Gretchen Hayden is an internationally recognized performer and teacher of kathak dance. She is a senior disciple of the renowned master and guru, Pandit Chitresh Das. Ms. Hayden has dedicated the last twenty-seven years to fostering kathak in New England. She and her husband, sarodist George Ruckert, are bearers of tradition, carrying on the legacy of kathak and Hindustani music established in the U.S. and India by Pdt. Chitresh Das and Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. Their collaborative original works weave tradition into innovative dance solos and dramas, including The Legend of St. Lucy, The Story of Dymphna, and Kore. Established in 2002, her school Chhandika (Chhandam Institute of Kathak Dance) is a vigorous non-profit organization, offering classes and outreach programs in the greater Boston area. Chhandika's endeavors also include the training of next generation kathak soloists, teachers and the Chhandika Youth Ensemble. Ms. Hayden has been teaching accredited kathak courses at Tufts University and Wellesley College for the past 20 years.