Famous ballet teacher Tushna Dallas dies at 76


August 15, 2018

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She is survived by her husband Feroze and daughters Khushcheher and Mahzeebar. The funeral took place on Monday.

Article by Pooja Pillai | Indian Express

Renowned ballet teacher Tushna Dallas, who counted among her students many of India’s leading contemporary dancers, passed away in Mumbai on Monday. She was 76.

Dallas had been ill for the past few months. She is survived by her husband Feroze and daughters Khushcheher and Mahzeebar. The funeral took place on Monday and the Uthamna ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday at Dungarwadi.

As the founder of the School of Classical Ballet and Western Dance, which was a first-of-its-kind in the country, Dallas was widely respected as a pioneer in ballet and other forms of western dance in India. Her journey began with a visit to the Ice Capades in the USA as a four year old. “She decided that she wanted be an ice-skater. But when her mother pointed out that there is no ice in Mumbai, she switched to ballet,” said Khushcheher. She picked up the basics of the dance form when she went to a boarding school in Kodaikanal, where she received instructions from a nun who was trained in ballet. She then went on to do a teacher training course at the London College of Dance and Drama, where she qualified in nine forms of dance, including ballet, ballroom dance and Latin American dance. She graduated in 1962.

Dallas began teaching ballet in Mumbai, with a batch of four students, in 1966 and soon established her dance school. Khushcheher, who trained under her mother before going on to the Royal Academy of Dance, joined the school as a teacher in 1993. Dallas herself remained active and for the past seven years she had been teaching at the Shiamak Davar Dance School.

“Anyone who is anyone in dance today, including Terence Lewis, Shiamak Davar, Ashley Lobo, trained under her at some point. Many students who learned from her, eventually established their own schools. My mother used to say that she had planted some seeds, which sprouted and blossomed into these flowers,” says Khushcheher.