Padma Chebrolu—a dancer, teaching artist, and the artistic director of the Cultural Centre of India in Cincinnati—has been awarded the 2021 Ohio Heritage Fellowship Award for Performing Arts from the Ohio Arts Council (OAC). Padma began learning dance at the age of 3 in India. She received training in Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Andhra Natyam, and Mohiniyattam classical dance styles. As artistic director of Cultural Centre of India, Padma brings awareness about India’s cultural heritage and offers training in classical dance styles. Many of her students have won National Arts Scholar awards, received college scholarships, and completed Arangetrams.
She holds a bachelors degree in dance from India and created the “Dances of India” DVD series. Padma received a proclamation from Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley for her art education contribution to the City of Cincinnati for 25 years in June 2019 and has been nominated by the Ohio Arts Council for an Individual Artist Award for achievements in dance education. She received the “Dada Rafiki” (“Sister Friend” in Swahili) title for her contribution to the local youth.
Padma attended Stanford University and holds an MBA and an MED.
Teaching dance came naturally to Padma back in India when she was kid in dance classes. Her dance friends always felt very comfortable asking Padma to help them understand a movement, step, or a sequence. Growing up as a teen, some of the neighborhood families saw Padma perform and started requesting she teach their kids. As Padma enjoys learning and performing dance so much, others are drawn to the passion of falling in love with dancing and the freedom it gives in their hearts.
Padma’s philosophy is that dance can be learned or enjoyed by anyone in this world regardless of their age, race, and gender. It uplifts the humanity and enriches lives. In an educational setting, dance becomes much more important to bring healthy bodies, minds, and joy as young brains develop to have much better focus and critical thinking, skills highly needed for success in school and life.
Grade Levels/Age Groups
- Grades 1-3
- Grades 4-5
- Grades 6-8
- Grades 9-12
- Young Adult
Facilities and Resources Required
- Electrical Outlets