. Sheetal travels around the world to engage with, inspire and empower diverse communities. She develops and shares a creative process that builds bridges between people from different backgrounds and traditions, while developing each individual’s creative potential and unique voice. Residency activities are as varied as the communities she works with, and are ultimately designed to serve the unique needs of each group.
All of the classes can be scheduled as a 1.5- 3 hour master class or as a full residency over several weeks or a semester. Classes can be adapted to different populations from professionals to students to non-professionals of all ages.
Storytelling Through Movement (“These Embodied Voices”)
Drawing on her own artistic process as a multi-disciplinary story-teller, the workshops focus on different ways of pairing text, song and sound with gesture to create meaningful and evocative, full-bodied stories. Participants work together and work alone to source material through improvisation, choreographic and theatrical structures, free-writing, research, and dialogue. They may explore their cultural identities, histories, genders, and spiritual backgrounds as these subjects relate to the development of performance.
The workshop focuses on the body and voice as the basis for exploring traditional and contemporary rhythmic, percussive and movement possibilities. Participants will drum, sing, clap, stamp and move, as they discover the fun in playing with polyrhythms!
Her way of teaching and interacting with her students was completely unique. She treated us with the respect of an equal which made me feel comfortable in her class.
I enrolled into this class, just so that I could meet a requirement, but I took so much from this class. I earned a new respect for the other cultures just from learning about their way of dancing and music making.
I am very happy that I got to learn from her, because she teaches with such enthusiasm. I feel like I developed a new interest in dance cultures and polyrhythms thanks to her.
Super cool class. I have never taken anything like it and it was challenging in the best of ways. I've been a dancer for a long time but never looked at rhythms the way Sheetal presented them.
It was like taking a trip around the world while never leaving the classroom.
I absolutely loved Sheetal's class. She was passionate and knowledgeable about what she was teaching us and had lots of personal experience.
She engaged us every minute of class, there wasn't ever a time where I was sitting down, thinking "man, I wish time went by quicker." I loved that it wasn't just lecturing us on history of cultural dances and forms of expression but we actually learned them together.
Bollywood and Indian Dance Styles
Participants will learn choreography to popular Bollywood and Bhangra songs. The class focuses on traditional Indian styles based on both folk and classical forms and emphasizes important story-telling skills through dance.
Beginning level: The class introduces tap technique and styles (including rhythm tap and Broadway tap). Emphasis will be on fundamental skills and rhythms, time steps, flash footwork, short combinations, styling and improvisation.
Intermediate level: This course presents a more in depth look at tap technique and styles. Students learn intermediate steps and techniques with a focus on more complex syncopated rhythms, tonal clarity, speed and improvisation. Students will gain experience learning short and long tap dance phrases as well as techniques related to performance.
**ALL Students will learn about the cultural and historical origins of tap,the history of tap as well as current trends and applications of tap in concert dance and musical theater.
Repertory and Performance
Participants will learn various sections from Sheetal’s solo and group work that include contemporary modern vocabulary in dialog with classical Indian dance, speaking while dancing, rhythmic text, and character work. This class can be tailored to fit students and professionals coming from either an acting or dance background. The class emphasizes the ability to pick up choreography and learn new material and teaches important performance skills.
Unveiling a New Intercultural Performance:
Bahu-Beti-Biwi (Daughter-in-law, Daughter, Wife)
BBB is being discussed and taught in universities across the country and has been written about in the book Contemporary Indian Dance by Ketu Katrak (2011). In this lec/dem, Sheetal reveals the personal and artistic journey that she went on in the creation of this work. Excerpts of the work (live and screened), photos and footage from her research in India, as well as personal anecdotes are all part of the presentation.
Current Classes / Coaching
Sheetal currently teaches at universities and colleges around Greater Los Angeles. She offers classes in Choreography, Improvisation, Modern, Jazz, Contemporary Indian and Tap. She is also a certified Pilates instructor and somatics practitioner teaching privately and at Bodyscape Integrative Physical Therapy in Pasadena. Sheetal offers one-on-one coaching in vocal and movement technique to dancers, actors, and performers looking to prepare for a role, make a solo show, or just refine their skill sets.