Karishma Sharma, Founder & Artistic Director

 
Karishma found her passion for dance when her mother signed her up for her first dance class at Mumbai's premiere dance school - Shiamak Davar Institute of Performing Arts (SDIPA) to study Jazz and Afro Jazz. She was placed in the institute's very first Special Potential Performers' batch to train as a Company Dancer and had an extensive performance career for the next 10 years. 

Karishma was selected by Shiamak to dance in the famous Bollywood movie Dil to Pagal Hai, which earned him a National Award for choreography.

When Karishma moved to the Bay Area in 2000, she studied ballet and modern dance for 4 years at Dance Mission, ODC in SF. She performed and choreographed for local organizations such as Dance Mission(SF), Zingaris, Counterpulse, GarageSF, Brahmakumari Society and ASHA and got recognized for her creativity, high energy and versatility in her dance pieces.  

Karishma spearheaded the first Bollywood dance fitness program at the India Community Center in 2005. She has been invited by several bay area schools and colleges as a guest lecturer and instructor to discuss and demonstrate Indian dance forms, Cabrillo College, Santa Cruz being one of them. 

She founded Monsoon Dance Company in 2008 while managing a full time consulting career. Karishma brings a unique perspective to her work, continually exploring dance stories through Indian dance forms in a contemporary light.

Karishma learned Kathak under Nirmala Madhava's tutelage (PAMPA) for 8 years. She furthered her Kathak training at Kadamb Institute in Ahmedabad, India and trains with Guru Prashant Shah, senior disciple of Padma Bhushan Smt. Kumudini Lakhia.





 

Ram Vaswani (Instructor, Company Member)


Ram is a Bollywood aficionado and has the latest Bollywood songs at his fingertips! Ram started his dance journey at Shiamak Davar Institute of Performing Arts in Pune, India learning Jazz. When he moved to the bay area, he joined Monsoon Dance Company in 2009 as a student and started performing with them in various local events and shows such as the WOW Festival-SF. In 2011, he became an Instructor for Monsoon Dance Company and taught Adult dance classes in San Mateo and Foster City. Over the years, he has built a very dedicated group of students. Ram's class offers high energy cardio and core work routines that guarantee to break a sweat! His passion for dramatic facial expressions and cinematic pizzazz that Bollywood demands is reflected in his choreography and as a result, in his students! Come experience the Bollywood passion with Ram! 

 


Riddhi Kapoor (Instructor, Company Member)

Dancing makes me the Happiest” is the mantra Riddhi swears by. Her love for dance started at the age of 3, along with her mother’s support. Riddhi initially trained in the Indian classical dance form Kathak in Chennai, India for 7 years under Mrs. Sengupta. She also studied Rajasthani folk dance for 5 years She discovered her passion for Bollywood dance when she attended a workshop at Shiamak Davar’s Institute of Performing Arts (SDIPA) and went on to do several stage shows. Her passion for teaching started while choreographing for school/college events, family/ friend’s weddings and helping out with her co-trainers classes. She moved to the Bay area in 2014. Dancing gives her the adrenalin to learn, perform and teach more.


Riddhi joined Monsoon Dance Company in 2017 and has not looked back since! Riddhi started teaching the Adult dance class in 2017. She is thrilled when she is able to delight her students with her upbeat and stylized Bollywood moves. She led her students to their first successful performance in MDC's annual showcase - Melange 2017.


 


Shilpi Panzer (Instructor)

Shilpi has been dancing since she was 5 years old, formally trained in Bharatanatyam under Smt Asha Gopal for over 15 years. After her Arangetram in 2001, she continued to dance with the Arathi School of Dance troupe under Asha Gopal's leadership and participated in several dance competitions throughout college. 

Moving to the Bay Area for graduate school in 2007 brought new adventures, including teaching Bharatanatyam to kids and dancing with the Abhinaya Dance Company under Smt Mythili Kumar. Currently, Shilpi continues to dance and choreograph whenever she can, and loves to learn other dance forms, such as Contemporary/Modern dance, from many of the dance studios around the Bay. To balance the creative world of dance, she works as an Electrical Engineering consultant in Menlo Park, CA, and loves to ski, hike, and travel with her husband.

Shilpi is excited to join Monsoon Dance Company and share her joy of teaching kids and performing!




Kinni Mistry (Instructor)

Kinni loves to dance and express herself. She considers her mother, a Bharatnatyam dancer, as her key source of inspiration. Kinni started dancing at the age of 10. During college, she performed Indian folk and Bollywood dances in annual shows and competitions. She also studied Jazz for a couple of years in college. 

Teaching dance is Kinni’s passion. She taught kids classes (age 4 - teens) at Dance Masti for 7 years where she was known to make her students feel comfortable in class by breaking down dance movements into manageable chunks. Kinni also taught private dance classes for weddings, birthdays and Diwali occasions. 

Kinni joined Monsoon Dance Company in 2017 as an instructor for kids classes and is excited to continue growing her teaching skills to the next level! 

Kinni is outgoing, friendly, and fun. She teaches yoga and believes that the mind to body connection is vital to one’s health. Kinni’s mantra is to look for creativity within oneself, express yourself, which is the essence of Bollywood, to always keep smiling! 

 

 
Christine Tsang (Operations)


Christine loves exploring the art of dancing.  Her heritage from the island La Reunion and her upbringing in Paris have exposed her to several dance styles - Ballet, Jazz, Sega, and African. She is a very active dance member of Monsoon Dance Company (MDC). She has not only performed at several MDC events such as Counterpulse, Bay Area National Dance Week and WOW 2008; but is also closely involved in its operations. Christine is a passionate dancer and keeps the fire in her belly alive by continuously learning more! She is currently strengthening her dance repertoire in various Indian dances (Bollywood, Folk) and Jazz. She taught a very successful dance class for adults in San Mateo for 4 years and is now helping with the operations programs of the company.