Shamita trained in ballet, contemporary dance and jazz at the Urdang Academy of Ballet and Performing Arts, London; and in bharatanatyam (Indian classical dance) at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan (Institute of Indian Culture), also in London.
Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (Dance)
Module Leader for Contemporary Techniques 2
Shamita Ray has had a diverse career, starting out life as an independent dance artist specialising in contemporary dance and Indian dance (bharatanatyam). For more than 20 years, her work was as a performer, choreographer, and dance teacher. Based in the UK, she worked internationally, choreographing original dance pieces, performing both with dance companies and as a solo artist, and by bringing a love of movement and creativity to countless people.
Shamita was born in Scotland and has worked with dance companies all over the world, realising the creations of some of the world’s top choreographers, including Shobana Jeyasingh and Wayne MacGregor.
Her own choreographies include the solos Dark Matter (2006), Ring Cycle (2007), and many more me (2011), and she has also choreographed for the Tatarstan State Opera (Russia). Her work is noted for its original choreographic style, combining Western contemporary dance with Asian movement forms such as bharatanatyam and yoga.
Throughout her career as a dancer, Shamita was an avid practitioner of Iyengar yoga, which she found beneficial in developing flexibility and complementing dance training.
However, a chance wandering into an Ashtanga class one day turned what was until then, a mere hobby, into a lifelong passion, rivaling her love for dance. She went on to become a yoga teacher, studying with world-class teachers including David Swenson, Lara Baumann, and Ana Forrest. She has a regular programme of classes and workshops in London, and runs retreats worldwide.
Finally making the decision to retire from full-time performing, Shamita currently teaches contemporary dance technique to undergraduate degree students at Creative Academy, Slough. She holds the Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (Dance), and additionally teaches freelance in a range of settings including professional classes, international guest teaching, and workshops for children and adults. She still finds an outlet for her artistic ideas by choreographing pieces for her students, and finds a boundless satisfaction for body, mind and soul in her regular yoga practice.