Smt. Uma Rao was born at Bellur, Mandya District (Karanataka), in the family of poet laureate Late 'B.M.SREE'. Even at the age of ten, she excelled herself as a child performer in Kathak dance form, from 'Gandarva MahaVidyalaya' New Delhi, under the able guidance of Prof. Teerathram Azad.
Uma got a surprising opportunity to act in Hollywood film 'MAYA' produced by Metro Goldwyn Mayer [M.G.M. U.S.A.]. The film took her on the world map as an artist of inborn talent. Film career did not attract her and she took to Classical Dance, under the expert tutelage and Direct guidance of Padma Vibhushana . Smt. RUKMINI DEVI ARUNDALE the doyen of Indian Art & Culture. This turn in Uma’s life was the timely Encouragement given by the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu & the matinee idol of Tamil films Late Thiru.M.G.Ramachandran who saw her inherent talents. Sri.M.G.R. & His wife Smt.Janaki Ammal were Uma's Local Guardians in her initial stages of Kalakshetra life.
Uma completed her Post–Graduation in Bharata Natyam with First Class Distinction from "KALAKSHETRA", Chennai, followed by her ARANGETRAM on Dec 1st 1972 at Kalakshetra College of Fine Arts. She established herself as an outstanding performer & ablest teacher during her Twenty Four years of stay at KALAKSHETRA. She took part in all major dance dramas produced by Smt. Rukmini Devi in leading characters winning laurels and Globe trotted to many countries of Europe, Russia, China, Vietnam, Korea, Hong-Kong, U.S.A. Japan & other countries .
Uma Rao later on joined S.I.F.A.S (Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society), Singapore in the Dept. of Bharatha Natyam wing and created an unparallel history on the Singapore Arts scene during her stay. The crisp stage production, Choreography & Dedicated teaching brought her unstinted name & fame from her students, Art lovers, Press and general public. Uma Rao being herself a vocal musician with a sweet voice, her command over Nattuvangam, ability to teach in multi languages and the privileged close association with the great personality of Smt. Rukmini Devi has placed her in a unique place in the field of Bharata Natyam.
BHARATHA NATYAM - Post Graduate with Distinction from Kalakshetra, Chennai
CARNATIC MUSIC - Gurus.Padmasri Sri M.D.Ramanathan, Vid Sri.Budhaluru
Krishnamurthy Shastri, Vid.Sri.Doraiyur Rajagopala Sharma.
KATHAK - Gandharva Mahavidyalaya.New Delhi. Under Pandit Theerathram Azhad.
MOHINI ATTAM - Guru. Smt Kalamandalam.Kalyani kutty Ammal.
KATHAKALI - Prof.A.Janardhanan & Sri.Kunhiraman.
PROFESSOR OF BHARATA NATYAM- 'KALAKSHETRA' International College, of Fine Arts. Chennai, Tamilnadu
Bharata Natyam Department. "S.I.F.S".Singapore.
Dept.of Art Education, R.I.E.M. [N.C.E.R.T.] Mysore.
Founder Director. "Sri Lalithakala Academy Centre of Performing Arts" (Regd.), Mysore.
Holland ,Germany, France ,Spain, Britain
(I.C.C.R) Russia, Poland, Philippines
(I.C.C.R) China, Vietnam, Philippines
Europe, Hong Kong ,Ceylon, Malaysia, Singapore.
[I.C.C.R.] Mauritius, Reunion, Madagascar, Seychelles.
Japan .& U.S.A (2001, 2003, 2008,2010,2013)
Uma Rao played a key role in Hollywood movie 'MAYA' produced by M.G.M. Hollywood.[ 1962]
Nominated member to the Sangeetha Nruthya Academy Government of Karnataka
Member of Selection panel for Doordarshan /C.C.R.T/. & National Scholarship Govt.of India,
Member of selection panel 'SHANTALA' state award. Department of Kannada & culture.Govt.of Karnataka
Honorary appointment to the Professional Women’s Advisory Board AMERICAN BIOGRAPHICAL INSTITUTE . North Carolina, U.S.A.
Kalakshetra International College of Fine Arts, Chennai -External Examiner for
Post Graduation & Reviving Smt.Rukmini Devi's works / Dance items.
Adavu in Kalakshetra bani – sangeetha nrutya academ, Bangalore
Lecture demonstration & workshops at U.S.A, Madagascar, Mauritius, Holland,
France. Hong-Kong Germany, Singapore, Japan- Rikyo, Kieo, Tokyo Universities, Russia (Tomsk University).
Lecture demonstration & workshops at Indian Universities of Mysore, Goa, Pondicherry, Bangalore, Calcutta.