Dancing Petals is a member of "The Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing", one of the world’s leading dance examinations board. We are aligned with ISTD syllabus and follow a structured approach towards teaching students, training professionals and conducting examinations.


Examinations are conducted by an ISTD certified examiner. There is a Primary Examination for children up to the age of eight years. There are six Graded Examinations, intended to guide a student progressively towards perfection in presentation of Kathak Dance technique and repertoire. There are four Vocational Graded Examinations, which offer students a route to professional training either as a dancer or dance teacher. Both the Grades and Vocational Grades are approved by Ofqual and are on the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) 

ISTD EXAM - credits  

Reference the published Kathak ISTD syllabus regarding hours of learning required to be ready to appear for the ISTD Grade Level Exams and the credits earned per ISTD Grade Level.

Guided Learning hours = contact time with the teacher (GLH), Total Qualification Time (TQT) = GLH + personal study time

Qualification -GLH(hrs) -TQT(hrs) -Credits

Grade 1 -- 60 -- 70 -- 7

Grade 2 -- 60 -- 70 -- 7

Grade 3 -- 60 -- 70 -- 7

Grade 4 -- 75 -- 95 -- 10

Grade 5 -- 75 -- 95 -- 10

Grade 6 -- 90 -- 130 -- 13


Dancing Petals has a production group that performs around Chicago. Our repertoire is comprised of traditional Kathak compositions and neo classical choreographies that use the vocabulary of Classical Indian dance to explore new spaces of expression.

Contact us for performance opportunities in cultural and social events.


Gurmeet Kaur Marhas is the Founder and Artistic Director of this Kathak Dance Academy. She is a Kathak Dance aficionado. An enthusiast ardently learning, exploring, performing, dancing, teaching Kathak.

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Gurmeet started learning Kathak with Ms. Sandhya Desai, student of Padma Bhushan Kumudini Lakhia and continued her pursuit under Ms. Kiran Chouhan. Twelve years later she completely immersed into the Kathak world and went to Kalashram, Delhi, school of the legendary maestro Pt. Birju Maharaj.

Her certifications include a 'Sangeet Prabhakar in Kathak' from Prayag Sangeet Samiti, Allahabad and 'Diploma in Kathak' from Kalashram, Delhi. She continues her education within the ISTD framework as a dancer and performer, and as a dance instructor.