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Sridevi Nrithyalaya (SDN) which specialises in the Melattur style of Bharathanatyam, was founded in 1987 with strong encouragement from Smt. Sheela Unnikrishnan’s parents - Smt. Suguna and Sri Ayyappan. Sridevi Nrithyalaya is run by SRIDEVI NRITHYALAYA TRUST and has an advisory board of senior artistes and well wishers supervising the artistic activities of the institution.


The founder and the Principal Teacher of the school, Dr. Smt. Sheela Unnikrishnan believes that dance is a divine art form that requires more than a lifetime to learn. And since every student has a varying ability and a different capacity to understand and learn this art, she believes in teaching with individual attention. Therefore, in Sridevi Nrithyalaya, there are no designed courses for training. Progress of every student is determined by the student's own achievements. Achievements are assessed for every student by the Teachers through observation in regular classes through proper attendance, regularity in practice, moral behaviour, sincere efforts to attain perfection in presentation, receptiveness in learning etc.

Sridevi Nrithyalaya also provides free training for financially backward students on roll. These students are selected by the committee after thorough examination.


Sridevi Nrithyalaya has produced many successful solo dance artistes and promising dance teachers, along with an entrancing contribution of more than 450 solo dances, 43 thematic presentations and 19 mega dance dramas. 4 students of Sridevi Nrithyalaya have been given the prestigious Bal Shree Award, the highest honour awarded by the Govt. of India to talented children in the field of Creative Performance. Students of Nrithyalaya have won prestigious prizes, towering titles and august awards, fetching laurels to themselves and to the much beloved Teacher, Smt. Sheela Unnikrishnan.

With due credit to the splendorous choreography of Smt. Sheela and the unmatched training imparted to the students, Sridevi Nrithyalaya has been invited to perform in many glorious dance shows and festivals in India and abroad. Performing Bharathanatyam at London Olympics Park during London Olympics - 2012 by five of Nrithyalaya’s artistes along with 80 others from India is one that is worth mentioning.


Regular classes are conducted twice a week with an hour's duration in batches. Though classes are scheduled in batches, every student gets individual attention and the advancement in training purely depends on each student's practice and hard work in day-to-day's performance. Even though there's no accommodation facility available for students in the premises (owing to the limited available space), "GURUKULA" system is adhered in best possible ways, with close bonding with every student and the Teacher.

Dr. Smt. Sheela Unnikrishnan believes that dance is a physical and spiritual discipline that involves rigorous physical training with vigilant supervision and personal interaction of the student with the Teacher in an appropriate atmosphere. Therefore, SDN does not conduct classes online. Anyone who is sincere to learn is welcome in the premises of Nrithyalaya to gain a personalised training with enthusiastic Teachers and studious fellow students.



We accept students from out station and abroad on a short term basis and do not have a set syllabus or course.The duration of the short term class enrolment is totally flexible according to the students' stay in Chennai. Usually for first timers, we take classes to improve stamina, flexibility, Anga Suddham, etc. We also have a list of dance items that we offer to teach to students admitted for short term for which separate fee will be collected. For further details regarding short term classes, please email to us.


Arangetram is an achievement in Sridevi Nrithyalaya. The panel of Teachers selects the eligible students who have earned good caliber and ability for Arangetram. Students are awarded with a certificate of appreciation or the title, NRITHYA VICHITHRA, on completion of Arangetram. Arangetram is not considered a qualification here, but considered as the beginning of a life long journey in this art.

There are 51 Arangetrams performed so far in Sridevi Nrithyalaya.


SDN is a sought- after troupe by the connoisseurs and art lovers all around the world. Performers of Sridevi Nrithyalaya have travelled far and wide to present the marvellous Malattur style of Bharathanatyam to the international Rasikas and have won appreciations and rave reviews.

Apart from giving solo, duet and group performances as professionally trained performers, Dr. Sheela and her team of Teachers travel across the globe to conduct workshops and special training sessions.


SDN moves on with the motto, “Dancing is Bliss”, conveying faith in hard work, sincerity and dedication. "NATYAM MOKSHA SADHANAM" is our Mantra and our very training is aimed at it.

Inculcating Indian culture and tradition to the young generations worldwide is the primary aim of training in Sridevi Nrithyalaya.


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