Since the early 1990s,  the Center for World Music (CWM) has offered Odissi dance classes in the San Diego area. These courses are taught by distinguished master dance teachers from Odisha, India, and by the Patnaik Sisters.

Odissi Students and Teachers

In collaboration with the Orissa Dance Academy, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, the CWM brings visiting artists from India to San Diego for extended teaching residencies. These esteemed teachers have included:

  • Guru Padma Sri Gangadhar Pradhan
  • Guru Aruna Mohanty
  • Guru Manoranjan Pradhan
  • Ramesh Kumar Jena
  • Yudhisthir Nayak
  • Madhusmita Mohanty

  • Janhabi Behera
  • Amulya Kumar Balabantaray
  • Rudraprasad Swain
  • Rajesh Kumar Palai

Odissi is one of the oldest and most sophisticated forms of Indian classical dance. It is thought to have originated as early as the second century BCE in what is now the eastern state of Odisha. Odissi is well-known for its lyrical nature, grace, fluid movements, and expressive, asymmetrical body postures.

Odissi School Performance

In addition to studying the fundamental techniques of Odissi performance, CWM Odissi students have the opportunity to blossom into seasoned artists by working closely with accomplished dance teachers from India. This unique opportunity has provided these students with a direct link to the source of this dance, exposing them to the teaching traditions of India and enriching their understanding of Indian culture.

Students from the CWM Odissi Dance School have enjoyed performing and presenting lecture-demonstrations at community events, universities, inner-city schools, and dance festivals throughout the U.S. Students from diverse backgrounds and ages, from ambitious toddlers to university professors, have found learning and sharing this exquisite art form a rewarding experience on many levels.

  • For more information on the Odissi Dance School and its offerings, please email
    Classes are held in Encinitas, North County San Diego.