Training Programs

Sampradaya Dance Academy offers the following programs of training:

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Professional training program

We offer an 8 year Professional Training Program on a part-time basis for 38 weeks a year. Students in the Professional Training Program take exams conducted by ISTD (Imperial Society of Teaching in Dance) from London, England. The Professional Training Program is dedicated to the training of its students in a well-structured and progressive curriculum that prepares them for a career in dance and is built on a strong foundation of a comprehensive range of skills, including excellence in performance technique, knowledge of history, theoretical principles of music and rhythm associated with repertoire.

Students in the advanced levels of this program perform frequently in corporate, professional and community events and dance festivals providing them with many opportunities to deepen their technical and interpretative skills and appreciate the dynamics of ensemble choreography. Canadian and international master teachers are invited regularly to augment the training in the Academy.

At the end of the 8 years of training, students prepare for 1-2 years for their bharatanatyam solo graduation recital.

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Arangetram training program

Selected students identified as being suitable for the arangetram program train for a further period of two years, beyond their 8 year training program, to study a new repertoire for their solo debut. Preparation for an arangetram entails three to four two-hour weekly individual classes preparing the student for a repertoire of about 8-10 dance compositions, the notation of the choreography, reading of translations of theory texts, a strong understanding of the storyline, and the interpretation of the lyrics through facial and gestural expression. Arangetrams are performed with an ensemble of five musicians.

We stress the value of marking the arangetram as the commencement of a lifetime pursuit rather than the completion of training.

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York University Joint Program

We are affiliated with Toronto's York University through an Articulated Agreement, launched in 2016-2017, that provides credits to our Academy graduates entering their Undergraduate Program in Dance.

This is truly an unprecedented milestone for South Asian dance in Canada and a validation of Sampradaya Dance Academy's excellence in bharatanatyam training.

For more information on the undergraduate degree in dance at York University, please visit

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General training program

The Academy offers a variety of classes for all ages; these classes are designed to introduce the technique, rhythm and expressional gestures that form the vocabulary of bharatanatyam. The students also train in simple Carnatic vocal music exercises and compositions that allow them to experience the importance the relationship between dance and classical music.

The General Program also offers adult classes for adults new to the dance form and alumni who wish to stay in form through a weekly technique class.

In the General Program, we also offer guest lectures in history, technique and comparative South Asian dance to our student and parent body. All students in the General Program perform at a year-end Academy recital.

Class levels and descriptions

Level Hours of Training per week Description and ISTD Exams
Elementary 1 & 2 45 mins Elementary 1 and 2 are per-curriculum yearsand are designed to introduce young children to movement qualities, rhythm, space, and group work. Classes intended for children aged 4 and 5.
Beginner 1 1 hr Start of curriculum training. Classes intended for children who are at least 6 years old at the start of the academy Year (September).
Beginner 2 1 hr Continuation of curriculum training
Beginner 3 2 hrs Preparation for Grade 1 exam
Intermediate 1 2 hrs Grade 1 exam
Intermediate 2 3 hrs Preparation for Grade 2 exam
Intermediate 3 3 hrs Grade 2 exam
Intermediate 4 3 hrs Grade 3 exam
Advanced 1 4 hrs Preparation for Grade 4 exam
Advanced 2 4 hrs Grade 4 exam
Advanced 3 4+ hrs Grade 5 exam
Advanced 4 4+ hrs Grade 6 exam
Adult 1 hr No exam. Open to adults, no previous dance experience required.

General Information

  • The Sampradaya Dance Academy year runs concurrent with the school year from September to June with Intermediate and Advanced students taking part in ten days of training in a Summer Intensive in July.
  • Our Academy year is divided into three semesters:
    Fall/Semester 1 (September – December)
    Winter/Semester 2 (January – March)
    Spring/Semester 3 (April – June)
  • New students typically begin in September at a level appropriate to their age and prior dance experience.
  • Students generally spend a whole year in the same grade/level, unless the teacher, in consultation with parents, decides otherwise
  • Class sizes vary and range between 4 to 12 students.
  • Classes run from 9am to 2pm on Saturday and Sunday and 6:30pm to 8:30pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday
  • Students maintain binders which include their notes on curriculum related theory, lyric and music notations as well as essays and assignments on dance programs attended.

Registration Process and fees

  • To register for classes beginning in September, please send an email to [email protected]
  • Students must be at least 4 years old as of September to register for a given year
  • New and returning students are asked to register for each new Academy year before the start of the Fall semester in September.
  • New students are placed in a level deemed appropriate by teachers in consultation with the parents/guardians. A short assessment may be required.
  • Fees are due at the start of each semester.
  • Fees are calculated and paid by the semester, not by individual classes. For information on the fees for the current Academy year, please email the SDA Office at [email protected] or call us at 905-607-8454
  • If classes are missed due to illness, vacation, or other reasons, refunds/reimbursements/discounts will NOT be provided.
  • We do offer a special FAMILY DISCOUNT for families with multiple members enrolled. 20% off of the second family member's fee. 10% off of the third family member's fee.
  • We accept payment by cheque, credit card (Visa or MasterCard), or Debit
  • If the Academy has an unexpected closure due to unforeseen circumstances, such as bad weather, refunds will NOT be issued. Make-up classes MAY be scheduled but are not guaranteed. Parents are advised to call in to the Academy or check the website for updates on class cancellations due to weather.

Teacher's training program

All our teachers are graduates of Sampradaya Dance Academy and have trained with Lata Pada for at least twelve to fifteen years.

Our teachers train regularly with Lata Pada and other master teachers in improving their teaching skills and enhancing their professional development. They have also completed a range of exams from the Vocational Program of the ISTD.

Summer Intensive

Our ten-day summer intensive program offers concentrated training schedule that is intended to upgrade technique - both performance and theoretical, introduce training in alternative movement and new choreographic approaches.

This program is structured to give the students an intensive training schedule complemented by advanced classes in bharatanatyam theory, theory of rhythm, yoga classes and creative and choreographic exploration. Every year, we invite master teachers from various movement disciplines to teach a program of workshop/ master classes.