Suma Nair – Assistant Artistic Director
Suma Nair’s artistic pursuits began with dance. Growing up in the Middle East, she was initiated into the study of Bharatanatyam when she was seven. She continues to practice, teach and perform the style extensively. Suma draws upon her training as an Indian Classical dancer to create the foundation to explore new forms of dance expression that combine Indian Classical and Contemporary styles. She has also received training in the creative artistic practice of Laban Movement Analysis. With an education in Business Management and Mass Communications, Suma Nair blends her existing skill sets with a career in dance as a choreographer and performer. She has also received training in Documentary Filmmaking, and has worked on several videos documenting artistes and other professionals alike. As part of the Documentary program, she was chosen as part of a three-member team to create educational videos in post-earthquake Haiti for the NGO Save The Children. She has worked in the ﬁeld of Event Management and Public Relations, only to realize that she could use the expertise she developed there to build a career in the performing arts. Suma holds an MFA in Dance (Choreography) from York University and was awarded the Susan Crocker and John Hunkin Scholarship in Fine Arts for 2014-2015.
Jasmine Sawant, General Manager
Jasmine Sawant has always held a deep passion for the arts. Drawing on varied work experiences and a lengthy association with the arts, Ms. Sawant is focused on nurturing and sustaining the growth and development of SAMPRADAYA Dance Creations, while upholding the vision, values and mandate of the organization.
Devoted to the enrichment of the South Asian performing arts in Canada, Ms. Sawant is an active member of the artistic community. A co-coordinator for Desi-Lit Mississauga, a monthly book club of writers and readers of South Asian literature and the works of diaspora authors, and co-founder of SAWITRI, a Mississauga-based woman-centered South Asian theatre group, she is also a regular contributor to various South Asian performing arts publications. She has volunteered her time to the Scouts Canada-Central Escarpment region, Peel Health.s Community Food Advisor Program and in the co-ordination of South Asian cultural events.
Prior to joining SAMPRADAYA Dance Creations, Ms. Sawant worked at ARI Financial Services in Mississauga where she was responsible for corporate accounts and customer service. She has also worked at the International Indian School Dammam (formerly the Indian Embassy School Dammam) in Saudi Arabia, the French Embassy in Bahrain and the Max Mueller Bhavan (Goethe Institute) in Mumbai.
Ms. Sawant holds degree in Accounting from the University of Mumbai (formerly the University of Bombay), diplomas in both Journalism and French; and a language certificate in German.
The widely traveled Ms. Sawant is married to Nitin Sawant and the proud mother of two sons.
Veronica Stoneman – Administrative Coordinator
Veronica Stoneman began her dance training in Ballet at the age of three and has been a strong supporter of the arts ever since. Ms. Stoneman continues to foster a love of dance, having trained in various forms including Ballet, Jazz, Egyptian Bellydance, and more. Ms. Stoneman has taught Egyptian-style bellydance for many years and performs as a lead soloist with Ala Nar, an award-winning dance troupe.
In 2016, Ms. Stoneman earned her Master of Museum Studies degree from the University of Toronto, graduating with the ROM Visitor Engagement Award presented by the Royal Ontario Museum. Since then, she has been an active Curator and Exhibition Design Consultant, having created exhibitions for the Canadian Language Museum and Orchestras Mississauga/Mississauga Symphony Orchestra. Holding an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Classical Studies from the University of Western Ontario, Ms. Stoneman also spent many happy summers uncovering artifacts on archaeological digs throughout the Middle East and Europe.
Ms. Stoneman has provided administrative support for various not-for-profit arts organizations in Mississauga and is thrilled to bring her passion for dance, arts, and culture to Sampradaya Dance Creations as Administrative Coordinator.