Our girls pushed through what must've been one of the most intense experiences of their lives.
We can't deny it was tremendously hard for us too.
The basics of any Classical Dance form are never easy.
And we feel the pain every single time we have to get through them.
This round of our Rural Outreach Program, in Dhasa, was all about absorbing the fundamentals, one step at a time.

It has been a slow, cruel, admittedly annoying grind.
And we have all felt drained and dog tired, particularly towards the end.

The classes and all the time in preparation has been a nasty test of our collective endurance, our ability to absorb and execute technique, our capacity to constantly push in the face of fatigue and every ache conceivable in our muscles and joints.

The girls have been introduced to fundamentals in a more nuanced manner. With hawkeye focus on coordination, precision and muscle engagement. This, for both dance forms - Bharata Natyam and Classical Ballet.
They have pulled through preparatory sequences to be able to perform these fundamentals and those in themselves are pretty exhausting.
Well, that's where the stamina builds!

True, the girls are tough beyond compare.
Few could have kept up as they have.
But they have tasted the bitter, bitter world of unrelenting, repetitive, painful practice.
They've survived.
They've also hurt in places, like never before.
But they've survived.
And today, they smile.
Because they've grown to understand what Classical Dance necessitates.
And they've seen where sincere, earnest effort has brought them.

We have never felt the need to be more apologetic for coming down on them so harshly.
In the same breath, we have also never seen a bunch of children who have come so far in such a short while, performing technique as perfectly as they do.
And so, we only thought we would give to them, what is rightfully theirs - everything they could and should take.
They took it, like only girls can.
And they make shapes in space, like only practiced dancers do!

This army of girls is going places with all their straight lines and lengthened movements and rigorous, regular and structured practice.
But first, they will and they must rest and play and run free for a bit.
We will see them soon after!