Farah began teaching in 1998. An assistant to her Guru, Chitresh Das, for accredited courses at San Francisco State University and Stanford University, Farah was also a senior instructor at his institution, Chhandam School of Kathak.
In 2016, she founded Noorani Dance, a nonprofit 501c3 organization based in Menlo Park, CA.
"My hope for each student is that they can go deep into discovering their own potential on and off the dance floor. I believe that the medium of Kathak dance allows for this in the way that it taps into our physical, emotional and intellectual state of being. The ultimate goal I have for my students, and for myself, is to think less, and feel more - which comes with a commitment to one's practice (riyaaz), an openness to learning and being guided, and a trusting of one's self."
- Farah Yasmeen Shaikh, Founder & Director
At Noorani Dance School, classes are available for children, teens and adults, ages 5 and up, for beginners, and for those with previous dance experience. Students will receive training in the foundational aspects of the movement technique along with learning the theoretical aspects of the music, history and philosophy of the Kathak tradition.
Performance opportunities for students of Noorani Dance School are provided through various programs including in-studio showcases, intimate performances such as our Mehfil-e-Kathak series, semi-annual large scale productions, and a variety of community performances in partnership with organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area.
After many years of advanced training, students of Noorani Dance School receiving in depth one to one training from Farah, may have the opportunity to participate in Manzil ke Andaaz - the many aspects of one's journey. This is the first performance of a Kathak solo, which is neither the beginning nor the end. It is a culmination of years of training, hard work and commitment, to be able to share one's skills and knowledge of this vast art form. Through the experience of preparing for this major milestone, the dancer is also awakened to this journey being one that continues for a lifetime.
"Dancing at Noorani Dance has truly changed my perspective on classical arts. Being around so many talented dancers, musicians, and artists, has allowed me to grow as a dancer and as a person."
- Ayana, Student (age 15)
"You come here not just to learn dance, but to learn the culture, values and discipline. It has been a while since I have been in such a setting, and I love it."
- Arti, Parent