Oxana Banchshikova is Bharatanatyam teacher, dancer and choreographer originally from Kazakhstan. She is the founder/director of Cosmic Dance Company and Associate Artistic Director of Beyond Bollywood (Hong Kong). In 2019 Oxana moved to Scotland and is working towards establishing herself as well as her Cosmic Dance Company in Edinburgh.
Since starting her company in 2009, Oxana became respected in the field of dance and gained recognition for the contribution to development and popularization of Bharatanatyam dance style in Hong Kong.
Taking up dance at the age of five, Oxana trained and performed in a variety of dance styles, from ballet through to contemporary and jazz, always searching for something special and meaningful in her dance experiences. She found this in Indian Classical Dance and gained inspiration from its rich historical background and unique and complex dance techniques.
Oxana was awarded a scholarship by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) to attend a four-year Bharatanatyam course at the Kalakshetra College of Fine Arts in Chennai, India (2002-2006). She has also completed 3 year course and was awarded 1stclass diploma in Nattuvangam (dance accompaniment) from “Kalapeetam” music school (Chennai, India, 2003-2006)
Since completing her course at Kalakshetra and settling down in Hong Kong, Oxana has performed on numerous occasions, created and directed many solo and group productions. She is never content to remain at one level for long and constantly strives to improve her skills through attending various workshops on dance and yoga in different countries.
She has been spreading her love for Bharatanatyamby teaching it to students of different ages and nationalities for the last 14 years. Her experience of teaching dance to different people has helped her to evolve a unique style of keeping people interested and motivated in learning this dance form outside India.
For the last 10 years Oxana has been researching healthy and safe dance approaches in South Indian dance forms and Bharatanatyam in particular. Her personal experience and also extensive teaching experience to students of various ages showed a need for creating special exercise programmes to prepare the body for the particular stances and movements of Bharatanatyam as well as rehabilitation exercises for acquired pain that may have been caused by certain movements. This led Oxana to completing the Ying Yoga course (deep passive stretch technique) in 2011 and the Pilates teacher certification course by Polestar Pilates in 2018. The Pilates method is well known around the world as a system of exercise and physical movement designed to stretch, strengthen, and balance the body in order to increase its efficiency and healthy function.
Oxana continues to research, practice and teach her students these exercises and hopes to promote the idea that a safe and healthy dance life is possible for all ages, and to continue her dance career as long as possible.
Ancient secrets of light