Ashifa Sarkar Vasi is a respected ballet teacher. She studied ballet seriously for 14 years in the U.S. – including at the prestigious School of American Ballet in New York and the renowned The Rock School for Dance Education (formerly The Rock School of the Pennsylvania Ballet). She also performed for 11 years, including roles like Clara, Chinese, Doll, Arabian, Snow Queen, and Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker; soloist in Sleeping Beauty; and lead in Les Sylphides and Carousel among many others. Her experience ranges from local community engagements to full scale pre-professional performances. Since 1999 she has taught ballet to students of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds in the U.S. and India. In Mumbai, she has been part of the faculty at the Terence Lewis professional training course, worked with the Toddler Activity Centre and Sumeet Nagdev, run private classes, and is currently teaching at the DSB International School.
WHY I TEACH
As a teacher, Ashifa wants to bring out the best in her students: artistry and precise technique. Her objective in spreading her love of ballet is to educate and cultivate an understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of ballet through various mediums for all dancers and audiences.
WHY I TEACH BALLET
She teaches to stay connected to the art form she has loved all her life and to share it with others. Ballet has far reaching effects, like learning discipline and teamwork; building confidence, musicality and rhythm; and cultivating an appreciation for the arts. She hopes to lay this foundation for her students to build on as they move forward in life.
MY TEACHING STYLE
Thorough explanations at every point in the learning process – to understand the “why” – and manual corrections to ensure correct physical execution are common traits in Ashifa’s teaching. She consistently emphasizes both mental and physical understanding. She believes each student should work within the range of his/her natural talents and does not push them beyond that (which can cause injury). She also uses an Appreciative Inquiry tenet to guide her approach: each person has inherent strengths that can be built upon to realize maximum potential. As such, she constantly reinforces good movement and understanding. Plus, she enjoys using humor in her classes (as appropriate)!