Reviews for Performances

“Each time I have had the privilege of watching my friend Akari perform Odissi dance, I have been moved to tears.  In April of 2016, Akari performed for my yoga retreat on Maui.  Without exaggeration, her performance was one of the highlights of our week!  Akari's dance is a glimpse into the art of devotion.  The focus and love she pours into each movement and expression is palpable, intense, beautiful, moving.  Akari's dance is a prayer and we are all brought into the temple as we bear witness.  Her technical skill combined with her inner fortitude and passion create more than a performance-  it is a transforming experience and one that will leave you breathless.”
Chrissy Kapoor, yoga teacher, qi gong teacher, and zen shiatsu massage therapist

"Akari's dance presentation is extraordinarily inspiring. She exudes passion for her art, and her many years of study and devotion to the Odissi dance form have honed her skills as a top-quality presenter. Our group was enthralled by her performance, and I recommend her enthusiastically!”
Alan Cohen, author of A Deep Breath of Life and others

"Akari's presentation, energy and presence at my retreat were beautiful and captivating. It was one of the highlights of the week."
Peter Kater, 11-time Grammy Award nominee and multi-platinum selling pianist and composer

“Akari, You are so amazing and inspiring. I’ve never seen anyone dances with so much heart.”
Lauren Toker, space designer

"Every time I see your dance, my heart opens up."
Joe Breman, founder of Wisdom Center for Autism

“Thank you SO much for sharing that dance. You seemed to represent something SO much bigger than yourself. And your spirit was really felt by all. You don't fool anyone with your small stature and humble demeanor… You are such a POWERHOUSE!!”
— Shamapriya

Reviews for Teaching

“So grateful for her, dear Akari! What an amazing woman and talented teacher to get us started on this challenging and so rewarding journey of becoming an Odissi dancer. Even more thanks for your teacher Sarala for preparing her so well for passing this precious knowledge and for being so patient with us!”
— Olya, a student in Akari’s Odissi class and a professional massage therapist

“I danced with Akari when I was eleven and when I was thirteen. Now I am sixteen and a junior in high school. I am happy to write a testimonial for her. Akari is an enthusiastic person, especially when it comes to dance. She always starts with a friendly (yet difficult) warm up, bouncing along to some of her favorite songs. And when it comes to the actual choreography, she explains and shows it in details so that you can understand it. I miss dancing with her, and I think that you definitely should!”
— Grace W., a high school student

"Akari is a masterful teacher. She empowers beginner students by breaking down techniques into digestible parts then bringing them together organically. You'll be dancing before you know it! Everyone was delighted by her skill, beauty and playfulness.”
Jennifer Lynn, Founder/Director of Wisdom Flow Yoga

“What I particularly admire about Akari's teaching style is that she always compliments her students first before she gives constructive criticism. As a mother, I want to do the same, but in reality, I can't help but to say things like, "that's not right" or "that was wrong." I also appreciate the fact that Akari is very fair with all of her students. I also like how she breaks down the dancing steps in such a way that children easily understand. I trust her because she watches over children by embracing them with smiles and positive words. Children enjoy themselves while shining brightly.”
— Fusayo, Mother

“Akari periodically teaches dance classes at a local public elementary school’s Wellness Day.
Her area gets rave reviews, not that I was surprised. The thing the students asked to fix was to give them more time with her :).  
I can't even express, especially in an email, about how much I love watching her with the students and sharing her love and passion with them.”
— Maile D., a Parent-Community Network Center Coordinator

“Thank you, Akari! It was such an enjoyable time. I loved every second. The kids had such confidence in themselves and followed your every move and direction. You are a great dance teacher!”
— Mrs. Boone, a 5th grade teacher at Haiku Elementary School

“It was great having you at Wellness Day. The children really enjoyed the dancing. You always make it fun.”
— Mrs. Roddy, a 5th grade teacher at Haiku Elementary School

“Your class was wonderful! YOU are wonderful and so vibrant. The children at the new studio are going to be totally blessed by your lovely light and enthusiasm!”
Karyne Daniels, Creator/Director of Sacred Dance Path

Credits to Photographers

Photo by Richard Marks

richard marks, wedding photographer, maui photographer

Photo by Richard Marks

richard marks, wedding photographer, maui photographer

Recital 2023