Dance Training

Shakti Dance Society offers private, semi-private, small group and children's instruction in Bharata Natyam at both professional and recreational levels.  Classes are taught by Anusha Fernando.

The 2017 SPRING TERM classes will run April 9th - June 11th (limited dates available). Please contact Anusha to work out a schedule that meets your needs.  There will be six (6) Sunday classes: April 9th, 11th, 23rd; May 7th, 28th; and June 4th. Our annual shool show will be at 2:00 pm on Sunday, June 11th at the Bridge & Enrich Lives Society.

** PLEASE NOTE:  Our studio is located at the rear of 2716 West 22nd Avenue (the laneway house in the back). **

ADULT PRIVATE LESSONS: one hour lessons. $30/hour. Contact Anusha Fernando to arrange a schedule suited to your needs.

Click here for the adult registration form

CHILDREN'S PRIVATE LESSONS (7-12 years old): half-hour lessons, $20/lesson; 45-minute lessons, $25/lesson. Contact Anusha Fernando to arrange a schedule suited to your needs.

CHILDREN'S GROUP CLASS (3-4 students): Sundays noon - 12:45 pm. $15/class.

Click here for the children's registration form

Reserve your preferred day and time for private lessons now by contacting Anusha Fernando, filling out a registration form, and returning it with payment on or before your first day of class.



Irene: dancer


Irene began her love of dance at age seven with ballet classes in her home town of Fredericton. She started training in Bharata Natyam at age 10 after seeing a student show led by her first teacher Sudha Chandra Sekhar. In 1991, Irene moved to Vancouver to pursue graduate school in medical physics at UBC where she earned a PhD in 1998. In 1996, she started training with Ranee Singh, a graduate of Kalakshetra. In 1999, with the birth of her first son, followed by the birth of her second son in 2003, she took a hiatus from Indian Dance. She resumed in 2006, beginning private classes with Anusha Fernando and also attended two summer workshops with Jayalakshmi Eshwar. Irene is also a qualified Scottish Country dance teacher.


Dancer: Alicia Dobbs


Alicia's interest in dance started at an early age, taking classes with Maria Lewis at the Pacific Ballet Theatre School in Vancouver. She began her study of Bharata Natyam in 2002 after seeing Anusha Fernando perform in Tales from the Ramayana. She took group classes at the Scotiabank Dance Centre with Jai Govinda and Anusha Fernando before beginning private study with Anusha at Shakti Dance Society, where she has also trained with Srimati Jayalakshmi Eshwar. In January 2010, Shakti Dance Society presented Alicia's graduating Arangetram performance at the Michael J Fox Theatre in Burnaby.  Alicia has a Master of Library Information Science and is a children's librarian.


Dancer: Vandna Sidher


Vandna Sidher has trained with several esteemed teachers over the past twenty-one years, including Anusha Fernando, Artistic Director of Shakti Dance Society, Srimati Jayalakshmi Eshwar of Triveni Kala Sangam, New Delhi, India, and Jai Govinda of Mandala Arts and Culture. Since 1997, she has trained with Anusha Fernando, and in May 2005, completed her Arangetram (solo graduation performance). In 2005, aided by the B.C. Arts Council, Vandna traveled to study dance in New Delhi with Srimati Jayalakshmi Eshwar and in 2007, she received the prestigious Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute Arts Fellowship, which took her back to New Delhi for more intensive training. Vandna continues to study Bharata Natyam in Canada and India.

Vandna has taught Bharata Natyam at the recreational level for the City of Surrey, and teaches solo lessons. Most recently, her solo production, Five Elements (2009) was presented by the City of Surrey and the Surrey Art Centre (SAC) as part of the 2008/09 Season at the SAC. She has performed in Shakti Dance's production, Body of Dance (2005) and as a solo artist co-produced Safar: A Journey of classical Indian dance (2007) presented by Presentation House Theatre and supported by the BC Arts Council and Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society. Vandna continues to perform and teach workshops at various events within the lower mainland. Currently, she is a Director for the Arts Council of Surrey. As a professional performer and instructor, she continues to study and train in the tradition and is interested in exploring traditional Bharata Natyam repertoire within a contemporary framework. Vandna has a B.A. in Communications and Publishing from Simon Fraser University.


Dancer: Sheri PoulsenSheri

Sheri studied Bharata Natyam with Anusha Fernando for several years. She has also received training from Jayalakshmi Eshwar of New Delhi, and Jai Govinda. Prior to studying Bharata Natyam, Sheri both trained in and taught jazz, hip-hop and ballet. Sheri's interest in Bharata Natyam developed as a result of her travels to India in 1995, her studies of Indian culture at UBC, as well as her deep passion for liturgical/spiritual dance.

Sheri has performed in "Nadopasana" at the Playhouse (2004); and "Body of Dance" at the Gibson's Playhouse and The Roundhouse (2005). She also performed in benefit shows, including a 2005 benefit for the Tsunami victims of South Asia. In November 2005, Shakti Dance Society presented Sheri's graduating Arangetram performance at The Roundhouse. She is currently interested in cross-cultural explorations of Bharata Natyam in Christian theology. Sheri has an M.A. in Counselling Psychology and works in private practice.