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Meet Our Staff

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DEVIKA DHAWAN

FOUNDER/DIRECTOR

Devika has been training in dance for over 20 years with a background in Hip Hop, Bollywood, and Indian Classical. She trained in Bharatnatyam at the Triveni School of Dance under the instruction of Smt. Neena Gulati for 11 years. In college, she was a dancer on, and later captain of, Boston University Chankaar, the university’s premiere South Asian dance troupe. Post-graduation, she trained and performed with the Urban Connection Dance Company in Boston. As the founder and director of DFD, her goal is to increase access to dance training in South Asian fusion styles through a formalized, yet personal, training approach and ultimately help students engage with and embrace their identity within the Indo-American diaspora.

Devika Dhawan

Founder / Director

PARITA AMIN

HEAD OF OPERATIONS / INSTRUCTOR 

Pari has been dancing since she was five years old starting with Bollywood dances at family weddings and events. Throughout the years, dance was always a part of her schedule as a routine. In grade school, she competed in Fogana – a Garba competition in the New England area and danced on a Hip Hop/ Step team for four years in high school and college. Pari also joined and captained a Garba/Raas team while in college. While continuing her passion for dance, Pari currently works in non-profit consulting and online media.

 

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PARITA AMIN

HEAD OF OPERATIONS

Pari has been dancing since she was five years old, starting with Bollywood dances at family weddings and events. Throughout the years, dance was always a part of her schedule as routine. In grade school, she competed in Fogana – a Garba competition in the New England area and danced on a Hip Hop/ Step team for four years in high school and college. Pari also joined and captained a Garba/Raas team while in college. While continuing her passion for dance, Pari currently works in non-profit consulting and online media.

 

Parita Amin-Palriwala
Head of Operations

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RAGA KOMANDUR

INSTRUCTOR

Raga has been an avid dancer for the last 16 years. She started dancing Bharatanatyam at the age of 8 under Guru Smt. Kripa Baskaran and her grandmother Guru Smt. Revathi Narasimhan. She has won several competitions and performed all over the US and India. She went on to compete with Wisconsin Surma, a Bollywood Fusion team, and was captain and lead through the years. She is currently an active member of Ministry of Bhangra, a Chicago-based Bhangra team, and WatchList DanceCo, an independent Hip Hop team. Outside of dance, Raga works at a digital marketing agency. 

Raga Komandur
Instructor

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SHRUTHI PURANIK 

INSTRUCTOR

Shruthi is a former DFD student and Travel Team member. She has trained in Bollywood, Jazz, Tap, and Hip Hop for about 10 years. Currently, she is working as a kindergarten substitute teacher as well as a special education counselor. 

Shruthi Puranik
Instructor

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DEVAM DHAWAN

AV PRODUCER

Devam is a Film and Television major at Boston University with extensive experience in performing arts. In high school, he was a part of the North Andover High School Marching Band for four years along with the reputable Spartan’s Drum Corp. In 2016 he was selected as a member of the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band to perform at the elite U.S. Army All-American Bowl. He continued his passion for the performing arts in college through his leadership in Boston University’s Bhangra Team, where he served as the Co-President.

 

Devam Dhawan
AV Producer

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NEHA PANKE

INSTRUCTOR

Neha has been dancing since the age of 4. She is classically trained in Bharatanatyam under Smt. Jothi Raghavan and Hindustani Classical Music under Smt. Kumkum Sanyal. She is very passionate about dance and music, and it has been an integral part of her life. She has experience with classical, bollywood, and folk dances. She has participated, competed, and won many competitions.

Neha Panke
Instructor

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SRUJANA TAMMISETTI 

INSTRUCTOR

Srujana trained in Bharatnatyam for 10 years and grew up doing Bollywood and Telugu folk dance. In college, she participated in and choreographed for her university’s annual cultural shows. Now, she’s excited to start dancing again and teaching! 

Srujana Tammisetti
Instructor

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KIRAN DHAWAN

PRODUCTION DESIGNER

Skilled in handicraft, design, and needlework, Kiran brings the vision to life at DFD. Kiran has been a part of dance and theater since she was in grade school. Her background is in education and as a high school teacher, she directed many student plays. She was trained in Hindustani classical music at a young age and also participated in Indian folk dance shows and competitions. Kiran holds a double masters, in Linguistics and Hindi, is a part-time aesthetician in North Andover, MA, and a devoted mother of two.

 

Kiran Dhawan
Production Designer

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