Adult and Preprofessional Division
Q: Where are the classes offered?
A: The Chhandam School’s Adult and Preprofessional Division offers classes in Berkeley, San Francisco, and Fremont. Chhandam also has affiliate schools in Los Angeles, Boston, Toronto, Denver and Mumbai, India. You can learn more about these affiliate schools here.
Q: Can I start a class in mid-session?
A: Yes, absolutely. We welcome new students throughout the year and we will pro-rate your tuition accordingly.
Q: I am 35 years old. Is it too late for me to start?
A: It’s never too late to start! We have students of all ages, including many mothers who are 30 and 40+. People join for different reasons and there is a niche for everyone at Chhandam.
Q: I have had some previous dance experience, can I start at the next level?
A: We require all new students at Chhandam to start in the Level IA class, regardless of prior training, as material and techniques do vary from gharanas. We place a strong importance on students attaining a solid foundation in kathak technique, taal and sur. It is important to note that students with prior dance experience do tend to progress faster than others if they are consistent in their attendance and individual practice.
Q: I have studied for many years and am looking for opportunities to dance professionally now. Do you have an opportunity to audition for your professional company?
A: We appreciate your interest in dancing with us! At Chhandam, however, we deeply value the guru/shishya parampara and the philosophies with which we approach our training. It’s important that dancers spend time studying and training in these philosophies first before being considered to dance in our professional company.
Q: I am very serious about my study of kathak and would like to fast track progress. How can I do this?
A: Students who are interested in accelerating their progress can do so by taking advantage of all the supplemental educational programs offered by Chhandam. These include annual intensives, retreats, annual assessments and performance opportunities. We consistently find that those students who are consistent in their attendance, individual practice and take
full advantage of supplemental activities progress at an accelerated rate.
Q: Do you have an annual recital or other performances?
A: Numerous performance opportunities are available to students at Chhandam. All students perform in an annual recital performance and also have the opportunity to participate in numerous community performances throughout the year at festivals, cultural programs, and house concerts. In order to participate in performances, students must demonstrate strong knowledge and ability in the dance (as measured by in-class evaluations), consistent attendance and individual practice.
Q: What is the dress code for classes?
A: Students at Chhandam wear school uniforms (white cotton kurtha and salwar). New students are not required to purchase a uniform until they have completed a trial semester. Until then, all students must come to class in a simple salwar kurtha that allows for free movement. Hair is required to be tied back neatly in a secured braid or bun. Short hair must be pinned back. Students/parents must be responsible for the necessary supplies to have hair done prior to class.
Q: Do you offer private classes?
A: Chhandam only offers private classes to enrolled students on a case-by-case basis who are at minimum in the intermediate level.
Q: When will I get ghungroo?
A: At Chhandam we treat our ghungroo with a high degree of reverence. Students earn theirghungroo by demonstrating dedication and serious study. Once students have completed Levels I and II and demonstrated their progress by successfully completing their Level II assessment, they are ready to receive their ghungroo. Students make their own ghungroo and are officially given the ghungroo in a ceremony officiated by their teacher. This ceremony initiates the student into their study of kathak and formalizes the relationship between teacher and student.
Q: How do I register for classes?
A: For registration information, click here.
Q: How much is the tuition?
A: For tuition and fee details click on the tuition and fee tab.
Q: I cannot afford classes but I am very passionate and serious about studying kathak. Do you have any scholarship programs?
A: We do not have a scholarship program, but our fundamental principle is that money
should not come in the way of anyone’s strong desire to acquire knowledge of this
incredible art. If you have a financial hardship to pay your tuition, we would be happy to
discuss a work-study project for you to do in exchange for class tuition. We are also happy
to offer payment plans for those needing to pay in installments.
Q: Can I try a class before enrolling?
A: Yes. All new students are encouraged to attend a free trial class. This allows for the child and the parent to assess their level of interest in kathak, meet the Chhandam student and parent community and meet the class teacher.
Q: Are there any discounts available?
A: A family discount of 10% is applicable to each subsequent immediate family member taking a class within the same session. A student discount of 20% is available for students in college with a valid student id.
Q: How do I make up for missed classes?
A: Students may make up a missed class by attending a class of a comparable level. Missed classes must be made-up within the same session and will not be credited to the following session.
Q: Can I video the classes so that my I/my child can practice at home?
A: A critical skill for all kathak dancers is the ability of to improvise. Improvising requires a
highly aware and attuned mind, as well as the ability to grasp and retain material quickly. At
Chhandam we aim to begin developing this skill early. Utilizing videos as an aid to learning interferes with the ability to train a sharp mind and memory. As a result, we do not allow students or parents to video classes. We do however have ample tools and materials to help students in their study and practice. These materials are available on our student portal.