Guru Vishal Ramani is the Founder and Artistic Director of Shri Krupa Dance Company in Cupertino, California. Guru Ramani ranks as one of the early pioneers to nurture and promote Indian classical dance in California. An exponent of the Tanjore school of Bharatanatyam, Vishal worked tirelessly to create awareness and appreciation for Indian classical dance in the San Francisco Bay area. Vishal Ramani established the first school for Bharatanatyam in the San Francisco Bay area in 1977. Vishal Ramani's most defining legacy is the discipline, hard work and devotion she has instilled in her students for Bharatanatyam in particular and Indian culture in general. Thousands of miles from India, Vishal continues to imbue her teaching with the Guru-Shishya parampara and has conducted Arangetrams for 122 students. Her students have performed to rave reviews both at home and abroad.

Congratulations on the grand success of Aerovaganza. You do it every time. The idea of Aero graduates and making all of them do a solo piece which they choreograph themselves was novel! I really appreciate the thought and effort you put into this to make the talent of all your children come out. Aditi is a fantastic dancer who is gifted with loads of emotional creativity. I missed seeing her performance, will wait for the video. Her arangetram was by far one of my best shows and I am so happy to know that she created a mark for herself at Aerovaganza too.

Best of luck in all that you do!

You are just amazing! I cannot even imagine how you coach and train 200 dancers to perform at this event and more importantly how you can train a lot more than those over the years.

I have no sense for dancing (even though I can do Ararmandi and a few other poses which are mostly stretching exercises for Badminton!!) but I know a good dance performance when I see it. So far I have photographed more than 80 Arangetrams and many dance programs including CCF Raas Garba Competition but I have never seen such variety in choreography and also outfits and just overall show.

You have also collected and developed and deserve all the excellent and dedicated volunteers who are willing to jump to help. And some of them are just young girls under 16 years of age. This is very important to have such a group of well-wishers and admirers and it takes a lot of skill and talent to develop such relationships. I have worked with more than 20 different dance teachers and I have noticed that whichever dance teacher has such a group, her programs are always way better than the others in terms of overall performance not just the dancers' performance.

Your students seem to love you. That's another specialty of yours. I have noticed this among a few Arangeteram teachers only.

So, keep up the good work!

Suneel Kelkar | Photographer, www.suneelphoto.smugmug.com

From Aerograduate Kajal's mother:

The silence was palpable, the darkness heavy with anticipation. 400 pairs of eyes, all focussed on the dancer on stage. The lithe, graceful figure that was giving the performance of her lifetime. The heart wrenching routine that depicted the trials and emotions of a battered woman. The dancer had worked hard to incorporate multiple dance forms into her piece which was an amalgam of contemporary and semi classical styles. Contemporary because that was her strength after years of training in gymnastics, Semiclassical because that was the beauty of her culture. She danced tirelessly, pirouetting and prancing, her act filled with grand-jetes and leaps, walkovers and splits, knee turns and chakras. Everytime she performed a feat, those 400 spectators applauded, their applause appreciative, unrestrained, sincere and deafening. Those 400 members who were her family. Her dance family.

Two women in the audience holding hands, watching with bated breath, both of whom had worked hard to make the dancer what she was today, each in her own unique special way. Both of them had their hearts swelling with pride and happiness. For both, the feeling of joy was bound by immense love. For one, the love was the force that had driven the danseuse for years to dance and gymnastics lessons, had organised costumes and practise sessions, had supported her in every way possible. This love that bordered on selfishness because it was the love of a mother. For the other, the love was not bound by any physical ties. The love was one that had nurtured the dancer from the time she was a little girl, discerning her qualities as a dancer and polishing them, pushing her past her boundaries a bit at a time and helping her find herself, helping her gain confidence and poise. This love was selfless, the love of a teacher.

Thank you Ranjani and our Aerodance family!

Divya Raman | Artist, Aerodancer, Aeromom

I Had a wonderful time with some members of the Indo-American community earlier this evening. Special thank you to the young ladies from Aerodance who performed on beautiful choreography (Director Ranjani Manda).

Madison Nguyen | Vice Mayor - City of San Jose

Aerodance is the way to show your child the cultural path. Through Aerodance's teachings, your child learns the culture, the language, and an appreciation for India. My daughter, Sana has been going to Aerodance since she was seven, and now as a fourteen year old, she has become more of a Hindustani girl. She is proud of her heritage. Dancing has shaped her as a person. Her stage presence improved through competitions, and confidence in her has grown. She became confident of her culture, and competing gave her a drive in life.

Ranjani Manda is a talented dancer herself, enabling her to teach the best to her students. At Aerodance, you will not only be learning from the best, but you will learn how to be the best. Aerodance has not only enabled my daughter to learn, it has given me an opportunity to reach out to my motherland. Aerodance has also allowed mothers like me to dance too and enjoy their heritage. Competition as a mom's team has enabled me to be closer to India than I ever was. Today, we are proud to call ourselves an Aerodance family.

Shameem Zaheer | Challenger School Teacher, Aerodancer, Aeromom

Ranjani, just yesterday, I was reading your past e-mails (I kept every one of them). So much history! So much affection! Beginning from your first message for FIA Jogan Jogan ( she was only three!) till the one for bani bani and rang deni -- they are all so precious. You taught Sindhu her first steps and stage presence. She lost her stage fear because of you. You recognized her talent and put her in a group where she's challenged to do her best every time. She got a name in the North dance world because of you. Thank you very much. You are very special to her and to our family. We owe you big time. The tremendous response from people regarding her dance in CCF and BATA had been very satisfying. I am reading regarding Sindhu s laurels and its touched my heart and made everything worth it.

A student is nothing without a proper teacher. Whatever her career choices might be in future, she's owes a lot to you. You treated Sindhu as your own daughter .She learned so much so quickly only because you unselfishly pushed her to her strengths. All the hours and all the running around.!

The fame with Aerograduation she received is simply mind blowing. I think God did a good turn on us by sending Sindhu to you. I thank him every day for that.You are very special to Sindhu and she loves you tremendously. I wanted it express it through my letter.

Again, thanks a lot for being there for Sindhu.

Meena Yeggina | Publisher/Editor at India Parent Magazine, Aeromom

My daughter, Neeharika Vogety,10 years old, Grade 5 has been learning Dance under Ranjani Manda, Creative Dance director for Aerodance for close to six years. It is not only a pleasure to write about Aerodance and Ranjani Manda, but also a privilege.

Aerodance is a unique school in the Bay Area that teaches various flavors of dances like Semi-classical, Folk [from all over India], Bollywood, Ethnic and Fusion at one place. Aerodance has a well equipped Studio in Fremont, CA which gives a first of its kind for dances of an Indian origin.

Ranjani Manda is a teacher whose passion is dance and who does not mind walking a few extra miles to give her best to her students and to the parents. She choreographs songs based on dance routines which are creative, unique, visually vibrant with vigor and speed. She takes into consideration each kid's limitations and yet with each routine, challenges them and takes them to next level.

As an Aerodance student, my kid got opportunities to participate at various dance competitions like ICC, Indiawaves, BATA, FIA, Fogana,etc. They also get to contribute to social organizations like I- Gurukul, OSAAT, CCF, Dance Expose, etc. In addition, they get to participate at local Temples during festival season and at cultural organizations like SiliconAndhra, Bihar Samaj, Gujrat Samaj, TANA, etc. Recently, my child and her dance team got to audition and perform at prestigious venues like San Francisco Ethnic Festival, San Francisco GIANTS game and at America's Got Talent. At Aerodance, kids not only learn dance but also keep in touch with Indian roots, get to socialize, make friends, and learn about Indian mythology. Aerodance is in the process of further improving by providing dance related workshops including yoga.

Apart from learning dance, kids benefit from learning useful skills, like it is the practice that takes them close to perfection. Planning ahead for an event, preparation, practices, perseverance, and showing good sportsmanship at competitions are all part of the learning experience at Aerodance. Of course, kids proudly love and cherish the trophies they get at various events and competitions. As parents we also learn a lot in terms of event planning, makeup, back-stage experience, time-management, costume design, multi-media awareness and use.

If anyone has a wish to twist and turn to a catchy tune or a dream to perform on stage, Ranjani Manda is the teacher who can make that dream come true.

Kanyalakshmi Vedantam | Senior Software Engineer, Aeromom

Being part of an art - whether it be music, drama, or dance - is a lifelong process that teaches kids discipline that can always be applied elsewhere in life. I highly encourage everyone to consider enrolling his/her child in an activity like Aerodance . It teaches to develop passion, discipline, and dedication - things that comprise a well-rounded being.My son and I have both studied dance with Ranjani for several years, and to this day we cherish the moments spent with her. Now as a student at Berkely,my son plays flute for California Youth symphony with the passion that he developed as a child. I remember him being little Krishna holding a flute in one of his dances...Ms Manda inculcated us with a lifelong love for dance and her infectious passion and enthusiasm continues to inspire us!Learning how to constantly seek self improvement and refinement is something students will always hold on to wherever they go. Furthermore, continuing to participate in an activity is always extremely appealing to universities and other individuals.

Kavita Kumar | Aerodancer and Aeromom

A great bay area talent and a well known name in the dance communities.

Nityavathy Sundaresh | Tamil Mandaram

Ranjani, this heart felt appreciation for your work. I am Sr. Analyst, in corporate Finance at Flextronics. Shreya participates in several activities like gymnastics, martial arts, art and dance. I recently dropped her classical music class because she did not practice inspite of several reminders. As such, it was a welcome change to see Shreya making it her personal goal to practice dance everyday...that too without being asked or reminded.

Thanks for your efforts.

Anita Bubna | Aeromom

We miss you a a lot. Mallika joined the class when she was 4 yrs old and I could see her growth from a very chubby little girl to a gracefull dancer. In last 6 yrs she learnt some forms of indian folks dances while learning these dances she even got some knowledge of the dances and parts of India and the culture were these dances are performed. She could learn some semi classical dances which helped most of her group kids to get into classical dance too. As your student Mallika learnt the descipline and respect for her teacher and the best part of the shows was facing the audience without any fear and performing on the stage with ease. Our family and Mallika had few of the best times in our lives with her groupmates and their families. Its amazing to see their team spirit and how comfortable they are with each other. As a parent I can say Mallika's confidence has boosted after she performed so many shows and winning trophies and she comfortable facing the audience and performing not only dance but also other events at school. Ranjani! I don't think I can put my feelings well in these words but we will miss u for sure.

Suneetha | Aeromom

Manasi learnt a lot from you as disciple for semi-classical and folk dance. Your way of teaching Bollywood is also very interesting that whatever the song might be like, the choreography is skillfully done to be a nice presentation. Semi-classical, she learnt lot concepts of our Indian history, and mythological stories. Folk dances taught her how ethnically diverse India is. She was trained by you to become good dancer with grace, poise, charm and also to have blast of fun on stage. Also one good quality the Aerodancers have is that they are all friendly, amicable and very down to earth.

During these years we made good friends and lots of good memories. She learnt the value of a teamwork and sticking to the team. The loads of practices, the hard work that went in the process of making one dance successful and winning the prizes on stage, definetly brought the focus to her that if she puts that much effort in her studies and any other classes etc. she is going to succeed in life.

She definetly learnt a lot from your classes like making conscious efforts to get good grades, healthy workout regimes, and staying active. She learnt persistence, perseverance, and patience. Some good virtues which will help her in long way.The trophies she won are a recognizably for the efforts and she is waiting for many more in various fields.

Happy Holidays and New year to you and your family

Nandini | Graphic Design Freelance Artiste, Aeromom

Hi Ranjani, Glad to hear that your dance school is growing. It gives us great joy to hear stories like this as this is the reason we host the FOGANA competition, to promote individuals like you to continue the traditions of India in the US. Wish you have a GRAND studio opening. Wish you all the best as your enterprise continues to grow.

Naman Patel | FOGANA

It has been more than 10 years since I joined Aerodance for learning dance. Ranjani's passion and commitment towards dance has been an inspiration for me. Right from the start she impressed me with her efficient and professional manner - an approach that not only inspired confidence, but made it possible for me to live my dream of dancing and performing on stage. Ranjani's dedication towards dance is from her heart and it shows in the way she conducts classes and manages them. Under her guidance, many a non-dancers have evolved into dancers whose aspiration is to perform. Aerodance has provided a platform for us to express ourselves.

The creative choreography that Ranjani teaches shows her talent and dedication towards her art. Due to her academic achievements Ranjani is able to communicate with all age groups with clarity and confidence. This has earned her respect of all in her field and community. Ranjani always added her heart and soul in the performance of all her teams. Ranjani Manda's dedication and passion towards dance is a blend of creativity, style, grace and novelty. I am honored to know her and look forward to many more fruitful years of dancing in Aerodance. Furthermore, I wish her continued success in her work and future ventures.

Rina Bedi | Horner High School Teacher, Aerodancer

My daughter Ritika joined Aerodance when she was 3 years old. Ranjani was very particular not to include the showy part of Bollywood but the part which actually depicts India's vast and varied culture. My daughter and her friends learned a lot, how to take turns, the stories from different parts of India...the different types of dances...the costumes...and jewelry. As parents we saw our kids evolve in dance....from having two left feet to becoming graceful dancers who won prizes and accolades at a lot of events. It was a great platform for our kids to participate and dance without inhibitions.

Ritika really adored Ranjani and it was vice versa. She was her first teacher and will always be cherished. Ranjani was always there for her

Radha Raman | Challenger School Teacher, Aeromom

Shivani started learning dance at Aerodance when she was 4 years old. She continued learning from her till she was 12 years old. [ till we moved out of Fremont.] The team for as long as they performed with Aerodance won at least one award every year. Learning from Ranjani and being a part of Aerodance was a tremendous experience for Shivani. Ranjani, along with involvement from parents, would help pick dance music which allowed her to integrate fast paced Bollywood dance steps with traditional Indian dance moves. Rigorous practice sessions were set up around competition time to provide for more focused learning. She worked on each child's foot work and hand movements. In addition, she taught them the power of good facial expressions. He fast paced choreography with children in traditional Indian costumes and with graceful dance moves has won Ranjani several costume and choreography accolades. Ranjani herself is an accomplished dancer and is completely involved with the children as she teaches them theory piece. Her energy level and enthusiasm does not wane and by example she encourages the children to push themselves to achieve their best. She prepares the children well for performing on stage and in front of large audiences. If necessary, she asks for several extra sessions to ensure the team is well prepared. As a result, when it is time for the actual performance, the kids are well rehearsed and confident. Performing in her group and winning competitions has taught my daughter several valuable lessons in teamwork and self confidence. Ranjani's encouragement to the teams to excel in what they do, has helped children meet their true potential and believe in themselves. Being a part of Aerodance has taught Shivani to appreciate different forms of Indian dance. In addition, it has taught her to enjoy participating in all forms competitive events. I recommend Aerodance as a place for young kids of all ages to learn dance and have fun while they do so!

Sundari Mitra | Senior Management Executive, Aeromom