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Beyond Bollywood: Kruti Dance Academy
Kruti Dance Academy takes Indian dance to the national stage
Dina Sheth (left) and daughter Shemoni Parekh
Fifteen years ago, Dina Sheth, a former microbiologist, started the academy in her basement with four students. Today her students number nearly 600, and the buzz hasn’t stopped since a team led by Sheth’s daughter, Shemoni Parekh, performed Bharat Natyam’s laser-precise postures and hastas, or hand gestures, on the latest season of America’s Got Talent. Parekh—a Georgia Tech grad who joined her mother full time as creative director in 2009—choreographed the energetic competition number. Judge Piers Morgan picked the troupe as his Wild Card, and the team of mostly high school girls in Technicolor costumes made it to national television and the final forty-eight acts. “He loved how we were showing America something different, that there’s more to Indian dance than just Bollywood,” says Parekh.