Asian Music and Dance

Gauri Sharma Tripathi

Gauri Sharma Tripathi teaches kathak to all levels on Saturday mornings at the Patidar Samaj Centre off the Wembly High Road, North London. She has taught this class for a continuous period of ten years. She rises at 6.30 am to start the class at 8.30 through to midday. Pulse went along to observe and to pose her some questions.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?

Each class and each group is different: with the young ones it’s the joy of being very physical; with new learners igniting their interest in the basics; with my teenage group helping them through the transition phase. I refer to it as a ‘magical time’ as all possibilities are open.

What is the hardest thing about teaching?

The hardest thing that I have learned is to say to a student that I am sorry I cannot take you on this journey. It could be for a lack of commitment or it could be a physical barrier that I cannot help a student across.

What insights have you had whilst teaching?

I have realised the importance of insisting on loyalty and commitment to the whole group. My student group is like a family; the members are responsible for each other.

Have you had to change or alter your teaching methods?

I have learned that you have to constantly evolve as a teacher. My involvement with the BA in South Asian and Contemporary dance made me re-think my methods and made me articulate concepts of body and space in new ways.

Who or what is your inspiration?

My mother and guru Padma Sharma continues to be my main inspiration. Our journeys are similar even though our time and space has been different.

If I was not teaching I would be…..

I can’t detach myself from dance. My mind is constantly connected with it.

My best moment…

Hearing the laughter of my children.

My philosophy in a nutshell…

Dance should give you radiance on the outside and a calm stillness within.



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