Praneetha Akula has been studying Bharatanatyam since the age of three, under her late mother. She went on to perform her arangetram at the age of 11 under dance guru, Veena S. Argade. Since then, she has attended intensive training courses with dance gurus, V.P. and Shanta Dhananjayan, as well as performed throughout North Carolina
and other areas on the east coast. She received her BA in Spanish Language and minor in Psychology from Wake Forest University and her Master’s in ESOL at American University. Currently, she is a second language teacher for Preschool through 2nd grade at a Public Charter School in Washington, DC. Ms. Akula has been with TMDC for nine years, dancing as a senior soloist in all styles. Under the guidance of Ms. Mitha she has choreographed her first Tillana and abhinaya dance. She was one of the main dancers in Ms. Mitha’s Kennedy Center commissioned dance, Blue Jeans.
Radha Gholkar’s pursuit of dance began on a coffee table in front of the TV, imitating ballet dancers as a toddler. She grew to love ballet and studied it briefly as a young girl. As a young adult, the need to express herself both artistically and culturally culminated in her Bharatanatyam instruction from Shrimati Padma Thiyagaram of New Jersey in the traditional Kalakshetra style. Radha has been dancing with TMDC since 2002. She is a graduate of New York University and the University of Maryland, College Park. A Clinical Psychologist, she currently works as a program evaluator for federally funded behavioral health programs. She thanks her family, friends, gurus, and fellow dancemates for always supporting her love of dance.