Bharatanatyam, a classical Indian dance form, is not just an art; it’s a beautiful expression of culture, tradition, and spirituality. While traditionally taught in India, the allure of Bharatanatyam has spread globally, with enthusiasts eager to learn this intricate dance form abroad. Whether you’re in the USA, Europe, or anywhere else, this guide will help you navigate the path to starting Bharatanatyam lessons abroad. There are numerous tutors and gurus offering Bharatanatyam classes in the USA and various other locations worldwide, both in-person and online.

Learning Bharatanatyam Abroad

Learning Bharatanatyam abroad offers a unique blend of cultural exchange and personal growth. You’ll not only gain a deep appreciation for Indian culture but also develop discipline, grace, and an understanding of the dance’s rich history. Additionally, the availability of online Bharatanatyam classes has made it easier than ever to learn Bharatanatyam online, no matter where you are.

Finding the Right Teacher?

1. Research Local and Online Options

Begin by researching Bharatanatyam instructors in your area. Look for reputable dance schools or individual teachers with a strong background in Bharatanatyam. If local options are limited, explore online Bharatanatyam classes, which offer flexibility and access to skilled teachers worldwide.

2. Check Credentials and Experience

Verify the credentials and experience of potential instructors. Look for teachers who have trained under renowned gurus and have a track record of successful students. Reading reviews and testimonials can provide insight into their teaching style and effectiveness.

Joining a Bharatanatyam Class Abroad

1. In-Person Classes:

If you prefer in-person instruction, look for local dance schools or cultural centers offering Bharatanatyam lessons. Joining a class lets you fully immerse yourself in the learning process, interact with fellow students, and receive immediate feedback from your teacher. Alternatively, if you want to learn from someone with a traditional background, you can opt for personalized one-on-one online classes tailored to your needs.

2. Online Classes:

For those who cannot access local classes, online Bharatanatyam classes are a fantastic alternative. Platforms like Zoom and Skype have enabled teachers to conduct live sessions, while pre-recorded lessons on websites and YouTube offer the flexibility to learn at your own pace. Ensure the online platform provides clear instructions and the opportunity for personalized feedback. The availability of personalized classes has made online learning much more effective.

3. Setting Up Your Home Dance Space:

Creating a conducive environment for practice is crucial, especially if you’re learning Bharatanatyam online. Dedicate a space in your home where you can move freely. Ensure it’s well-lit, has a non-slip floor, and is free from distractions. Having a large mirror can help you observe and correct your postures.

Essential Bharatanatyam Attire and Accessories

1. Attire

Wearing the right attire is essential for Bharatanatyam practice. Traditional dance costumes include a sari or salwar kameez for women and dhoti for men. For practice, comfortable, fitted clothing that allows freedom of movement is ideal.

2. Accessories

Ankle bells (ghungroos) are a significant part of Bharatanatyam attire, enhancing the rhythmic aspect of the dance. Start with a smaller set and gradually move to heavier ones as you become more comfortable with the dance steps.

Understanding the Basics:

1. Adavus

Adavus are the basic steps in Bharatanatyam, combining hand gestures, leg movements, and postures. Mastering these fundamental steps is crucial before moving on to more complex sequences.

2. Mudras

Mudras are hand gestures that convey specific meanings and are integral to Bharatanatyam. Learning these gestures and their significance is essential for storytelling in dance.

3. Practicing Regularly

Consistency is key in Bharatanatyam. Dedicate regular time to practice, focusing on perfecting your adavus, mudras, and expressions. Regular practice not only improves technique but also builds stamina and muscle memory.

Attending Workshops and Performances

To enhance your learning experience, attend Bharatanatyam workshops and performances whenever possible. These events offer exposure to different styles and techniques and provide inspiration and motivation. Many workshops are now available online, making them accessible to international students.

Connecting with the Bharatanatyam Community

Joining online forums, social media groups, and local cultural associations can help you connect with other Bharatanatyam enthusiasts. Sharing experiences, asking for advice, and finding practice partners can enrich your learning journey.

Overcoming Challenges:

1. Cultural Differences

Learning Bharatanatyam abroad might present cultural differences. Embrace these differences and use them as an opportunity to deepen your understanding of Indian culture and traditions.

2. Time Management

Balancing dance practice with other commitments can be challenging. Create a schedule that allows you to consistently dedicate time to practice without overwhelming yourself.

Benefits of Learning Bharatanatyam Abroad

Learning Bharatanatyam abroad offers numerous benefits beyond mastering a classical dance form. It deepens your cultural knowledge and appreciation, promoting a greater understanding of Indian heritage. Additionally, Bharatanatyam significantly enhances physical fitness through its demanding routines, builds mental discipline with its intricate techniques, and fosters emotional expression through its storytelling nature.

Embarking on this journey is not only personally fulfilling but also professionally advantageous. Gaining global certification in Bharatanatyam can open doors to various career opportunities, from performing and teaching to choreographing and cultural ambassador roles. Moreover, it builds confidence and connects you to a global community of dancers, enriching your network and experiences. This rewarding journey blends physical, mental, and emotional growth, making it a truly holistic endeavor.


Starting Bharatanatyam lessons abroad is a fulfilling and enriching experience. With the availability of local and online Bharatanatyam classes, anyone can learn Bharatanatyam online or in person, no matter where they are. Embrace the journey, practice diligently, and immerse yourself in the beauty of this classical dance form.