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Born and raised in Iran, Shahrzad has been passionately involved in 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 deep familiarity of authentic Persian dance, her formal dance training, and her intrinsic knowledge of Persian aesthetics, Shahrzad is a pioneer in Persian dance  and quite possibly the first to create a formalized dance vocabulary and structure for Persian dance, helping in the artistic development and dissemination of an art form that has been outlawed in Iran for the past three decades. Her system includes the introduction of fundamental Persian body positions and movement, categorization and designation of nomenclature to movements, assembly of movement into choreographed phrases, and composition of dance pieces woven intricately with Persian music.  Her unique approach to creating Persian dance pieces has prompted Shahrzad to identify her dance style as 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 often hosts  classes and workshops in classical & contemporary Persian dance for serious dancers and dance scholars taught by Shahrzad, as well as performances by Shahrzad Dance Company.   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. Under the artistic direction of Shahrzad Khorsandi, SDC performs both locally and internationally at various events such as cultural festivals, 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 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!

We are excited to announce that we have now made it easier for you to help support SDA while shopping online with Amazon!  Amazon will donate .5% of sales from using the link provided below to SDA!!! 

Amazon Smile: Shahrzad Dance Academy