Archana Desai

Founder & Artistic Director

Archana Desai has been a dedicated and passionate student of Bharata Natyam, performer, and a choreographer in Southeast Michigan for more than 25 years and for 3 years in India. She is the Founder and Artistic Director of Alapadma Dance Yoga Institute.

Archana had her formal dance training from an eminent Guru Smt. Neela Raval in Felicity Art. Her guru is a disciple of great gurus, Shree Kuttikrishanan and Shree Tanjor Mahalingam. Archana achieved the Master’s degree in Bharata Natyam (Nritya Alankar). Her Arangetram was blessed by an exponent of Bharata Natyam, Guru Shree Kubernath Tanjorkar. She has also received an extensive dance training in Chennai from Padma Bhushan Smt. Shanta Dhananjayan, the senior most disciple of Legendary Rukmini Devi Arundale. (The founder of Kalakshetra). And was fortunate to learn Kuchpudi dance from a renowned Kuchipudi dancer Dr. Nirmala Rao in Hyderabad.

Archana’s gifted talent in dance and music was rewarded by many awards in competitions and also has received great recognitions as a dance teacher and a dancer. Archana is a passionate performer and a brilliant choreographer. She has trained hundreds of her students in classical, folk and creative dances initially in India and in USA. She started her dance school in 1987 then continued teaching in USA. Along with dance Archana has a true passion for Carnatic music and has been taking formal training at reputed Shankar Mahadevan Academy.

Archana is also an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT) by Yoga Alliance, USA and has a bachelor’s degree in English literature and Indian laws. She has been a registered Advocate on the state roll by The Bar Council of Gujarat, India.

Archana has given many dance performances in the reputed associations and organizations in India and USA. She has won many first prizes in dance and music competitions and has received great recognition in the State of Gujarat, India.

She has served as a Bharata Natyam dance examiner in Indian and as a dance competition judge several times in India and USA

As a judge:

  • Dandia Dhamaka - Inter collegiate Raas competition organized by University of Michigan - 2009
  • Summer Fest - St. Mara Thoma Church, Southfield, Michigan - 2007
  • Dance Competition, Bhartiya Temple, Troy – 1990
  • South Gujarat University and Lions club dance competitions, India -1987


  • Alapadma Dance Yoga, Annual Recitals 2008-2019
  • Indian American Cultural Association, 2010
  • Utter Pradesh Association of Detroit, 2009
  • Nritya Aradhana, Bhartiya Temple, Troy, 2006
  • Gujarati Samaj Of Detroit, 1992, 1993,
  • IRS – The Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, Detroit, 1992
  • ICS, Detroit, 2002, 2003, 2006
  • Kalashree, India - 2001
  • TV presentation with interview by Mr. Jonathan Swift, (30 minutes at PBS) – 1993
  • Bhartiya Temple, 1989
  • Several performances in India, Lions Club Conference, Lioness Club, Ladies Club, District to State level youth festivals,V.T. Choksi Law College, Felicity Art annual recitals.


  • 1. “Fabulous classical dancer and a great teacher.” - Lok Samachar Article, leading district newspaper- 1985
  • 2. “Dedicated dance teacher” Gujarat Mitra, A leading newspaper in South Gujarat. - 1987
  • 3. Featured on a cover page of Gujarat Mitra Diwali and 125th Anniversary publication -1988
  • 4. Featured with article, appearing on Shree cover page, a leading newspaper of Gujarat state - 1988

Extra Curriculum Activities:

Archana has received many awards in sports and was active in several extra curriculum activities.

  • Elected Board of Director in Executive Committee, Gujarati Samaj of Detroit, MI – USA, 1992
  • Chairperson: GSOD - Holi Mahotsav, 1992
  • Elected LR (Ladies Representative) J P Shroff Arts College, Valsad and D. E Italia High School, Chikhli. India