THE SEVENTH RURAL OUTREACH PROGRAM
"PLAY" was the theme we set for our Seventh stretch.
In addition to dancing, we wanted them to play to make profound discoveries within and outside of their bodies. As Classical Dancers, they need to fly and fall and frolic and freewheel to understand the limitations of their bodies and push past them.
Amid sessions of practice as usual and the introduction of new (to them!) fundamental movements, we made up games and played the more conventional ones - relays, skipping races, soccer, etc. - as these worked beautifully to condition our bodies as well.
A very reputed sports brand paid us a visit, here in the village and came to the premises that houses our studio and classes, to deliver sport and fitness gear to our girls. They received it most graciously, with glee and gratitude.
They also brought with them coaches that familiarized our girls with not just the equipment but also the basics of games like Football, Ultimate Frisbee and other drills that build team spirit alongwith sports' skills. The village and Junoon look forward to welcoming then again, very soon and continuously.
Throughout this week-long Outreach Program, as we brushed up on everything we knew and learnt things and skills and moves anew, The girls laughed and tumbled and fell and got back up and high-fived one another as they played (err...worked) as a fiery team, picking each other up, energizing one another and most notably, goading one another to try one more time in addition to filling in the gaps for each other - a striking dance of balancing out the strengths and weaknesses of one another, so that no one fell behind.
There was so much to learn from this positive energy exchange amongst the girls. Competitive and passionate as they were, they played to lift each other up! Now that's teamwork, making a dream like Junoon work - a fire, an exuberance and a dance that uplifts, expands and spreads like a smile.
What haven't we done together?!
Athletic training with our Junoon junior and senior track teams, team sports and competitive drills - ranging from 'Langdi' to balancing on a beam to plié-ing with stretch bands gripped atop our heads.
So, have they danced? Yes!
Our training in Classical Dance persisted as usual - with the basics of Ballet and more basics of Bharata Natyam and the introduction of some very initial Contemporary Dance movements.
But even more than that, they've played to their heart's content until their bodies and minds found the nimbleness they need to be the Classical Dancers they can well be!
May we never forget how much "PLAY" our Junoon really is; a powerful, fiery, friendly exchange that enables our Dance.
Well, we'll have the girls remind us!
Until we see them before either of us knows it, they will "PLAY" well into and through their practice and treat it like the game it is meant to be!
"Dance and 'Play On' Girls!".
This is the Classical, Lethal, Artsy, Sporty combination you're here to be!