Pratap Pawar has the honour of being the very first Disciple (Gandabandh Shagird) of Shri Birju Maharaj.

Pandit Birju Maharaj, is a renowned and honoured personality in the field of Indian Classical Dance. Born in 1937, Shri Birju Maharaj is the current head of the Lucknow gharana (school) of Kathak dance. He is descended from a family of legendary dancers, including his uncles Shambu and Lacchu Maharaj, and his father Accan Maharaj, who was also his guru.

It is an enriching and absorbing experience to watch his absolute mastery over rhythm and expression. Indeed his name and his style has become an exemplary model of dance for contemporary Kathak dancers.

Various honours have been conferred upon him. Among these are the 'Padma Vibhushana', the 'Kalidas Award' and the 'Sangeet Natak Academy Award'.

A special feature of his dance is the effort to achieve balance and harmony. Each performance continually aspires towards perfection, for a classical balance and harmony of the vital elements of dance, rhythm, lyricism and expressional — all touched with divine grace.