Yana Lewis – Co-founder, Artistic Director , Principal
Yana Lewis (A.I.S.T.D.Dip) born in the UK has been dancing from the age of 2 . Dance has not just been her passion but a way of life since then. Yana is an international ballerina, teacher and choreographer, working across the globe and living in India since 1998. She is an Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing teacher with over 35 years of teaching Ballet to students from different nationalities, ages and different socio-economic backgrounds. She has an extensive background in Classical Ballet, Jazz and various other dance forms, over 20 years of study in yoga, and an RSA in Anatomy and Physiology. Her knowledge and expertise reaches far beyond that of ordinary instructors. Her approach to dance as well as fitness is one of safety, strength and vitality. Her classes are aimed towards anyone who want to learn dance or has a willingness to get into shape and work towards a healthier body and mind.
Yana Lewis has performed extensively both on stage and on TV, and has produced and directed her own shows in the UK and India. Her work covers a broad spectrum – from modern dance companies to classical ballet solos playing principal roles in ‘Sleeping Beauty’, ‘Coppelia’, ‘Swan Lake’ and ‘Peter and the Wolf’. She has participated in documentaries, videos, training films and commercial advertisements and given performances in all streams of education including schools, hospitals and mental institutions. Some of her leading works include choreography or feature artiste for numerous music videos, with Elton John, Bryan Adams, Phil Collins & Ray Parker Junior from Ghostbusters.
She firmly believes that through dance, the boundless and untapped talent and energy of these children can be directed to develop important life skills including self-respect, self-motivation and a sense of responsibility. She has raised money for several organisations, including staging a non-stop danceathon for BBC TV’s ‘Children in Need’ appeal. She has been assistant director and choreographer for a Dance in Education company in the UK. Yana has conducted workshops in dance and given lectures on prevention of injury during dance, to the Indian classical dance community all over the country. Under this premise The Lewis Foundation of Classical Ballet was born in 2006 in Bangalore.
I firmly believe that through dance, the boundless and untapped talent and energy of these children can be directed to develop important life skills including self-respect, self-motivation and a sense of responsibility.Inspiration for Outreach programme
Yana is also a dedicated practitioner of Iyengar yoga for more than 30 years. She came to India on the 80th birthday of her guru, Shri B. K. S. Iyengar, a visit that sparked off a lasting and deep-seated affinity to India and the beginning of in-depth research into Indian culture and dance.
Yana considers yoga as a medium to travel deep inside and practices and teaches it regularly. She has developed her own signature style by marrying her love for yoga with ballet. She has also made a contribution to ‘Iyengar, The Yoga Master’ book through a chapter on ‘The Dancer’s Posture’.
Equally at home floating fairylike across the studio floor with young children or discussing an anatomical problem or injury prevention with adults, Yana’s trademark is the supreme sincerity, passion and dedication with which she goes about all her work.Maureen Gonsalves, Cultural Coordinator, Max Mueller Bhavan