Kathak School of Dance


Learn Kathak

Classes for Children

No Experience Necessary.

In an environment of movement, music, culture and fun, students are introduced to the basics of Kathak dance, including rhythm, mathematics, body vocabulary, the spoken language called bols, and historical context. Parents are invited periodically to attend class, and aid in the learning process. Practice is encouraged through supplied music and written material.

Children’s Beginner II and Beginner III levels continue from this foundation, and include some narrative (story telling), slokas, poetry and song.

Adult Beginner / Intermediate classes     

Adult classes for beginner/intermediate, offer a comprehensive introduction into all the facets of the kathak form.  These include basic knowledge of the north Indian rhythmic systems (taal), body vocabulary (ang), spoken language (bols) and recitation (padhant). Traditional compositions, introduction to Sanksrit Sloka, poetics such as Kavita, and songs rendered in narrative gesture are also explored.

NEW beginner classes require NO previous experience. Students will immediately be introduced to traditional movement, rhythm, spoken bol language, music and historical context. Classes are available for those who:

i) desire to study, and develop themselves as Kathak dancers.

ii) choose Kathak class as their weekly exercise, community, and personal time

Daily practice is encouraged and supported through class curriculum and materials.

Beginner II and Beginner III levels  continue from this foundation, and include some narrative (story telling), slokas, poetry and song.

As the standard of Kathak dance increases through the levels of Intermediate I, Intermediate II, and Intermediate III, daily practice MUST be integrated into the student’s lifestyle.

See Selection of our work on our dedicated YouTube channel M-DO/Kathak Toronto



As the standard of Kathak dance increases to this level, daily practice is integrated into the student’s life style. The term advanced or professional becomes relative as one is constantly reminded of the creative potentials of this vast Kathak form.

Chhandam Dance Company is the professional dance stream of our institution. Members of the company are invited, at the discretion of Joanna de Souza.


Teaching staff

Teachers bringing passion and artistic excellence to the classroom.


Joanna de Souza received Kathak dance training under the Late Pandit Chitresh Das from 1978. She studied in the guru-shisha-param-para tradition, and was given a deep knowledge of Kathak, through this one-on-one relationship.

An award winning full time dancer, teacher, choreographer, and story teller, Joanna teaches locally, nationally and internationally from beginner to professional levels, on a year-round basis. This feeds her dedication to see Kathak continue to flourish in Canada.
In 2015, Joanna was awarded Angikam’s Dr. Maya Rao Award, in recognition of her innovative choreograpy in kathak, and in 2018, toured her work BARDO, made in collaboration with contemporary dancer Misty Wensel and Chhandam Dance company, to 5 major cities across India.
From 1993-2012, Joanna brought her music and dance skills to the internationally recognized Toronto Tabla Ensemble.  Joanna brings her decades of experience and unbrideled passion and joy to her classes.


Monica Dalidowicz has been studying kathak under both Joanna de Souza and the late Pandit Chitresh Das since 2001. She completed an MA (2005) and PhD (2012) in Dance Anthropology which focused on the teaching and learning of kathak in India and its diasporic communities. She also has a background in contemporary dance and folk dances of Eastern Europe. 


Jane has been studying Kathak with Joanna de Souza, since 1993.  She teaches beginner and intermediate level classes through our school, and actively creates personal new works for kathak.  An entrepreneur, Jane teaches international students English, helps prepare them for necessary examinations, and works with Graduate students.


Crystal D’Silva has been studying Kathak with Joanna De Souza since 2012, and joined Chhandam Dance Company for their 2018 5 – city tour of India. She also has a background in Latin dance and teaches salsa classes at the BeSalsa Dance Academy in Brussels. As a research scientist and budding toxicologist, Crystal currently works in the field of medical device safety.