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Rajni Ghiraw


Smt. Rajni Shayanti Ghiraw, MSc, was born on the 10th of July 1985 in the Netherlands, and was born and raised in The Hague. She is a Public Administration expert and works for the government. She also is an Indian classical dancer, dance teacher and choreographer. Dancing has been her passion since childhood.


Rajni received her dance- and choreography training in the Netherlands and India. Rajni is specialized in the Indian classical temple dancestyles Odissi and Kathak and offers variety in her dance classes by also teaching Bollywood and Indian folkdance. Once a year she organizes a Baithak ganaworkshop (Surinamese-Hindustani folk dance) for the enthusiasts.

Indian classical dance entered her life at a fairly young age. She started her first dance class with Guru Chandrawatie Sukhai (†) when she was 6 years old. At the age of 17 she graduated with Guru Chandrawatie Sukhai for the Indian classical temple dancestyles Odissi and Kathak. Rajni also has been extensively trained in various Indian folk dancestyles such as the DandiyaRaas, Garba, Bhangra, but also Bollywood.


Pretty soon Rajni noticed that she felt a great love for Odissi. At the age of 18 she departed to India (year 2003) to study Odissi at her Guru's Guru, namely Guru Mayadhar Raut. Rajni graduated for Advanced Odissi under the guidance of Guru Madhumita Raut in 2009 at the Mayadhar Raut School of Odissi dance New Delhi, India. She combined this with her academic education in the Netherlands.


At a later stage in life, Rajni continued to study Kathak with Guru Shakshi Gopal in the Netherlands for more refinement in her technique. Furtermore, she annually retrains herself in Odissi with Guru Madan Mohan Das from Mayapur, India.

For Rajni, dancing isn't just dancing.

According to Rajni Ghiraw:

'Indian classical dance is designed in such a way that expands our consciousness while practicing it. The wealth of Indian classical dance therefore lies not only in what you see, thus splendor, splendor and perfection in movements, gestures and facial expressions, but also the inner dimension that is hidden behind the dance itself. The inner dimension that the dancer can experience especially during dance. It's a much greater form of wealth than what you see on the outside. That has been my own experience thus far.


When I was younger I just danced because I couldn't sit still when I heared music. Dancing relaxed me and made me feel like I had wings. I floated and disappeared from the earth for a while. Now at an older age (35) I notice that especially Indian classical dance, especially the temple style Odissi that I practice and teach, no longer makes me disappear from the earth, but closer to myself. Odissi is meditative for me. It truly is a form of Yoga that has made me,more aware of the Cosmos and above all, Universal infinite Love. Odissi brings me closer to God. Odissi brings me closer to myself'.


Rajni gives dance lessons, workshops and performances in the Netherlands. She often donates her proceeds to charities.

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Guru Smt. Chandrawatie Sukhai (†)


Guru Chandrawatie Sukhai († 2017), was and still is, an important person in the life and dance career of Rajni Ghiraw. Not only in the life of Rajni Ghiraw, but also in the lives of many students who studied with her for dance- and spiritual education, or people who knew her well.

Guru Chandrawatie Sukhai has played a prominent role in the development of the Raut gharana (movement in Odissi) in the Netherlands. In her own way, she contributed considerably to the development of Indian classical dance in the Netherlands.


For her contribution to the development and promotion of Indian dance and singing, she received the following awards:

  • In 2002: A Royal distinction in the Order of Oranje-Nassau from the Municipality of Zoetermeer;

  • In 2002: From the Municipality of The Hague, the City Medal;

  • On December 17, 2000: Certificate awarded by Federation Eekta Bhavan;

  • The Hindi Pop Award, from the organization of the Hindi Pop Awards.

  • During the World Dance Festival organized by SKVR (Foundation for Artistic Education Rotterdam), in which dance styles from 18 countries were represented, she and her dancegroup won the first prize for costumes and choreography in 1989 and 1999.

Guruji Rajni
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