Founded by Sureka Gunawardena Buell, DANCEWORLD (DWS) is the culmination of years of hard work, passion and dedication. Having discovered the desire to cultivate each student’s unique talents and creativity, Sureka set upon a mission to convey the best of each student’s ability to move with grace, poise, style and beauty, while nurturing their enthusiasm for dance. After its humble beginnings, DWS was joined by Shaanee Deen as Partner/ Business Director, with the knowledge and experience to develop and grow all aspects of the school.
The annual showcase, themed differently with every show, has grown from strength to strength and is now a highlight of Colombo’s performance calendar. Dancers at all levels work together creating an experience for the public, showcasing the entire year's best choreography in a variety of styles including African Jazz, Street Jazz, Lyrical Jazz and Contemporary Jazz.
Performance skills are an extremely important part of our dance training at DWS with the effort to offer our dancers the opportunity to showcase their talents internationally. DWS dancers are encouraged to participate in such events as DANCE EXCELLENCE, Los Angeles, California where our students have brought back some of the highest awards achievable in their participation in this invitational event both in 2017 and 2019.
DWS takes pride in the continuous development of our team members by utilizing platforms such as the RWID, Dance Teacher Summit and Dance Teacher Retreats to optimize our dancers’ performance strategies and further our teaching repertoire.
Our philosophy is to maintain exclusivity by continuing to create a non-competitive environment through personal attention so that each student receives the best possible dance training in Sri Lanka. DANCEWORLD (DWS) is a performance-based studio that strives for our students to become more self-confident, strong, elegant and graceful dancers. We develop our students’ sense of musicality, teach the importance of refinement and attention to detail, class etiquette, appropriate dance attire and respect for fellow dancers. Every dancer is encouraged to find their own voice and follow their heart, to think outside the box and create their own artistic individuality. In short, DWS teaches many life lessons that extend way beyond our studio classroom.
SUREKA GUNAWARDENA BUELL
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR/FOUNDING PARTNER
Trained in classical ballet for over 25 years, Sureka embarked on the challenge to inspire students to think of movement innovatively, explore and experiment with rhythm, musicality and improvisation and founded DANCEWORLD School of Modern, Jazz, Contemporary & Ballet in 2005.
A marketer and an entrepreneur by profession Sureka has over 10 years of experience in the Advertising and Travel industry and, as the founder of the first Modern, Jazz, Contemporary & Ballet dance academy, has the knowledge of operating this unique dance studio with years of teaching, which has generated many links in the arts and entertainment industry.
She has in the past 18 years been invited as the principal choreographer of productions for several leading schools in Colombo as well as Corporate Events, while the school’s annual recitals and shows have only received the highest accolades with a profound impact on the progress of the Creative Arts in Sri Lanka.
As the school's Artistic Director and Member of the International Dance Council – CID, UNESCO, it is her greatest satisfaction to share her passion and the United Nations of Dance by offering all students the best possible quality and well-rounded dance training in Sri Lanka and internationally.
Shaanee gained her Bachelor in Human Resource Development at Hawaii Pacific University prior to having gained her Degree in Hotel Management at Les Roche Hotel Management School Switzerland. Shaanee, an entrepreneur by profession is the first Female CEO in the Wine Distribution industry in the Maldives and Sri Lanka. Prior to this, she was the second female to have reached the level of F&B Director in the Maldivian Hotel industry. She joined DWS as Business Director/Partner in 2016 and is a Member of the International Dance Council – CID, UNESCO.
Shaanee brings over twenty-five years of working in both the hospitality and the cooperate world and has placed this knowledge and experience to develop and grow DANCEWORLD (DWS) with her expertise in all aspects of the business.
Shaanee with her strong business ethics, a will to succeed and parental love for our girls, is the visionary for DWS. She is the driving force that brings DWS to play a leading role in our stage shows and compete on an international scale that continues to shape the cultural landscape of Sri Lanka.
SENIOR INSTRUCTOR/HEAD OF ADMINISTRATON
With 17 years of dance training at DANCEWORLD (DWS), Shyomie started teacher training and assisting Sureka in 2015. Her passion, dedication and commitment to DWS is limitless as she displays a high standard of conduct in her role as Senior Instructor, hosting classes from beginner to advanced levels. Shyomie’s passion for the arts and her tremendous commitment and responsibility in her dance career has also earned her the role of Head of Administration at DWS.
Shyomie has attended workshops given by Master teachers from across the globe, such as Mark Goodman, Alex Little, Adam Parson, Katherine McCormick, Stacey Tookey and Robyn Brawley to name a few, in her participation at the Festival of Dance and Disneyland Los Angeles. Shyomie’s contribution won the school 6 out of 10 awards at our participation at both DANCE EXCELLENCE 2017 and 2019, in USA.
A Youth Member of the International Dance Council – CID, UNESCO, Shyomie has received up to level 8 Certification in Dance Studies in Contemporary, Jazz, Modern and Ballet from the International Dance Council – CID, UNESCO.
Shyomie is currently a final year university student in the field of Psychology, with a further desire in teaching dance/movement to children with special needs.
With over 22 years of dance training [15 years at DANCEWORLD (DWS)] under her belt, Piyusha, from a very young age, displayed a natural talent and passion for dance. She started her training in Classical Ballet and soon expanded her repertoire to include Contemporary Dance, Modern, and Jazz including African Jazz. Over the years, Piyusha has honed her skills and developed a unique style that seamlessly blends classical and modern dance forms.
Piyusha first began teacher training and assisted the Artistic Director from 2016 to 2017, where she had the opportunity to train dancers from beginner to advanced levels and pass on her love for expression through dance. After taking the time to explore her avenues of interest, Piyusha is following her true calling and once again joining the training staff of DWS as an instructor in African Jazz Dance for Adults.
Having completed her Bachelor of Social Science majoring in International Relations and Peace Studies, Piyusha wishes to pursue her higher education in the field of Peace Studies while combining her passion for dance to explore avenues of reconciliation and peace in Sri Lanka through dance.
STUDENT INTERN/ASSISTANT TEACHER
16-year-old Alisha has been training at DWS for the past 9 years. Her perseverance, growth and progress in Classical, Contemporary and Jazz dance has led her to advance to the Senior levels in the academy and engage in assisting in Junior and Intermediate classes since September 2021.
As a member of the team representing DWS and Sri Lanka, Alisha had the rare opportunity to perform at Disneyland California and attend workshops offered by renowned Master Teachers from across the globe at Dance Excellence 2019.
Alisha’s passion for the arts, assertiveness, and attention to detail displays her ability to work with her contemporaries while being a role model of DWS, showing much promise for the future.
19-year-old Vihani, with 7 years of training at DANCEWORLD (DWS), started interning as an assistant teacher in 2022, owing to the dedication and passion towards her dance career.
Vihani also represented DANCEWORLD School in the international invitational event DANCE EXCELLENCE 2019 – in Los Angeles California, USA, where her team was awarded top honors at the DE International Performance Boards in the Senior Category in Jazz Dance and Open Category. Vihani was also a member of the ensemble that performed at Disneyland California as representatives of Sri Lanka where our show was applauded enthusiastically.
Crowned as an accomplished Kandyan dancer, Vihani is also a primary teacher, who holds an Advanced Diploma in Psychology and is a final year undergraduate majoring in Psychology
STUDENT INTERN/ASSISTANT TEACHER
17-year-old Tamara has been training at DWS for the past 5 years. She started as an assistant teacher, aspiring to one day become a dance instructor and choreographer. Ever since joining DWS, she has found a place to creatively express herself and push through her comfort zone.
Tamara has represented DWS and Sri Lanka in the International Invitational event DANCE EXCELLENCE
2019- in Los Angeles California, USA. Tamara was given the privilege to perform at Disneyland California as a representative of Sri Lanka. She also attended workshops offered by Master Teachers renowned globally.
Tamara’s drive and passion for this art form, is a true inspiration to others towards their love for dance.
19-year-old Tanalia, with 12 years of training at DANCEWORLD (DWS), started interning as an assistant teacher in 2017. Whilst displaying sound technical proficiency, a passion for the arts and commitment in her dance career, Tanalia is responsible for assisting with choreography and training students at all levels.
An enthusiastic dancer, she has attended workshops offered by Master teachers from across the globe during her participation in DANCE EXCELLENCE (DE) 2019 where her team won 3 top awards at the DE 2019 International Performance Boards in the Adult Category in Jazz, Contemporary and Open Category. Tanalia was also a member of the team that performed at Disneyland California as representatives of Sri Lanka.
Tanalia is also an accomplished Kandyan dancer having received training at school since the age of 11. Tanalia is not only a dedicated dancer but is also an enthusiastic synchronized swimmer who has been placed in several National Competitions. Tanalia aspires to study law while continuing dance and synchronized swimming.