Meet Our People

We are very proud of our talented and diverse team of teachers, choreographers, reception staff and musicians responsible for making everything happen at Swastik Dance!

  • Sumati Nagpal

    Artistic Director

    Sumati Nagpal is an award-winning Kathak dancer and choreographer, founder of Swastik Institute of Dance (2008) and the most accomplished Indian classical dance exponent in Australia. Born and raised in India, Sumati is a protege of Dr Jaswinder Kaur and Guru Rajendra Gangani Ji – the latter is the recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, the highest award given for performing arts in India. Guru Rajendra Gangani Ji is also the most eminent figure in Jaipur Gharana (school) of Kathak. Sumati has learnt the timeless art of Kathak from the most exceptional gurus in India and is now sharing the knowledge with Sydney-based subjects. Sumati works with a large group of dance teachers at Swastik and oversees the progress of each and every class, its teacher and student. With an infectious love for Kathak, Sumati hopes to inspire the students at Swastik Dance to follow their passions, leading by example.

  • Conchita Desouza

    Senior Teacher

    Conchita is Indian-born but raised in Western Sydney, with a strong connection to her Indian roots developing later on in her life when she took a leap of faith and joined a volunteer program in India during her University years. Conchita’s love for classical dance was sparked during her time in the North of India and continued when she returned to Sydney and joined Swastik. She knew she had fallen in love with the art form and pursued it with rigour and enthusiasm. Whilst she loves all aspects of Kathak, her favourite is the theoretical aspects, which for her, give meaning and structure to this age-old form of dance. As a teacher of both Bollywood and Kathak, Conchita wants to share her passion for dance with her students, so that they too may serve the art form and find happiness through it.

  • Sruthi Haridas

    Senior Teacher

    Sruthi began her journey in Kathak at Devaniya, Chennai, in 2015 where she was trained in Lucknow and Benaras Gharana under her Guruji Smt. Jigyasa Giri (Principal and founder of Devaniya – founder school, Dakshin Gharana of Kathak). She was also trained at Dr. Maya Rao’s school, Natya Institute of Kathak in Bangalore for a short period of time. Sruthi joined Swastik in 2019 and started teaching Kathak and Bollywood in 2020. Dancing and teaching have always been her dream and passion and she has been trying to adapt that as her way of life over the years. She enjoys teaching and finds it very rewarding as she gets to share her limited and growing knowledge in Kathak. Dancing and teaching is therapeutic to her as it brings her nothing but happiness and contentment.’

  • Varsha Agarwal

    Senior Teacher

    Varsha is a passionate dancer who has been trained in many different styles of dance, though her passion lies in Kathak and Bollywood. Kathak has given her grace and rhythm, providing techniques she uses in all dances. It has taught her discipline and the need for practice, but also the importance of showing your passion and emotions through dance. Varsha has passed her preliminary kathak exams from The Temple of Fine Arts and continues to learn and teach at Swastik Institute of Dance in her journey to master this art form. She believes dances is an ideal way to communicate between different cultures and languages and uses it to spread love and joy across the community.

  • Megha Fotariya

    Senior Teacher

    Megha Fotariya, a seasoned dancer with roots tracing back to 2006, embarked on her dance journey in the vibrant city of Ahmedabad, India. Specializing in Western Bollywood, hip hop, jazz, and vaking, Megha quickly became a standout performer. Her dedication and passion for dance led her to actively participate in competitions, both as a solo artist and as part of dynamic dance groups. Megha's dance odyssey began at the tender age of 5, showcasing her early affinity for movement and rhythm. Over the years, she honed her skills and developed a unique style that seamlessly blended various dance forms. In 2022, Megha made a significant leap in her journey as she ventured to Australia to pursue further studies. There, she found a new home at Swastik, a renowned institute that shares her enthusiasm for dance. Today, Megha Fotariya not only continues to pursue her academic endeavors but has also embraced the role of a dance teacher at Swastik Institute of Dance. Her expertise and passion for the art form inspire students to discover the joy of dance while learning from a seasoned professional. Megha's story exemplifies the transformative power of dance, transcending borders and enriching lives across continents.

  • Smritie Bhardwaj

    Senior Teacher

    Smritie’s dance journey began at the age of 5 when she was introduced to Kathak at her primary school in India. She always loved creative arts and avidly took part in school dance productions and cultural events. Her dance journey continued after moving to Sydney, where she formally started learning Kathak and got the opportunity to perform at many dance events, cultural shows, stage productions and dance competitions. In 2009 she joined Swastik and continued her training with her Guru Sumati Nagpal. After over a decade with the Swastik family, she has been fortunate to teach for the past five years and perform for Shankar Mahadevan, Udit Narayan, Mika Singh, Sukhvinder Singh, Australian Dance Festival, Krishna (Swastik), Taj Mahal (Swastik). Dance brings a sense of balance, inner peace and joy to her life. Teaching has been a rewarding opportunity for her as she can share her passion and love for Kathak.

  • Vijayshree Khatale

    Senior Dancer

    Vijayshree started dancing at the age of 8, training both formally and informally in Bollywood style and professional performance styles. She also learned Kathak for 3 years back in her school days. After completion of her schooling, she started training professionally with ace choreographer Rahul Shetty at his dance institute “Rahul Shetty Dance Space”. She participated as a professional dancer in various awards and corporate shows like Vanitha Awards, P&G Femina Awards, etc. While she worked as a professional dancer, her love for teaching took over, and that has been her main focus from the past several years. Vijayshree comes from the land of Bollywood, i.e. Mumbai, India. She always had great support from her family for dancing and that gave her the strength to pursue her career in the Dance industry. She has been working as a dance instructor and choreographer for over 12 years; choreographing more than 75 wedding musicals all over India. She has also worked as an assistant choreographer on television shows like Dance India Dance, Indian Idol, etc. and is a licensed Zumba trainer since October 2016.