Minila Shah is an established choreographer, dancer, dance educator and founder of Ajna Dance Company based in New York City. With over 15 years of experience across 3 continents, Minila has taught masterclasses, performed and worked as a choreographer in the United Kingdom, India, Canada, France and the US. Minila is a versatile and captivating performer whose expertise spans Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Bollywood, Semi-Classical, Garba/Raas and Bhangra.
Minila is a trained classical dancer - Bharatanatyam and Kathak - which heavily influence and inform her unique style. It is this signature style of seamlessly blending classical and folk dance with Bollywood music and movement that makes Minila stand out.
Minila's work has appeared on NBC, ABC's Good Morning America, Viceland, The Food Network, Good Day New York, Refinery29, the BBC, Sky1 and Dancing on Ice (ITV) in the UK. She has choreographed for film, TV, music videos and theatre in London and New York.
As Director of Ajna Dance Company, Minila has shared her artistic and authentic blend of classical, contemporary and folk dance choreography with The United Nations as a part of the General Assembly, at the Brooklyn Museum, The Rubin Museum, and MoMA Film.
Minila is a disciple of renowned Bharatantyam artist, Guru Menaka Thakkar and Kathak artist Guru Prashant Shah. Her Bharatanatyam and Kathak training have deeply developed her body awareness, rhythm, grace, expressiveness and connectivity to Indian culture. Minila has travelled to India twice to further her study classical dance and Yoga.
As Founder and Artist Director of Ajna Dance Company, Minila has created the premiere Indian dance company of New York City offering classes for adults and children, professional performance and educational programming for schools from Pre-K to University.
As a dance educator, Minila has led workshops and lecture-demonstrations at numerous educational institutions including Hunter College and Barnard College/Columbia University. What sets Minila apart is her deep knowledge of Indian dance, her teaching style, warm demeanor and ability to connect with students of all ages, backgrounds and levels.
When Minila is not dancing, teaching or running Ajna you can find her cooking healthy meals, exploring the never ending gems of New York, practicing yoga and meditation and spending time with her husband and baby girl.