Born and raised in Iran, Shahrzad has been involved with Persian dance since childhood. She studied Dance and Performance Art at the California Institute of the Arts, and she holds a BA in Dance, as well as an MA in Creative Arts from San Francisco State University. Her dance training includes Modern, Jazz, Ballet, West African, Afro-Haitian, Flamenco, and Persian.
Drawing upon her formal dance training and her intrinsic knowledge of Persian aesthetics, Shahrzad is among the first Persian dance practitioners to create a formalized dance vocabulary and structure for Persian dance, helping to archive an art form that has been outlawed in Iran for the past three decades. Her system includes the categorization and designation of nomenclature to movements, assembly movement into choreographed phrases, and composition of dances put together with appropriate Persian music to create a unique style of Persian dance, Contemporary Persian Ballet.
Shahrzad Dance Academy
Shahrzad Dance Academy (SDA) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded by Shahrzad Khorsandi in 1996. The academy is a cultural training ground, using a structured curriculum of traditional Persian movement as a cultural foundation, while providing the space to artistically explore choreography in contemporary Persian dance. SDA is based in Richmond, California, and provides on-going classes in classical & contemporary Persian dance for children and adults in the Bay Area. SDA also produces Persian dance instructional and performance DVDs.
SDA has a professional dance company dedicated to exploring the boundaries of artistic expression through movement while staying true to the essence of traditional Persian aesthetics. SDA also has a junior company of teen and pre-teen performers who are selected from the academy. Under the artistic direction of Shahrzad Khorsandi, SDA performs both locally and internationally at various events such as cultural festivals, weddings, school & library educational programs, and formal concerts. Please contact us to book an event, enroll in classes, or audition for the company.
SDA survives and thrives on student enrollment and tax-deductible donations from individuals and corporations. All donations and fees from classes and performances go toward SDA’s non-profit mission, to bring exposure to the art of Persian dance through education and performance. You can make a tax-deductible donation online or by mail, and SDA will mail you an official letter for your tax deduction!