Vid. Megha P Rao

Director, Dhirana Academy of Classical Dance
An Accomplished and dedicated artist of Bharatanatyam in a revered Indian classical dance form. She has over 20+ years of experience in performance and teaching Bharatanatyam and has won many honors and awards during her career. She has been an early achiever in the dance form and achieved national/state level recognition since high school. She has been performing nationally and Internationally in India and the US and has been a performing artist on Indian National TV Doordarshan. As sole proprietor and Director she currently runs ‘Dhirana academy of Classical Dance’ based in Bentonville Arkansas, which trains 100+ students in the US every year. A scintillating performance at a major dance event ‘Sargam’ in 2011, Bentonville Arkansas introduced her to the audiences in the USA. Since then she regularly directs, organizes and performs at various public events in USA
  • Organizes ‘Pradarshana’ every year, an event to encourage young students to perform before a wider audience
  • ‘Arangetram’ a 2-3 hrs solo performance by her senior disciples
  • Team Dhirana performance for various social and commercial events across US
  • She also performs at various charitable events in the US to support various social causes
She also works with school districts and other organizations to bring Bharatanatyam to the young and adult in the community. Her goal is to Bridge the gap between society and divine art form by inspiring, educating and guiding budding talent. Her performances were acclaimed for the Agile movements and the pristine purity of expression, helped by her intrinsic charisma and irreplaceable cheerfulness, creating spellbinding magic, holding the viewer enthrall. She has diversified into American art forms such as classical Ballet.

Core Accomplishments

  • Graded Doordarshan Artist – Doordarshan is an Indian national television channel.
  • Has extended her creative journey in choreography combining many Indian dance forms. Uniquely conceptualized and choreographed productions like NAVARASA MARGAM, THE EXILED KING and ARDHANAREE.
  • Established Dhirana Academy for Indian Classical Dance which trains 100+ students and creates opportunities for them to perform and also exposes them to various learning opportunities such as dance workshops, dance competitions, events. Also graduates senior disciples through Arangetram.Since 2017 Dhirana Academy organizes an annual event ‘Pradashana’ for young students to have the experience performing for a wider audience
  • Since 1996 performed 1000+ dance performances across India and the US, some of them nationally significant events such as Nrityotsav-Mumbai, West Bengal Tourism Festival Calcutta, Pallavothsav Mysore, Navaraspur Utsav Bijapur, Hampi Utsav, India Fest – Little Rock, 21st TANA Conference -St louis.
  • She was an early achiever in the Bharatanatyam and won many national and state competitions conducted by government and private organizations. Considering her accomplishments in the field she was invited to perform by various organizations in Karnataka State India.

Artistic Exhibitions/Performance

  • Collision-When visions combine, The momentary, Bentonville-2021.
  • 12th American Natya Festival, St.Louis-2021
  • Art Party-CACHE, Rogers-2021
  • ARt Ventures,Fayetteville-2021(RVCF-One of the cohort members of ARt Connect
  • The Exiled King-Walton Arts Center, Fayetteville-2021
  • In The Atrium-Walton Arts Center, Fayetteville-2021
  • Value The World Series-Sapthami Foundation-2020
  • Ardhanaree -A duet performance for RVCF 2020
  • International Art & Culinary Week Downtown Bentonville Inc.2020
  • Independence Day celebration by ICANWA 2020
  • Botanical Garden at Ozarks 2020
  • Friday Nights at the Lawn by Crystal Bridges Museum 2020
  • Sankirtana 2020
  • International Festival at Downtown Bentonville 2019
  • NAVIKA 2019 at Cincinnati OH
  • International Festival 2019 at Ozarks
  • Springdale Cultural Festival by House of Songs-2019
  • Charity and Fundraising event by AAPI – 2019
  • Walmart Asian Pacific Associate Resource Network – APAN Heritage Event 2019
  • AAPI 2019
  • Navarasa Margam 2018
  • India Fest, Little Rock, Arkansas 2018
  • Sankirtana HANWA, USA 2018
  • University of Arkansas Diwali Celebrations 2017
  • Sri Lanka Flood Relief Fund Raiser Event Bentonville Arkansas USA 2017
  • Thaipoosa Festival HANWA USA 2017
  • Multicultural Festival at Root Elementary School Fayetteville Arkansas USA 2017
  • Ugadi Sambaralu NWA USA 2017
  • Independence Day Celebration Bentonville Arkansas USA 2017
  • HANWA Music and Dance Festival-Sakala Kala Samarpana 2017
  • Charity event by NWA AAPI (American Association of Physicians of Indian origin) Bentonville Ar 2017
  • India Fest, Little Rock, USA 2017
  • TANA Festival St Louis Missouri USA 2017
  • DBI’s First Friday International Festival Bentonville Arkansas USA 2017
  • Fundraiser for Pediatric Cancer Treatment Bentonville Arkansas USA 2016
  • India Fest Little Rock Arkansas USA 2016
  • NWA Kannada Rajyotsava Celebrations 2016
  • Sargam NWA USA 2016
  • Diwali Celebrations by GIACA Rogers Arkansas USA 2016
  • Northwest Arkansas International Festival hosted by NWACC USA 2015
  • India Fest, Little Rock, USA 2015
  • Pongal Celebration, NWA, USA 2015
  • Language of Art Multilingual Open House, Crystal Bridges-Museum Of American Art, NWA, USA 2015
  • School Fundraiser, Fayetteville, USA 2015
  • Pongal Celebration, NWA, USA. 2014
  • Sargam, Northwest Arkansas, USA. 2014
  • Pongal Celebration, Northwest Arkansas, USA. 2014
  • Navratri celebration at Temple, Northwest Arkansas, USA.
  • Sargam, Northwest Arkansas, USA. 2011,2012
  • American Art, NWA, USA 2015
  • School Fundraiser, Fayetteville, USA 2015
  • Pongal Celebration, NWA, USA. 2014
  • Sargam, Northwest Arkansas, USA. 2014
  • Pongal Celebration, Northwest Arkansas, USA. 2014
  • Navratri celebration at Temple, Northwest Arkansas, USA.
  • Sargam, Northwest Arkansas, USA. 2011,2012
  • Performance at Mantralaya on Vardanti and Pattabhisheka 2010
  • Hampi Utsav – Group Performance with Vidya Venkatraman and11 troupe at Hampi 2010
  • West Bengal Tourism Festival- Kolkata 2010
  • Dasara- Main Palace- with Dr Vasundhara Doreswamy in “Durga” 2010
  • Navaraspur Utsav – A National festival – Bijapur 2010
  • Pallavothsava – Mysore 2010
  • Indian Institution of World Culture- Bengaluru 2010
  • ISKCON Temple- with Dr Vasundhara Doreswamy and troop 2010
  • 2006: Performed at “Nalanda Nrityotsav”- A national level dance festival held at Mumbai.

Community Outreach

  • Arkansas Arts Academy(AAA) Summer Dance Intensive-June 2021
  • House Concert-Lecture Demonstration-May 2021
  • Viriiya Drop In Classes-RVCF-CACHE Project-2021
  • Alaripu Workshop-March 2021
  •  Expression In Dance Workshop-RVCF- July 2020


  • Masters Degree- University of Bangalore, India.
  • Post-Graduate Diploma in Media Presentation – Loyola College, Chennai, India. Bachelors in Arts (Journalism)- St Philomena’s College, Mysore, India.
  • Bharatanatyam Junior Exam 1998 – Karnataka State Secondary Examination Board, India. Bharatanatyam Senior Exam 2000 – Karnataka State Secondary Examination Board, India. Bharatanatyam Vidwat Exam 1st Class 2003 – Karnataka State Secondary Examination Board, India.
  • Rangapravesam/Arangetram 2002 – A debut solo recital of 2-3 hours, which requires years of training, dedication and practice.

Awards and Honors


  • Award of Excellence in Entertainment for Stage Performances 2015 – Tamil Community, Northwest Arkansas, USA
  • Rajyothsava Prashasthi awarded by Jilla Kannada Sahitya Parishat an organization promoting art and culture in Karnataka
  • Aryabhata Award 2006 by Aryabhatta Cultural Organizations Bengaluru
  • Karnataka State IMA Cultural Award 2003 as part of 69th state medical conference.
  • Ugadi Puraskar 2004 by Chaitanya Balaga, Mandya which promotes social and cultural development in Mandya Karnataka India.

Honors for contributions and achievement in the field of dance

  • Karavali Samskruthika Sangha Mandya honored Ms Rao as part of Vasantotsav 2004
  • Shiv Sena Karnataka Mandya District honored Ms Rao with Puruskrita Pratibhe -2001
  •  Sri Ranjini Kalavedhike Mandya – Ugadi Puraskar 2003
  •  Chaitanya Balaga 2006
  • Prathiba Sanje 2005 – Akhila Karnataka Karavali Samskrithika Vokutta
  • Kannada Bharati-2006
  • Mandya zilla Brahmana Sabha 2002
  • Gurudev Academy of Fine Arts


  • 2020: Winner Of Momentary Virtual Tower Talent Show,NWA, USA.
  • 2005: First prize at 38th All India Competition in Music and Dance 2005 at Hyderabad
  • 2005: Second place in “Yuvaprathibe” – A state level Dance and Music competition
  • 2005: Second place in “Yuvajanotsava” – A zonal level Dance competition
  • 2005: Represented Mysore University at the south zone cultural competition [Bharatanatyam] “Yuva Kalanjali” at Bengaluru
  • 2004: Second Prize at 37th All India competition in Music and Dance at Hyderabad
  • 2004: Second Prize in Karnataka Govt. “Kishora Prathibe” – A state level Bharatanatyam competition
  • 2003: Gold Medal and Rolling Shield in Gopinath Das Nyasa Memorial state level Dance competition
  • 2003: First place in state level Dance competition held by Nritya Kala parishath in Mysore
  • 2003: Second place in district level Music and Dance competition held by Rotary in Mandya
  • 2003: Third place in district level Bharatanatyam competition held by Rotary in Mandya
  • 2002: Second place in Karnataka state “Yuvajanolsava”– Folk dance competition
  • 2001: First place in Karnataka Govt. zonal level “Kishora Prathibe” Bharatanatyam competition
  • 2001: Silver medal in Gopinath Das Nyasa Memorial state level Music and Dance competition
  • 2000: Gold medal in Gopinath Das Nyasa Memorial state level Music and Dance competition