A Letter of Reflection
to my family, friends, students, fans,
mentors, supporters, ambitious comrades,
good listeners, and believers in possibility,

During these winter months, I enjoy enduring walks through the cold. A brisk walk is always stimulating to the mind, and the coldness is an opportunity to withstand some discomfort, beneficial for the resilience it instills. I also love how much quieter it seems when it’s cold out, and if you listen to that almost-silence, it invokes a palpable calm. I sit down to write this after one such walk, and I find myself feeling highly inspired.

Reflecting on the momentous 2012 and the journey of the first 5-and-a-half years for Soham Dance Space is an amorphous task. I live a life of constant reflection, and I can say that every moment has been overflowing with meaning for me. The process has been grueling, yet exhilarating, and I feel incredibly grateful for three things that have been inexhaustible along this path: obstacles, relationships, and wisdom.

On Obstacles - Everything accomplished thus far seems so much easier in retrospect than it ever felt in the tar-like thick of facing each hurdle after complication after setback. While I can say that the challenges are what make the game fun and adventure-filled, there is more to it than just that. I am most grateful for the odds and the obstacles on my path, because of which the opportunity to constantly learn and overcome has been so empowering.

On Relationships - I have been working by myself, day in and day out, without co-workers or even one full-time partner. Seemingly alone, I have done all that I can to push Soham Dance Space forward in these early years. Yet, I am certainly not the singular force behind the success. People and the cooperation of the universe have made everything possible. Without the steadfast backing of my family, without the encouraging conversations with thoughtful friends, without the inspiration of gurus, artists, and leaders throughout this world, I could not sustain my morale to keep on. Without the audiences at my shows, the students in my classes, the rallying volunteers, and the energized donors, there could be no such organization. And there are many other invisible forces, God’s Grace I like to call it, which have allowed my ideas to slowly manifest into reality. You honestly cannot do anything on your own. And I am grateful for how humbling this journey can be.

On Wisdom - To stay true to one’s inspiration requires turning inward regularly, and within each of us is a well of wisdom that puts everything in perspective, if only we seek it out. The work that I do has required a constant balancing of passion with detachment, ambition with contentment, cynicism with optimism, hard work with surrender, to name just a few contrasting attitudes, and this experience calls for staying grounded in greater truths. Walking a path that prompts introspection while striving for external progress reveals so much insight, and for this rich opportunity to grow spiritually, I am ever grateful.

2012 Highlights & 2013 Goals - This past year was productive by leaps and bounds. To mention some highlights – I opened a new location for my classes in Willowbrook last January, launched Soham’s first-ever fundraiser that raised an astounding $10,001, produced an ambitious community-oriented open house and performance event called Spring Fest (watch the highlights video here) for a crowd of 400+, hosted the first-ever Soham summer camps, saw substantial growth in the adults program amounting to the first student-based professional production, and last but not least, formed the first-ever Associate Board for Soham Dance Space. Thank you to everyone involved who made this a very momentous year.

2013 will promise many more performances of my own. To kick it off, January 25th marks the exciting launch of amonthly performance series called Soham In-Studio. I am anxious to share my work in this sort of forum that makes space for both live performance and thoughtful dialogue. So please come and participate. Each month’s show will be a fun time, and it would mean a lot to have you there!

Resolve - In closing, I wish everyone a beautiful year ahead. May we find the courage to hold onto our ideals and keep working toward them. May we do something we care about even when it’s hard to do, something with hidden meaning, something that helps us grow and discover a glimpse of how much we are capable of. May we support each other in this pursuit to live up to the greatness of our own humanity.

Happy New Year!

Anjal