We are proud to say that Sri Lankan Dance Academy of NY (formerly known as NWDT) is an official non-profit organization. Our non-profit status will give us much needed exposure outside of our Sri Lankan community, allowing our students and teachers to reach new heights that they could not have imagined before.
Dhammika Navinna started taking her eldest daughter to Kandyan dance classes, a rare opportunity outside of Sri Lanka in 1996. Since this time, Dhammika became involved in NWDT alongside its founder, Tanya DeSilva. Her first hand at coordinating and planning came when NWDT put together the production " Guru Pooja" in 2000. The following year, Dhammika's second daughter began attending classes as well. In 2009, Ms. Tanya DeSilva left the country and Dhammika began managing and coordinating NWDT full time as their Program Coordinator. She is now the President of Sri Lankan Dance Academy of NY.
Kasuni Udugampola began learning Kandyan dance when she was six years old. For the past eighteen years, Kasuni has learned this ancient dance form from her motherland, the best way she knows how to keep in touch with her Sri Lankan heritage. In August 2014, Kasuni performed her "Pahim Path Mangalya," a stage performance signifying a dancer's entrance into professional dance. Currently, Kasuni assists in teaching NWDT's beginner class alongside her Guru, Dilhan Pinnagoda, through translation and demonstration.
Kasuni graduated from Hunter College in 2013 with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology with Honors Distinction. For the past year, she has worked at Occam Global, an executive recruiting firm located in Manhattan's Financial District. In her free time, she bakes and decorates cakes, writes articles and press releases for the Sri Lankan Youth Organization (SLYO) and continues to perfect the art of Kandyan dance.