We deem this a Rural Outreach like never before because of the Leadership, Initiative, Team work, Volumes and Change we have witnessed.

While our social media posts provide a detailed account of all that occured through this September stint, well over two years into the birth of Junoon with this very Rural Outreach project kicking off, this is one way to hit upon everything that occured in one go!

Our Girls, especially those that have been with us from the word "Go!" back in September '21, have emerged as reliable Leaders who are handholding the new and relatively new entrants through every bit of training. They have innovated with routines of their own - inspired by their years in training - to create flows for the Girls to follow collectively, in class, with or without our supervision.

To watch this playing out in both Art forms - Bharata Natyam and Classical Ballet - as well as the preparatory work, strength, conditioning, balance, control, coordination and agility drills was heartwarming and a relief as we know they are in good, safe and each other's hands!

Leadership has also emerged in Athletic training. We have a band of girls watching over the others and ensuring each one stays on course, stays up to speed and keeps their stamina intact. This also means we are keeping up with training in all arenas - the sports ground, the school ground as well as the open road for endurance running.

In a beautiful moment towards the end of our time, the girls read out their own reflections of their time at Junoon, what it means to them and the difference it has made to their lives. Hearing them was absolutely touching.

Musical Training - singing, listening and figuring out its nuances persists on our Outreach. We dived right into a Bhajan, amongst all the other verses we learnt in SANSKRIT sessions and are latching onto so many lyrics and their meanings. It's divine! We now have a choir: a central lot of singers and every other Girl joins in in the Chorus! We are obviously, steadily working towards dancing these songs and shlokas going forward, Classically! Hence, the effort to get rhythm, raga and tune right alongwith the meaning of a composition's words.

Our introductory SANSKRIT sessions have certainly been the highlight and delight of this Rural Outreach. (A detailed account of these is in a former "New on Junoon" update.)

We have begun to prioritize cleanliness, sanitation, hygiene and thereby health by making sure we keep our surroundings clean. This means we dust and brush and mop our studio premises, thoroughly clean the articles we use (such as Yoga mats, etc) and will be sticking by a regular cleaning routine to continue doing so. Our Girls will automatically stay healthier and get stronger in a cleaner work environment, as difficult as it may be to do so given the extreme and erratic weather cycles, constant perspiration from practice and how tired we are right after. But it's such a fun exercise when the Girls are taking care of it all and maintaining their space together. More team spirit!

Their team spirit really has come strikingly through on this Outreach as they all chip in to help one another through every activity; every bit of training. No one gets left behind!

In a first for Junoon, where we have engaged with the women of Dhasa by taking Yoga, Stretching and Movement to them and encouraging them to participate in a small demonstrative session one night, our Girls volunteered to accompany and help us. And what a great help they were, indeed! Jumping in to correct, align and demonstrate to the women who chose to participate. (More on this in a former "New on Junoon" update.) Our Girls are taking the lead in more areas than simply their own practice now!

The Girls have watched quite a lot of Classical Ballet material this time and we gather this must be their first ever nuanced watch. Whole productions as well as some major Ballets in rehearsal. It was amusing to see them both stunned, intimated and yet intrigued by it all. Of course, we watched Bharata Natyam as well. Anything to make them want to keep striving and climbing the ladder of fundamentals in both Art forms gradually!

Our Girls literally had a "Field Day" as a vision our mentor in England, our Coach Dr. Almuth McDowall, shared with us before we embarked on this Outreach stint, came to life! They danced bang in the midst of farmland in a special spot - a slightly raised platform. This was their first ever exploration of Classical Ballet movement and they performed beautifully. It was only apt that we named this little recital as well as our Girls "The Farm Swans". They looked every bit the elegant bevy of birds as they moved seamlessly through introductory and themed Ballet movements. We are so grateful to our mentor for sharing this dream with us. It gave us the impetus to make it happen! Thank you Coach! (Scenes from "The Farm Swans" recital make up 'Series Eight' on our 'Glimpses' page.)

This Outreach has given us so much. The number of Girls we are working with has steadily increased. We now have a little army of them. And it's rewarding to watch the Junoon battalion grow.

Our Girls' commitment has transformed them into graceful, strong and resilient young ladies.

We only want to make more happen. Our Girls are on course to...

Numb as they may be from the magnitude they've come through, they have such a glorious and thrilling distance to go - running, dancing, playing and persisting!

Embrace the challenge, Girls!