Learning the Basics of Bharatnatyam (for Beginners)

4 min readApr 22, 2021

If your child loves to dance, Bharatnatyam is a great way to teach flexibility, balance, coordination, values, morals, Indian mythology, and what not! Let’s start their first lesson with Bharatnatyam basic steps.

Parents want the best for their child, be it health, values, education, or anything else. Nowadays, when schools are closed and it is unsafe to send your children anywhere, education and extracurriculars are just limited to online classes. However, there are a few activities and sports that require the physical presence of a teacher. Imagine Bharatnatyam classes online! Or is it possible? Well, as per PiggyRide, it surely is!

Not just Bharatnatyam, PiggyRide has arranged a series of intuitive sessions on different topics. The sessions are designed in a manner that your child will get the benefits equivalent to the physical presence of a teacher. Besides, it is better to avoid physical classes but that doesn’t mean that you should avoid the cognitive development of your child.

In this blog, we will discuss how you can teach a few basic steps of Bharatnatyam at home. However, before we move to the steps, let us first understand a bit more about this famous dance form.

Bharatnatyam is a classical dance form that originated in Tamil Nadu. It is, in fact, the oldest classical dance tradition in India. Bharatnatyam dance steps are a beautiful combination of spectacular footwork and sophisticated sign language.

Sign language is the core element of the same and it includes facial expressions and various gestures of hands and eyes to convey several feelings, emotions, and soul of the dance.

A few specific characteristics of this style of dance are noted as bent legs, fixed upper torso, and flexed knees. The dance is accompanied by music, the singer, and the guru, who acts as the director of the dance (also known as Nattuvanar).

There are three types of performances in Bharatnatyam. They are:

  • Nrita (pure dance)
  • Nritya (solo expressive dance)
  • Natya (group dramatic dance)

Bharatnatyam has two different aspects:

  • The male aspect, symbolizing masculine vigor, is Tandava
  • The female aspect is Lasya, characterized by graceful body movements.

In the sessions of Bharatnatyam for Kids, at PiggyRide, make sure that your child starts with the basics and then moves on to become a pro.

The Basics Steps of Bharatnatyam


Before commencing the dance or session, it is important to do Namaskar, where the dancer bows to the following:

  • Guru
  • Musicians
  • God
  • Stage
  • Audience


Adavus are the basic steps of Bharatnatyam that combine to form a dance sequence. Consider Adavu as the ‘ABC’ of Bharatnatyam that includes:

  • Sthaanam (position of legs)
  • Mandalam (standing posture)
  • Chaari (movement)
  • Nritta hasta (hand gestures)


Mudras are hand gestures that represent an event, object, or activity. There are two types of Mudras:

  • Asamyukta Hastas are gestures performed using one hand.
  • Samyukta Hastas are gestures that require both hands.

Activity: Tell your child to Google “Bharatnatyam Mudras” and see how many of them can your child make easily.

Posture Training

For Bharatnatyam, posture training is a must. It is mandatory to maintain a strong and focused stance for graceful movements. Follow these steps to train your body for proper posture:

  • Be in the half-sitting or Araimandi position with hands on the waist
  • Straighten your back with your shoulders thrown back
  • A straight chin


If you don’t know anything about Araimandi, don’t worry we have got you covered. Being a fundamental posture, your child must learn this on day one. Here’s how you do it:

  • Stand with your heels slightly apart and toes facing outwards
  • Bend your knees a bit
  • Keep your hands on your waist
  • Straighten your back, shoulders, and chin

That’s all!

Now, let’s have a look at the tatta adavu that you can easily teach your child at home:

Tatta Adavu

It is the first adavu that focuses on tapping the feet. To perform this:

  • Stand in the Araimandi position
  • Tap your left feet
  • Tap your right feet
  • Repeat the process slowly and pick up speed as you gain confidence

Note: Maintain the Araimandi position while tapping your feet. Do not move your body sideways or move your torso up and down. Keep your upper torso rigid.

Bharatnatyam for beginners is a tough nut to crack if there is no proper guidance. PiggyRide offers multiple sessions for children so they can learn this classical dance safely at home.

Author Bio :-

Preetika Dwivedi is a passionate individual with a lot of aspirations and dreams. The past three years of my career have been a great learning experience in the content writing niche, and she is learning more and more by each passing day. The “quick learning” skills have helped her step out of the comfort zone and explore newer possibilities. She is working as a consultant blogger with PiggyRide.




PiggyRide — an E-Learning platform for kids to explore extra curriculum activities like dance, singing, music, yoga, chess, etc.