Rifka Mayani
Instructor of Dance

Rifka Mayani is a graduate from one of India’s premier dance institutions - Sri Rajarajeshwari Bharatha Natyam Kala Mandir, Mumbai. Since her initial training at the tender age of 6, Rifka has studied and performed this Indian classical art form for more than 35years under the tutelage of Guru Kalyan Sundaram Pillai. Her performances over the years both in India and the USA, have included several original works by her Guruji. In addition to her intensive study of Bharatha Natyam, Rifka’s academic pursuit has led her to earn several degrees - an MBA from Kennesaw State University (KSU) in 1997; a Bachelor’s in Law (LLB) in 1994 and a Bachelor’s in Arts (BA) with a Political Science concentration in 1991; both from the University of Mumbai, India. Rifka currently serves as the Associate Director for Enterprise Systems and Services at KSU and is as an affiliated faculty in the Asian Studies Program.

Highlights of Rifka’s performances in USA:
• Solo performance for Diversity Luncheon at KSU (2005)
• AAHOA (Asian American Hotel Owners Association) annual convention (1999)
• Solo performance for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (1999)
• Solo performance for a special KSU event hosting all the Continuing Education Deans within the Board of Regents (1997)
• US tour performances with the Raja Rajeshwari Dance School disciples from India, performing original dance dramas and thematic presentations of Vasanthavalli-Thirikuttrala Kuravanji and Jaya Jaya Sankara at 18 varied venues (1996)
• Invited to perform at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics - Motorola Pavilion in the Olympic Village, for executives and guests during the World Games (Choreographed and trained 12 KSU students for these special 4 performances)
• Solo performance for the welcome reception of the Swiss Consul General (1995)
• The unveiling of the Indian Saree at the High Museum (1995) with Guest of Honor Mrs. Meera Shankar, then Minister of Commerce from India, and now the Indian Ambassador to the USA in Washington, DC
• An intense two and half-hour solo dance recital at the Stillwell Theater at KSU (1995)
• Routine guest lectures/demonstrations for KSU classes on Diversity & Asian studies (1995 – Current)
Rifka is the artistic director and choreographer for Tandav Themes Dance Academy, an Indian Classical Dance School of “Bharatha Natyam” in Atlanta, for young aspirants of the chiseled dance discipline. Through this school Rifka imparts knowledge of this ancient art from in the pure Thanjavur style. As Choreographer & Artistic Director for Tandav Themes Dance Academy, some key performances with students include:

• Rhythms of India (2009)
• Who’s Who Among Asian Americans, Leaders and Legends Awards (2009)
• Asian American Heritage Foundation Gala (2009)

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