Joined the Dance Onstage

Another post in the “Favorite Unblogged Moments in 2015”

Once upon a January I began an adult ballet class on a whim. My church has an incredible dance ministry that I’d been volunteering to photography, really to develop my sports photography skills, and to watch my talented best friend perform. Then, I discovered that they offered an adult beginner class and I pushed myself out of my comfort zone.

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For the very nonathletic girl that can’t manage to continuously commit to a fitness regimen, who has been called less than graceful her entire life, this was a huge step for me. The first class KICKED my butt, but it wasn’t impossible, so I continued. Quickly, I discovered that we’d have a performance  at the end of the semester; not only did I laugh about me performing on stage, so did most everyone I spoke to about it.

I was nervous about performing, honestly dreading that I would trip up and encounter the worst shame in front of an audience. However, I pushed those catastrophic thoughts away. I felt much frustration as our performance crept closer when I couldn’t perform some of the moves like they should be done. Then, I decided that I had to do my best, even if that meant that I turned in the wrong direction. I just had to do my best and leave it on the stage. I focused on the lyrics of the song “Through Heaven’s Eyes” (from Prince of Egypt) as my best friend played Pharaoh in the Exodus themed production, and tried to focus on how God sees me.

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These lyrics continued to stay in my mind, “and though you’ll never know all the steps, you much learn to join the dance, learn to join the dance” It is so true in life and something that I struggle deeply with. I strive to know all of the things, to feel like I have a sense of control. In learning something new I’d rather watch someone first, to make sure that I KNOW how to do it. But in life, we learn as we go, so instead of being held back in fear we have to take the first step.

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The performance went well, even managing to twirl my flag in sync with my flag buddy! (Seriously, such a good feeling).

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At the end of the semester our teacher wrote us reviews and evaluate our performances. I’m sure these were mostly planned for the littles to help provide their parents with a picture of their progress, but I appreciated it so much. My teacher identified several things that I was good at (that was difficult for me to notice) and praised my attitude. In her description she wrote that I quickly achieved a level of grace in the past six months. I almost wanted to cry, I’d never been called any sort of graceful before!

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But, life happened, the job started, and we had summer off. When classes began in the Fall I felt very discouraged in one lesson. I’d missed a couple and just had a bad class where I was off, couldn’t remember the sequences, and couldn’t make my body do what it was supposed to. I wondered if I should quit, not because I wasn’t as good as I wanted, but because I desired to be better, but a level of better that I knew I’d need to commit time outside of class to progress the way that I wanted.

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The next class was better, and I’m so thankful that I didn’t quit! I still don’t practice outside of class, but hey, that is what new years goals are for. Honestly, dancing has been my favorite new activity in 2016, something I had no idea I was capable of, a beautiful strength in balance. I feel like I could soar across the dance floor.

My dance teacher asked my what my dance goals were, specifically about flexibility, but I began to daydream more. Honestly, I’d love to do well enough to join the company some day. It would be incredible to share the Love of Christ by painting beautiful pictures in dance. So, maybe one day.

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