IDEA: Indian Dance Educators Association

A community of dance professionals from all styles of Indian dance, serving the greater community. IDEA is an organization based in the community, serving the community, and enhancing the community. Through our programs, we bring a greater awareness of the unique artistic gifts brought to America’s great cultural tapestry by dancers from India.
IDEA is a community of dance professionals, dedicated to serving one another through increased artistic opportunities. The most important of these is the biannual IDEA Dance Festival presenting classical dances from India. The festival gives a platform to local and visiting artists from India on which the dancers meet, collaborate, and present the best of their works to the largest possible audience, thereby raising the profile and appreciation of Indian dance in America. IDEA members also work together throughout the year to present group productions which employ dancers and musicians in an atmosphere of mutual respect and professional achievement, providing income and raising funds for future projects of the organization. IDEA also has patrons members who support us generously through donations. In early 2013, IDEA conducted a survey to estimate the number of students of Indian classical dance. The results of the survey are displayed in Figure 1. There are around 1500 students learning or practicing India dance in over thirty schools or companies around the DC metro area.
IDEA enhances the greater Washington-Baltimore metropolitan area community by enriching the cultural landscape, providing educational opportunities for Americans interested in South Asian dance traditions, and showcasing the transcendent beauty of India’s magnificent dance styles to the community art-lovers everywhere. IDEA provides an artistic database for potential presenters, offering lecture demonstrations, master classes, workshops, and performances by area dancers as well as guest performers and scholars from the Indian sub-continent.

Overview of Activies

IDEA is incorporated in the State of Virginia, and is a 501(C)3 organization with the primary objective to promote Indian dance in the United States.

Teachers of Indian dance residing in the Washington metropolitan area formed IDEA in 1995.
IDEA has presented and continues to present several dance performances by local dancers as well as dancers from India.
IDEA has conducted workshops and lecture demonstrations, in Indian dance.
IDEA organizes several dance festivals, such as the Folk Dance Festival, Lok Nrityotsav in 1995, Rhythms Dance Festival in 1997, Darpana Dance Reflections 1999, Dhol Baje Folk Dance Festival in 2000 and 2008, Jhankaar IDEA Dance & Music Festival in 2001, DanCelebrations in 2005, and the “Dance Festival of India” in 2003, 2007, 2009, and 2011.

Dance Styles

IDEA is governed by a seven-member elected Board of Directors, with each director specializing in each of the following six styles of Indian classical dance represented in the Washington Metropolitan area.