About Aashi Iyengar

Aashi is a caring and compassionate young girl with a determined attitude who draws people's admiration with her strong will and optimism. Coming from a traditional Iyengar family with a lot of passion and interest in carnatic music and dance, Aashi was first exposed to dance at the age of 3 by her grandmother when she performed as baby Aandal on Sankara TV, Bangalore. With her passion for Bharatanatyam ignited, Aashi started learning the art form from Guru Smt. Kripa Baskaran at the age of 5. Aashi performed her Salangai pooja with a live orchestra at the age of 9, and, as an active participant of Natyarpana Dance Company, she has performed in multiple showcases in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois and at the Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana in Ohio.

Currently, Aashi is a Junior at Hamilton High School where she balances academics, sports and other extracurricular activities. She is the President of the Debate team, the Vice President of HOSA - Future Health Professionals, the Director of the Junior Optimist International club, an active writer in her school’s newspaper, a hurdler on the school track team, and a prominent member of the National Honors Society. Outside of school, Aashi enjoys spending her time working as a volleyball coach for the Milwaukee Sting Volleyball Club and a teaching assistant at Kumon, taking part in community service as a part of Leo’s Club, and playing the oboe in the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra’s Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra. Aashi is very passionate about healthcare and well being and led a very successful Student Visionary Fundraising Team for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in an effort to find a cure for blood cancer. In her free time, Aashi loves to drink coffee, sleep, and spend time with her dog, Harvey. 

About  Guru Smt. Kripa Baskaran

Guru Smt. Kripa Baskaran is the founder and director of Natyarpana Dance company based in Brookfield, WI. She is an accomplished Bharatanatyam artiste, choreographer, and teacher who has been teaching Bharatanatyam for more than 20 years. Having trained under Guru Smt. Chandrakala, Sri Thanjai Hamnath, and Guru Dr. Ambika Kameshwar, Kripa has adopted both Tanjore and Vazhuvoor styles in her repertoire and formatted a structured curriculum at Natyarpana emphasizing clean lines, geometric obedience in movements and precise expressions. 

She was awarded the Master Teacher Award by the Wisconsin Arts Board from 2014 till date, allowing apprentices to work under her on a fellowship grant. Cleveland Thyagaraja Aaradhana Committee recognized her with the prestigious Nritya Seva Mani (‘15) and Papanasam Sivan award (‘16) for her outstanding contributions to classical dance through propagation and demonstration in the United States and Canada. Kripa holds a Masters Degree in Philosophy & Bharatanatyam, and is pursuing her Doctorate in Bharatanatyam & Mental Health.


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