TENZIN DOLKER


“Dance makes me feel the freedom that I struggle and fight for”

Tenzin Dolker is a Tibetan exile born and raised in a Tibetan Refugee Camp in South India. Previous to beginning her career as a dance instructor, Dolker served as a career consultant for the Tibetan youth in Dharamshala, and the Grassroots Director of the

Indian chapter of Students for a Free Tibet. She has been actively involved in the Tibetan freedom movement since then, and has been dedicated to her activism in general.

For as long as she can remember, Dolker has been passionate about dance and theatre. The idea for Dharamshala Dance Arts began when Dolker met Tim Collins, a professional Swing, Tap and Tango dancer from Seattle. Tim was giving dance classes in Dharamshala and later became Dolker’s dance trainer and partner. They have been giving and organizing swing dance lessons in Dharamshala for more than a year.

                                                                                             TIM COLLINS

Tim collins

Tim Collins is a professional dancer from Seattle, USA. He first came to the Dharamshala community in 2004, and has been visiting regularly ever since. His dance education began in high school in 1997 in the US, and continued through college.Focusing on Swing Dance & Argentine Tango,he travelled around the globe to teaching, dance & perform. He first began working in India in 2008 when he and his dance partner moved to Mumbai and began performing and choreographing for festivals, events & in Bollywood. After 4 years in Mumbai, he returned to stay in Dharamshala and met Tenzin Dolker, a passionate dancer whom he began training. Together they began working on the idea of opening a dance center to contribute more to the Tibetan and Indian community and offer a place for artists in residence to give more artistic experience & opportunities to the community.

Tim continue to travel to teach and learn. He lives in Mexico City, Mexico & Dharamshala, India.


About McLeod Ganj (Dharamsala):

Strewn atop the forested hills that rise above the Kangra valley in northern India, the bustling little town of Mcleod Ganj, or ‘Upper Dharamsala’, is home to thousands of Tibetans, Indians and expatriates from around the world. It is also the residence of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and the headquarters of the Central Tibetan Administration and the Tibetan government in exile.

Dharamsala was originally founded as a British subsidiary cantonment for troops stationed at Kangra, and was first occupied as a station in 1849. For the next 56 years it served as an administrative center before it was virtually destroyed by massive earthquake in 1905. It remained almost uninhabited until the Dalai Lama was granted asylum here after fleeing Tibet in 1959.

Needless to say, much has changed since then. The McLeod Ganj of today is an eclectic mix of Tibet, Indian and Western (as well as other) influences, and has become the fulcrum of Tibetan exile culture and activism. Due to its stunning scenery, temperate climate, peaceful ambience, volunteer opportunities and the presence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, McLeod Ganj is also one of the most popular tourist destinations in India’s Himachal Pradesh state.

Mcleod Ganj is unlike anywhere else in India. Often referred to as ‘Little Lhasa’, around half of its population of 30,000 is made up of Tibetan refugees, the rest consisting of local Indians and an interesting array of travelers from around the world.

There are plenty of things to do and see in the surrounding area, including a network of trails that lead to the nearby Dhauladhar range, passing by a number of remote villages, monasteries and temples. Within town there are museums related to Tibetan culture and history, as well as plenty of places to hear live music most nights. For most, however, McLeod Ganj’s highlight is the Tsuglagkhang Complex, Which is the monastery of the Dalai Lama and is located just in front of his residence.

Our Mission:

Given its whirlpool of cultural influences and the sea of stories contained within its residents, we believe Dharamsala the perfect breeding ground for artists of many different disciplines. As it stands, there are few outlets, and even fewer spaces, where these potential and emerging artists can gather to inspire one another and give form to their creative impulses.

Given the diverse backgrounds and life experiences of those who call Dharamsala home, the volume of unexpressed anger, love, compassion, frustration and (most importantly) HOPE is profound. It is our aim to help introduce all of this emotion and thought to the world via the portal of artistic expression.

Our mission is to develop a communal space where this can be accomplished, a place where artists from different disciplines and cultural backgrounds can come together to inspire one another, teach one another, learn from one another and explore their creativity alongside one another.

Our Main Objectives:
– To introduce new dance forms to the Dharamshala community.
– To encourage emerging artists to explore their creativity.
– To develop a community of artists from different disciplines and cultural backgrounds.
– To provide a space for art-related workshops and training seminars.
– To encourage the use of arts and entertainment to address political and social issues.