Classical dance has a rich history in India. Some of the classical dancers make their movie debuts. You will find many classical dancers and models finally pursuing a career in Bollywood. Here’s a look at the top classical dancers in India.

Top Classical Dancers in India:

  • Hema Malini
By Bollywood Hungama, CC BY 3.0,

Hema Malini is one of the most revered classical dancers in India. She has her own dance school and her dance performances in the movies are the stuff of legend. Malini is one of those rare individuals who made their career in Bollywood but has also kept her connection with classical dancing active with her dance performances.

  • Meenakshi Sheshadri

Meenakshi Sheshadri is one of the few classical dancers who made their career in Bollywood. In fact, apart from Hema Malini, Jaya Prada, and Madhuri Dixit, she is the only one whose dance performances in movies had a separate audience.

More Top Classical Dancers:

  • Sudha Chandran
By Bollywood Hungama, CC BY 3.0,

Sudha Chandran is the classical dancer whose story made classical dancer mainstream for at least a while. The classical dancer lost her leg in an accident, but she continued dancing and made a career out of it. This story was the inspiration for the movie, Naache Mayuri, which was a smash hit at the time. She’s more famous over at the Bechuzi headquarters for her role in the Balaji serials, though.

  • Mallika Sarabai

Mallika Sarabai is the foremost name in classical dancing in India. She comes from a family of dance proponents. She is the daughter of Vikram and Mrinalini Sarabai. She’s trained in Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam.

  • Mrinalini Sarabai

Mrinalini Sarabhai is a dance exponent, and experts credit her with making the Southern dance forms popular in Gujarat.

  • Pandit Birju Maharaj

Pandit Birju Maharaj is one of the most renowned names in Indian Classical Dance. He has trained or choreographed several female actors for some of the most legendary songs in Bollywood.

  • Sonal Mansingh

Sonal Mansingh is one of the most renowned dancers in India. She trains in the Guru Bharatanatyam and Odisi dancing style. She has also learned the Manipuri dance style.  Further, she has also learned the Kelucharan Mohapatra way of dance from her father-in-law.

  • Eesha Deol

Eesha Deol is Hema Malini’s daughter. She accompanies her mother during her dance tours and she has also shared stage space with her mother.

  • Shovana Narayan

Shovana Narayan is an expert Kathak dancer and one of the most prominent names in the dance form.  She has also authored several books on the various dance forms in India.