Radha Nambisan The Lewis Foundation of Classical Ballet

One Step at a Time with Radha Nambisan

Rachel Oommen ballerina, Ballet, dancers, experience 0 Comments

The results of the ISTD examinations arrived and made us all very proud of every student’s achievement. However, there is one student in particular who showed to be exceptionally outstanding. Radha Nambisan, age 11 did everyone proud by achieving a perfect score of 100%.

The ISTD examinations board is world renowned and maintains a very high global standard of education in dance and for her to achieve these stunning results is a huge milestone.

“In all 38 years of teaching I have never had a student who achieved a perfect 100% and that is something so rare and outstanding ”

– Yana Lewis , Founder, Principal & Artistic Director

Radha is an American-Indian who started ballet at the age of 4 in the US. She joined TLFCB when she moved to Bangalore and has been dancing with us for the last three years.


In an interview Radha spoke about her other interests in gymnastics, swimming and sketching. She credits her skill of being a performer to gymnastics, “It’s definitely taught me to be more of a performer than anything else.” She enjoys it a lot but it still comes in a close second to ballet she says because there has always been more of a connection with ballet from the very start. Swimming comes third on her list, she’s on the swim team in her school and dolphins happens to be her favourite animal.

The secret to her success ?

Is to smile! Radha is a performer by nature. Ballet is a performing art so it’s naturally meant to be faced with confidence and lots of smiles, whether it’s a show on stage or an exam. She said she was not at all nervous or fearful before the exam, “ the trick is just to enjoy and have fun with it” she says.

Radha is the smallest of her class in Grade 2 and when asked if it makes a difference she said that it doesn’t make much of a difference, but it definitely pushes me to jump higher than the rest of them. Jumps are my favourite, especially changements, so it’s not such a bad thing. She mentions “Adage however, slow and controlled movements like port de bras are my least favourite”.

Radha Nambisan

Radha Nambisan

Practice put in

In terms of practice she did an extra hour at home every week leading up to the exam.  Along with one class at her school (Indus International) on Tuesdays, one class of JDC(Junior Dance Company) on Saturdays and grade 2 on Sundays at the Foundation every week. “The extra hours do help of course, even though I didn’t practice any set exam work in JDC, it teaches you to adapt because it’s a mixed class with different people at different levels so that helps a lot.” she added.

When she received the news of her results she was ecstatic but she does feel there’s pressure to perform just as well in the future. Healthy sibling competition with her elder sister Maya is a good motivator for her. Radha aspires to join the Royal Ballet, she definitely wants to pursue dance professionally.


Her favourite role she’s played is a Magician in the Spectacular Circus show of 2015 and her dream role is to play the Sugar Plum Fairy from The Nutcracker.

What sacrifices did you have to make?

“Giving up time to hang out with my friends is one of the sacrifices I’ve had to make because most of the weekend goes away in spending time at the studio, but it’s all worth it. In terms of school finishing homework is always a struggle as well,” she mentions.

In this years show she will be playing her first major role as “Chip” in the classical ballet adaptation of the movie “Beauty and the Beast”, and she’s very excited about the work.

This is just the beginning of her dance career and we wish her all the very best in her future endeavours in dance.

Radha Nambisan

Radha Nambisan

Fun facts about Radha

  • She’s got a big sweet tooth, her favourite pre-class snack is toast with nutella and post-snack is cereal.
  • Anna Pavlova is her favourite artist
  • Swan Lake is her favourite ballet
  • She isn’t scared of anything except snakes
  • Loves reading the Percy Jackson series
  • She hates marshmallows
  • Huge fan of Hamilton
  • Christmas is her favourite holiday

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