Artistic Director and Principal of Nateshwar Dance Company
Founder: South African Indian Dance Alliance
Board Director – KZN Dance Link
Cultural Coordinator – Gopio SA
Head – Hindus United – Youth Pillar
Smeetha Maharaj was born in Asherville, Durban on 11 January 1959 at St Aidans Hospital. Her father is the late Hirday Gian Singh, an educator, and mother the late Draupadi Singh, born Somers, who founded the dance school. She started dance at the young age of 6 and has continued till date. Her first dance teacher was the well-known Guru of Indian Dance, Kumari Jayaluxmi Naidoo, with whom she studied Bharata Natyam for a few years. She was later fortunate to also learn the Folk dances of India from Shri Shanker Gunguly and toured with his show to East London, Port Elizabeth, Cape Town and Kimberley. During the interim she taught dance on a voluntary basis for community shows and Eisteddfods.
- Bachelor of Arts – Social Work – University of Durban Westville
- Visharad Pratham (B.A.) – Kathak Dance – Akhil Bharatiya Gandarva Mahavidyalaya, Mumbai.
Further training in Kathak and Folk Dance:
- Bhushan Lakandhari
- Madhurita Sarang (Mumbai)
- Malti Shyam (Delhi)
- Vaibhav Joshi (Mumbai)
- Akram Khan
- Shri Prathab Pawar (London)
- Satya Bhama Kollapen (Bharatanatyam)
- Shri Shanker Sachin (Mumbai) – Indian Contemporary
- “Dance India 2010” – Milapfest, Manchester.
- Received the Thygaraja Award – Indian Academy of South Africa
- Sangeet Ratna Award – Hindi Shiksha Sangh of South Africa
- Honoured by The Umhlanga Hindu Society for contribution to culture
- Award for promotion and service to music and dance in Indian Cinema – Indian Cinema Centenary Awards.