Rasmita Amin has danced for Bollywood celebrities and the prime ministers of India and East Africa.
After moving to the area in 1985, she volunteered at the Hindu American Religious Institute temple in Fairview Township, where she taught dance for 17 years.
In 2006, Amin opened Natyashala Dance School. She has 40 students 6 to 16 years old in York and Lancaster counties.
Amin teaches traditional and folk dances in rented spaces throughout the area, as well as private lessons in her home studio.
What do you like best about dance?
Dance makes me happy and keeps me active physically. I also teach yoga to my dance students — it gives them strength and flexibility.
How do you balance owning your business with teaching and having a family?
It was difficult to balance work and family when I was in retail. But with the dentist’s office hours, the support of my husband and both boys in college, I was able to dedicate more time to doing what I love most: teaching dance.
What’s your favorite part of teaching girls traditional Indian dance?
My favorite part is teaching the girls the traditional steps the way I learned from my guru (dance teacher) in Bharat Natyam. I love watching them perform with the beautiful, colorful costumes — that just takes me back home.
What are the highlights of your dance career?
Accompanying the late Indira Gandhi, then the prime minister of India, to East Africa as part of a cultural delegation group. Natyashala’s first big public show at York College last fall had close to 500 people in attendance, and two of my students performed their arangetram (completion of Bharat Natyam training).
Who is your favorite dancer?
Bollywood star Madhuri Dixit
What is the biggest difference between Indian and American dance?
The biggest difference is variety. We have four major classical dances and every state in India has its own traditional folk dance with different music, language and costumes.
Take a lesson
For information, on upcoming events or classes, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lives in: Springettsbury Township
Family: Husband Hasmukh and sons Harshal, 24, and Ronak, 22
Occupation: Director of Natyashala Dance School and office manager for Dr. Deepa G. Bhatt, York
Education: Degrees in Bharata Natyam (Indian classical dance) and accounting from M.S. University of Baroda, India. Also studied folk dancing under dancer and choreographer Pratibha Pandit.
See more photos from Rasmita’s Smart photo shoot in our July/August e-zine.