Co-founder of NATyA and producer of its shows, Vallari Shah started studying Bharatanatyam at the age of six with Nrutya Jyoti Dance Academy under Khurshid Vasifdar Chavda in Bombay, India, a disciple of Uday Shankar. Since 1995, she has been studying Bharatanatyam and Kathakali at Kalanjali in Berkeley with Katherine and K P Kunhiraman. In 2003 she began learning Kuchipudi with Sailaja Sudha, in Chennai. She has performed classical Indian dance for six years solo, and as a member of the Kalanjali Dance Company. Also passionately interested in participatory folk dancing, she conducts workshops of Indian folk dances.

Smitha Co-founder of NATyA, Smitha Radhakrishnan started studying Bharatanatyam at the age of five with Arathi Dances of India in Arizona under Asha Gopal and later became a member of the Arathi Dance Company. In 1994, Smitha studied in Bangalore under Padmini Ravi. In 1999 she studied Mohini Attam in India. Most recently, she has been studying with Kalanjali and performing with the Kalanjali Dance Company. She has also performed and taught with Surialanga, an intercultural dance company in South Africa that fuses African and Indian styles. On her way to becoming a professor, Smitha's other hobby, podcasting, has taken off with Desi Dilemmas becoming the most popular South Asian podcast.
Deepa Subramaniam began learning Bharathanatyam at the age of seven under Indumathy Ganesh of Nrithyollasa Dance Academy. In 1998 she travelled with the Nrithyollasa company to perform in South India and in 2005 performed with Nrithyollasa at the New Prague Dance Festival in the Czech Republic. She has performed as a solo artist in several Bay Area/San Francisco events including the Dance Mission Harvest Choreographer's Showcase in 2005. Deepa is also very interested in South Indian Classical Carnatic music and has trained under Jayshree Vardarajan for 10 years.
Nitya Venkateswaran has been learning Bharatanatyam from Vishal Ramani, Artistic Director of Shri Krupa Dance Company, since the age of four. Since 2001, she has embarked on an intensive solo performance career giving numerous performances in India and the Bay Area. She was chosen as soloist in the 2005 San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival and was blessed to be able to perform in the temples of Kumbakonam and Thanjavur, India. A lover of all dance forms, Nitya had the opportunity to study Modern and ballet at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York and Flamenco in Sevilla, Spain.
Jyotsna Jyotsna Vaideeswaran started learning Bharatanatyam at the age of five and has learnt under Sri Aravind and Vasantha Aravind from Kalakshetra in Chennai. She is a recipient of the Bharat Kalachar dance scholarship in Chennai. As a member of Toronto’s Sampradaya Dance Creations she has performed in many productions including Thyagaraja Vaibhavam, and Revealed by Fire of acclaimed choreographer Lata Pada. She has given numerous solo concerts for art festivals and fundraisers in Canada and US like Seattle's Utsav Festival and Bay area's YuvaBharathi and four solo concerts during the 2006 Chennai Margazhi season. Since 2000 Jyotsna has been studying Kathak.
Alyssa Alyssa Nickell has been actively engaged in creative writing since she was 14, inspired by Mrs. Bouma's grey-and-white houndstooth suits, Jenny's pink-pink sweats, and the threat of getting stuck in Home Economics learning how to sew buttons and boil eggs. In the late eighties, she discovered spoken word at Chicago's Green Mill, one of Al Capone's roaring-20's speakeasies, and has been playing and procrastinating with rhyme and rhythm ever since.
Ganesh Ganesh Ramachandran does Bharatanatyam Photography. An architect by profession, he is the photographer and graphic designer for NATyA. His interests can be seen at
Rajesh Lights, sound, marketing, transport, refreshments, website, babysitting, washing dishes, ... everything but dancing! His main occupation is trying to help provide safe drinking water sustainably to many who struggle without it today.
  Dancers Emeritus A list of all the dancers who have graced our past performances and have helped NATyA ascend to the stage.