Natananjali School of Dance was established by Lakshmi Swaminathan in Bethesda, MD to train students in bharatanatyam, a popular form of classical dance from the southern part of India. Natananjali Dancers have performed to acclaim at various venues ranging from Indian community events and temples to shows in the greater community.  These performances include libraries, National Cherry Blossom Festival, International Children’s Festival at Wolf Trap, Celebrate Fairfax Festival, Fall for Fairfax Festival, Workhouse Arts Center, American Visionary Museum, Centerstage, Chinese New Year Festival, Hippodrome Theater, World of Montgomery Festival, Gandhi Memorial Center, Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church, Asia Society’s 2011 Global Annual Learning Conference, InterFaith Conference at Washington National Cathedral, shows for the Maryland Governor’s Office on Asian-Pacific American Affairs, The New Americans Street Festival (Opening ceremonies to the Fifth Annual Immigration Conference) organized by the Maryland Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives, The Bank-Fund Staff India Club at The World Bank, Department of Homeland Security, The FBI, InterFaith Conference at the Temple of Latter Day Saints,  The New Americans Expo 2016, as well as for the Montgomery County Executive’s Office of Community Initiatives on several occasions, to name just a few. 

Natananjali dancers were sponsored by the Embassy of India to perform at EducationUSA, a portfolio of the US Department of State as well as to conduct a lecture demonstration on Indian Classical dances and perform at Brightwood Education Campus as a part of the Embassy Adoption Program.

Natananjali dancers also performed at the first ever Diwali celebrations held at the army base at Fort Meade, MD, in November 2015 as well as at the Washington Navy Yard’s very first joint Asian Pacific Heritage Month celebrations in May 2016 and Washington Navy Yard’s first ever Diwali celebrations in Nov 2016.

In January 2019, Natananjali School of Dance worked with Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, in their presentation of Olivier Messiaen’s Turangalila Symphonie, demonstrating Indian Tala.



Natananjali students had the honor of performing at the White House Diwali celebrations in November 2010 and for the US Armed Forces at Walter Reed Military Medical Hospital in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2018.  Natananjali dancers have also presented repeat shows at Marriott headquarters for their Cultural Appreciation Day.

Natananjali School of Dance was awarded a citation from the Governor of Maryland in 2008 for promoting Asian culture through dance in Maryland and the United States of America.

In 2012, Lakshmi Swaminathan and her dancers were awarded the Commander’s Coin for Excellence by Lt. Col. Eric Bailey, Troop Command of Walter Reed Naval Military Medical Center in recognition of the students’ performance during the Diwali celebrations held at WRNMMC.

In May of 2013 and September of 2014, Natananjali dancer, Medha Swaminathan, was sponsored to perform the invocatory item on Lord Ganesha at the Washington DC South Asian Film Festival.

In 2015, Lakshmi Swaminathan was awarded the Seva Ratna award by Balaganamrutham, in recognition of her continued dedication and promotion of Fine Arts.

Beginning in 2015, Natananjali School of Dance, with contributions from it’s student body, has undertaken to sponsor the education of one child every year, through AIM for Seva.

Natananjali School of Dance was awarded a citation by Maryland General Assembly, presented by Delegate Aruna Miller on August 12, 2017.

Natananjali School of Dance presented the dance production, Krishna- Shades of Love on August 12, 2017 in celebration of its 15th anniversary

Citation from Governor of Maryland

Commander’s Coin of Excellence

Citation from Maryland General Assembly

Award from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center