Smita Mahajan was born on December 27, 1963, to parents who were Hindustani classical vocalists. Her father, the late Pt. Sharad Sathe, was a veteran Hindustani maestro. She enrolled in Bharata Natyam at the age of nine under the guidance of dancer Dr. Smt. Sucheta Bhide Chapekar and trained under her for over 20 years. Along with pursuing intensive training in Bharatanatyam and Hindustani music, Mahajan also studied mathematics at the University of Mumbai and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1984.
For the next few years, she taught Bharatanatyam both privately and at several institutes in Mumbai. She moved to Pune in 1993 after getting married and decided to pursue a master’s degree in Bharatanatyam at Savitribai Phule Pune University, from where she graduated in 1996. Mahajan is an empaneled member and visiting professor at Savitribai Phule Pune University’s (SPPU) Centre for Performing Arts, also known as Lalit Kala Kendra. She also teaches dance at Bharati Vidyapeeth University in Pune and runs a dance institute called Artitude, where she teaches Bharatanatyam to around 12 to 15 experienced students.
Every year, Mahajan organizes a two-day festival called the Artitude Dance Festival. The first day consists of performances by her students and other eminent artists in the city, while the second day is dedicated to seminars on dance-related subjects by speakers from outside Artitude. She has given solo performances in India and abroad, and her performances have seen several renowned musicians accompanying her, such as violinist B. Anantharaman, mridangam players Shankar Narayanan and Satish Krishnamurthy, flautist P.S. Krishnamurthy, and singer Nandini Rao Gujar.
Mahajan is also a Carnatic music composer and has created 50 to 60 pieces that follow the margam (traditional course) of Bharatanatyam. Her book and CD, Margam Unmesh, feature Marathi and Hindi pieces written by her. Several Bharatanatyam dancers in Maharashtra have also choreographed performances to her compositions. She also has a dance textbook and a biography named Sharadache Chandane of her illustrious father to her credit.
Currently, Mahajan is conducting research on hasta mudras (hand gestures) in different ancient texts and studying the works of several Indian saints. She intends to publish her research findings to make this topic accessible to others. She has conceptualized, directed, and choreographed various dance productions like Devi, Rukmini, Vaijayanti, Meghadoot, Purandaradasa, and so on!