A day in the life of a Classical Dance Teacher
Updated: Apr 26, 2019
“My purpose is to spread the wonders of Indian culture through dance to my students” -Lakshmi Babu
This is the dream and message that Lakshmi Babu spreads to families through dance. The message she carried when she first started teaching 28 years ago to a class of 5 students, to the present day of over 200 students at 5 branches in Maryland & Virginia.
Lakshmi Babu founded the Kuchipudi Dance Academy (KDA) in 1996 and has been teaching classical Indian dance, specifically in the Kuchipudi style, which originated in the 17th century in south India. Over the years, she has worked tirelessly to teach students, guiding and mentoring them through challenging adolescent years, organizing monthly events and performances that showcase kids strengths, all while bringing warmth and love to every lesson.
“Classical Dance is an art that has become a safe medium and it keeps kids connected to their roots” - Lakshmi Babu.
Culture, religion, age & gender are no barriers as students from different countries, ethnicities, and ages learn this ancient art form at KDA.
Teaching and managing a dance school is no small feat and we at KeDazzle were naturally curious on what it takes to be successful. So we recently sat down with Lakshmi Babu to get a glimpse into her life.
KeDazzle: Can you walk us through a typical day?
Lakshmi Babu: No single day is the same as the previous day’s. To give you an idea, let's start with today:
Friday, April 12th
6 am - Wake up and get ready for the day!
7 am - Early morning class for senior dancers for 1 hour
11 am - Get ready to leave to Philadelphia to support the Indian classical dance scholarly event - ‘South Indian Dance in Critical context’
1 pm - Drive to Philadelphia for the event
4 pm - Arrive in time for the evening performance
5 - 9 pm - Attend the ‘South Indian Dance in critical context’ event and start back for home after completion.
1 am - Reach home
Saturday, April 13th
8 am- Leave for Sri Shiva Vishnu temple for a special event
9 - 2 pm - Participate in the event ‘Women and Dharma: Saints, Scholars and Leaders’ which involves a round table discussion with invited Dharma community women leaders and experts.
3 pm - Come back home for a bit of a break
Sunday, April 14th
9 am - 9 pm - Conduct classes all day in Germantown KDA center.
KeDazzle: A busy dancer & teacher you are! Can you break down a typical week for us?
Lakshmi Babu: That's probably the first time someone asked me that question! On a typical week, I spend time on various activities:
Teaching - 50 hours per week of teaching regular classes, practice classes and additional classes for upcoming events and performances
Dancing -over 8 hours a week to practice dance alone and with my students
Coordinating & planning - 20 hours a week on planning, coordinating with parents & students on attendance, make up classes, applying for events or coordinating with event organizers etc.
Special events & conferences - 8-10 hours per month on an average of 2 talks/speeches for which adequate preparation
Travel - 7-10 hours per week commuting between the 3 different branches at Ellicott City, Clarksburg, Virginia, Rangapravesam student’s homes and events.
Filming, creative work & special projects - 8 hours per month
Her dedication and hard work really shines through and opens our eyes how passionate Lakshmi Babu is about KDA, dance, her students and her community.
Through determination and passion for teaching, Lakshmi is growing and strengthening her school, which brings with it its own challenges. Keeping up with all the emails, scheduling/managing monthly performances, parent/kids instant communication, and the list can go on! To conquer these challenges and grow, we are proud to announce that KDA is partnering with KeDazzle to help them streamline their business through our innovative platform and which will help KDA to focus more on growing and inspiring our future generation.
To learn more about KDA, please visit their site:
Please view some of their performances