Smt. Padma Sonti began her Indian classical dance journey with Bharatanatyam at the age of ten under Dr.Uma Rama Rao. Although Bharatnatyam was quite intriguing, Smt. Sonti quickly realized that Kuchipudi is where her passion resided. Soon after, she joined the Kuchipudi Art Academy and received training under the tutelage of Padmabhushan Dr.Vempati Chinna Satyam and Smt. Shoba Naidu.
Amongst many well deserved honors, she was awarded the esteemed titles of “Natya Visharada” in 1983 and “Nritya Ratna” from Vamsee Arts Theater in 1989. After receiving a prestigious National Dance Scholarship from the Indian government, she was able to pursue a Master’s in dance, specializing in Kuchipudi. Smt. Padma Sonti has participated in over 200 solos and dance ballets across the globe, including performances with her gurus at the Hong Kong Festival of Asian Arts and Kuchipudi Forum in various locations across North America. She has played significant roles in ballets such as Krishna Parijatham, Kalyana Srinivasam, and Vipranarayana, which are regarded as Kuchipudi classics.
After years of dedication, Guru Smt. Sonti morphed into the artist, teacher, and choreographer she is today and was able to establish Kuchipudi Kalakshetra in 1996. The dance school is often recognized as one of the first successful Kuchipudi dance schools in the DFW area. After over twenty four years of hard work, the school now has three locations, and is guiding number of students from their first steps to their Rangapravesams (28 to date) and beyond. Through this time, Kuchipudi Kalakshetra has produced many outstanding productions such as Sivananda Lahari, Datta Darshanam, Katha Kelika, Deepavali, Hanumanth Vaibhavam, Chenchu Lakshmi, and Gajananeeyam. Smt. Sonti and her students of Kuchipudi Kalakshetra also contribute to cultural organizations such as TANA, NATA, NATS, ATA, and TANTEX.
In 2007, Smt Sonti established the Mudra Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports aspiring dancers and elderly Kuchipudi artists. Kalamalika, Datta Darshanam, and Telugu Kala Vaibhavam are some of the numerous charity performances organized by Mudra Foundation. Proceeds from these shows have benefitted the Plano Theater, SOS villages, lymphoma research, Haiti orphans, Vibha, Make a Wish Foundation, the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, and many other artists in India. The foundation has hopes of aiding even more organizations and individuals in the future.
A dedicated and sincere passion for the arts defines Guru Padma Sonti and her pursuit of nothing less than excellence continues to inspire a genuine passion for dance in all of her students.