Guru Shashilata Gupta is the principal and sanchalika of Sadhana Nritya Sangeet Vidyalaya. She has been teaching Indian Classical Kathak Dance and Hindustani Classical Music since 1980. She strongly believes: Her success story are her students, who have done wonders under her guidance and have won several awards at extremely high levels of competition up to the national level. Even the youngest of students have performed before packed audiences. (You can read some comments from her students at the end of this page.)
Shashiji was fond of music and dance ever since she was a child. As a nine year old kid she started learning Kathak in her hometown Kanpur after she was mesmerised by Gopi Krishnaji‘s performance “Ae Mere Watan Ke Logo”. She went on to do her Master of Arts in Indian Classical Music at Kanpur University and then continued to learn Kathak after settling down in Bombay after her marriage. She learned Kathak under Lehri Maharajji (disciple of Shambhu Maharajji), then under Natraj Gopi Krishnaji, and finally under Guru Sushri Madhurita Sarangji.
Starting on her own
After teaching at Sharada Sangeet Vidyalaya (Bandra) for a few years, she set out on her own by founding Sadhana Nritya Sangeet Vidyalaya in 1983. The Vidyalaya has turned into an exclusive hub for extremely talented students due to the painless and dedicated efforts of Shashiji and the discipline as well as love for the Art Forms she has imbibed in her students.
Major work, recognition and acclaim
Sadhana Nritya Sangeet Vidyalaya celebrated its Silver Jubilee (25 years of offering Kathak dance and Hindustani Classical Music training in Mumbai) in grand style in 2008. Her teaching excellence show in the achievements of her students:
- Shashiji’s students have won awards at the state and national level.
- They have also won the prestigious V.D. Paluskar Award (2007-8) and the Swar Sadhana Samiti.
- They have won TV competitions and made several appearances on television.
- Yukta Mookhey (Miss World 1999) (official website) took classical singing lessons from Shashiji for her Talent Contests in the Miss India and Miss World 1999 beauty pageants.
Guru Shashilata Gupta has actively contributed to the acceptance and development of classical dance and music in public education:
- She served on the Board of Directors of the D.A.V. Public School in Thane for 6 years (1989-95).
- In 1995 she was invited by Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education for setting up the Higher Secondary School examination format for Classical Dance.
- She was invited by the Centre for Educational Research and Development for participating in its national level conference on individual achievements, intellectual excellence and national development.
Guru Shashilata Gupta was nominated for the awards:
- Rashtriya Sammaan Puraskar (2005)
- Woman of the Year Award
- the Secular India Harmony Award
She has herself performed several times on stage, in spite of her occasional asthma problems. Her first TV appearance was in Yuvadarshan’s “Hori”, in March 1979.
What Shashiji’s students have to say about her:
- My Guru, Mrs. Gupta has been imparting knowledge of Kathak dance and is extremely passionate about it. Under her guidance I have improved a lot.
– Niharika Iyer
- My teacher, Mrs. Gupta, encourages me on bad days to give my best and helps me a lot. So I thank her for her support.
– Shubham Dawda
- Under the training of my Guru, Mrs. Gupta since the last 12 years, I have got very good experience in Music and Dance. I feel honoured to be her student. She brings out the best in me.
– Ashwini Sheshasayee (one of our students, who learnt multiple disciplines)
- It has been a joyful experience learning Kathak from her. Her strength is that in dance, she exactly tells where one is going wrong – be it facial expressions or posture. She motivates us to give our best.
– Ruchita and Nikita (twins)
- Mrs. Shashilata Gupta is a very dynamic and highly talented lady. She is very much approachable and can understand her students very well.
– Sangita Sidhakar
- She teaches us not like a teacher but as if we are her children, as a mother, and corrects all our mistakes. My voice would have been left undiscovered if I would not have joined Sadhana Nritya Sangeet Vidyalaya.
– Soma Bag
- I enjoy learning music at her class. She is quite strict and disciplined but imparts lessons in such a simplified manner that it imemdiately gets inscribed in my brain.
– Isdeep Chhabra
- She has always been dedicated to her job and this is seen through her hard work. She provides personal attention irrespective of the number of students in a batch.
– Cheryl Monteiro
- She is a perfect blend of singer and instrumentalist.
- She makes her students focused and gives them a better direction. She also makes her students confident and helps in increasing their concentration.
– Rajesh S. Mehta