We found ourselves in Dhasa at the toughest time of year - Summer. A harsh, unrelenting, merciless Sun has shown us all a very hard time and it's definitely going to take us all a while to come back from our baked states.

Despite the scorching heat, this has also been our most successful Outreach, with the girls pushing against the Sun with purpose and practice.

Sometimes, the harshest conditions reveal our truest and latent strengths. We saw heat turn into light through the girls' sincere practice, genuine love for dance and their every inclination toward Classical Dance.

They went for the basics, combinations and their very first tryst with choreography in both Bharata Natyam and Classical Ballet.
And when it all got too hot and stuffy, they plunged into the vibrant world of Folk Dance with a Garba session thrown in nearly every day in class, which was refreshing and engaging!

Their foundations are getting stronger. We see a future where these actually go on to become unwavering. The attention to detail, the sync with beat, the appreciation of melody - all creeping in, slowly but surely.

We are loving seeing them grow. This extreme experience has been a massive lesson for us too:
In how to keep our smiles and heads together despite external, uncontrollable circumstances doing everything they can to drain and strain our bodies and minds and douse our spirits. Children can be charmingly care-free and yet, committed. Indeed a paradox to aspire to!

It has been no fairy story, training under such weather conditions.
But then again, we knew we were building warrior princesses.
And we have them.
Right before us and ready!

They've come through.
As athletes - with all the running, stretching, strengthening and conditioning;
As dancers - lengthening and going the whole way in two classical forms and a fresh learning of Folk Dance;
As artistes - hardworking, spirited, imaginative and hungry for more.

They have fought, like only they could and should!
And they've shown us that a little Junoon every day amounts to the lot you need to make it all happen, never mind the sweltering heat, the scorching Sun and the sapping day.
All these princesses will ever take from the Sun is the light that shines in their eyes and smiles and energy for their limbs to perform.
This Junoon has given us that lesson in extremes - one that made us all quite indestructible and our Dance more Classical.

What lies ahead is sweet breeze, solid sleep and a sweeping re-engagement with the Art forms.
Only then may we begin to dream of the possibility of a smoother sweat - one that completes without depleting.
After all, the only way to survive Summer is to move and dance and sweat and smile through the burn that makes us glow like only Classical Dancers can.

Until we meet our warriors again,
May they remain so,
And train like only girls can,
With that stunning tan!