Meet Anvita

Born in Boston and raised in LA, Anvita Sharma is the Artistic Director of Nrityanvita Kathak Academy which specializes in the Lucknow Gharana. Nritya meaning "dance" and Anvita meaning "with" in Sanskrit, so Nrityanvita essentially means "Dance with Anvita!"

Anvita started her teaching journey by running several branches of her Guru Rachana Upadhyay's school Kathak Kala Academy for over 16 years. Recently in September 2023 with the blessings of her Guru, she made the decision to run an independent dance school so Nrityanvita was born. Anvita continues to be a company performer at Kathak Kala Academy and Indian Performing Arts Center (IPAC).

Coming from a family of Hindustani music scholars, she was exposed to various styles of music and dance early on, but realized her passion was in Kathak only as an adult. With over 20 years of training, she has been teaching Kathak to the LA and Orange county communities since 2007. Some of her work has been presented at Bhakti Fest, Shakti Fest, JPL, Cal State University Northridge, USC Pacific Asia Museum, Madison Square Gardens with Pt Birju Maharaj’s troupe, Mumbai Sister Cities, IJWD and the Ratha Yatra festival. 

Anvita first started teaching Kathak at the Pasadena Hindu Temple in April 2007, in the middle of her first career change. After obtaining a degree in Finance, and a few years of work, she was back in school studying to become an RN. It was in the middle of nursing school when her Guru Rachana Upadhyay suggested she teach Kathak. From then on and until July 2022, Anvita was a full-time registered nurse and Kathak dance teacher. Having two careers for many years meant working long days, while teaching, performing, and holding lecture demos on nights and weekends. She has enjoyed teaching in the community, watching students grow up from elementary school until they move away to college. After juggling both careers for 15 years, she decided to take a leap of faith, and resigned from her nursing career to pursue Kathak full time. She is also an active member of Indian Performing Arts Center (IPAC), a non-profit organization which strives to preserve Indian culture through dance. Anvita offers classes in Pasadena, Anaheim, Irvine, LA Mid-City and online. With over 20 years of training in this form of art, her journey continues as a disciple under Guru Rachana Upadhyay in Los Angeles and more recently, Smt. Durga Arya in Germany.   

The Academy

Nrityanvita Kathak Academy was founded by Anvita Sharma in 2023 after 16 years of running her own classes under the umbrella name of her Guru's Academy (Kathak Kala Academy). The school specializes in the Lucknow Gharana. With her Guru's blessings, Anvita branched out to her own school as she was already running most aspects of the school independently. Now a full time Kathak artist and teacher, it only made sense to be fully independent.

The aim of the academy is to promote Kathak as a premiere form of Indian Classical Dance, and preserve this ancient art form from northern India. Under her guru’s blessings, Anvita’s classes have been part of the Southern California community for over 16 years.

The small group classes are taught in traditional style, with regularly scheduled live tabla accompanist options available to enhance each student’s learning experience. Students learn the ins and outs of Kathak including rhythm, paranth recitation, pirouettes, mudras, hand exercises, balance, theory, bhav, culture and history. All students have the opportunity to perform when stage-ready!

The academy also offers a diploma program from Prayaag Sangeet Samiti with the option to take annual exams. Diploma certificates are recognized by the leading music institutions in India. For those with busy schedules, online private one-on-one classes are also available.