Friday, August 15, 2008

To dance or not to dance

I started my first ballet lessons when I was three years old; although, I believe instinctively I danced from the time I could walk. Just so much easier than walking! 27 years later, I still love to dance. However, life has done it's usual morphing and many things have changed for me in this field.

When I was younger, I always wanted to become a professional dancer. As I got older, that dream became that of a professional working in a Christian company to bring the art of dance to a rather (at times) closed door Christian society.

When I was 18, I went off to college to get my degree in English education (bookworking - my second passion!), hoping and praying that dance would stay a part of my life somehow but not sure on the "how." That door did open and I worked all the way through the college as a ballet teacher at a Christian owned studio.

And then I started teaching high school. And within a month, I knew that something had to give. And even more, I felt like God was saying to me, "let go of this. It is no longer for you." And so reluctantly but with the realization that I literally could not both teach school and dance, I let go.

But I've missed dancing so much. I don't really miss performing; I just miss dancing. I miss the smell of the studio, the movement, even my pointe shoes (bloody feet, blisters, and all). While I've tried to keep up at home, it's not been the same at all. There's been a few times when we've had dancers in church, and just watching them has hurt so much because I wanted to be there.

This past spring, an opportunity arose to become a part of a new studio in town that had opened up just a few months before. It's a Christian studio, not just in terms of ownership but in terms of what it is for. The classes start with prayer; the entire focus is for worshiping the Lord through dance. Beautiful.

I was asked if I could get involved in some of the directing of the studio as they had plenty of teachers but there directors were having issues. I prayed about it, Chris prayed, and seperately we both felt that God was saying, "no." So, I turned it down. Since then, obviously some good reasons for why it wasn't right have come forward - namely being that physically I would not have been able to handle it.

However, this past week, I've been offered the position again. And while I've been praying about it, I don't feel like I'm getting a good answer on what to do. Maybe that is my answer, I don' t know. It would be a purely volunteer/ministry kind of thing.

Because I'm a "list" person, I've tried to analyze it as best as I can. But I just don't know. And I need to make a decision - yesterday!

Option 1: Be the Performing Director (choreographer, performance planner, etc) w/o the responsibility of the academic/Studio Director (administrative side - phone calls, bills, etc)

  • This would allow me to be involved with less of an initial time commitment (Saturdays 2-5 through October, November, and half of December, some planning time but I can set my own hours, performance days (19th of December I believe).

  • This would be a good way fo rme to get to know students/parents closely

  • I would be dancing again.


  • I haven't been dancing, other than what i can do at home, for the last few years. I feel out of practice and out of shape.

  • I've not been able to really exercise the last few months because of my stomach and how much it's been hurting - totally out of shape in general not just in dance.
  • I'm not familiar with the studio yet, and that can make it challenging in choreography (although this is an open audition, so people from all over could audition so I'm not really stuck with 1 style).
  • Saturday commitment which means that I really won't have a day off during the week at all because Sunday's always wind up with various home things that need doing.

Random Thought - truthfully, doing this kind of scares me, and I don't know how much that is affecting my view of this option. At this point, although I know I'm qualified, I don't really feel very qualified because of how long I've been out of that world.

Option 2: Studio Director w/o Performing director responsibility


  • get to know students/parents quickly from all levels not just those performing in show
    not physically demanding
  • allow me to get to know the studio/style etc without direct dance involvement


  • Big time commitment. (minimum Tuesday and Thursdays for 3-4 hours after work; probably need to be there another day as well, plus being able to answer questions, etc throughout the week nearly every day).
  • Not actually involved in dancing again (although that could open up in the future).

Other Thoughts:

  • I've been praying for the right ministry door to open; is this my door? What about some other thoughts Chris and I have had about ministry opportunities? There's no way I could do something else along with this.
  • I'm concerned about how this will affect my health; I'm still not doing all that good - is this going to be beneficial or hurtful?
  • I gave up doing my master's program at this time so that I can be more of a support to Chris while he's in school. This is something that's going to take me even more out of the house and out of Chris' life. Big time commitment - possibly very stressful - how will affect the home?
  • Looking at the hours/need, I can't help but think they need to hire someone full time for this position. Trying to piece-meal it is only going to hurt the functionality/success of the business.
  • Am I supposed to be a part of this world again? If I were just doing administrative type stuff and not actually dancing, would I be okay with that?

So that's it folks. I need to make a decision, and I don't know where to go with this.

HELP! :)


Diego said...

God gave you a definite no last time, that was confirmed by Chris, and then by later events. He also clearly told you to let it go long before. I don't know if God changed His mind, but I would get a definite "yes" before doing something He gave you a definite "no" about.

1 Kings 13 tells the story of a prophet that maybe applicable.

1 Kings 13
The Man of God From Judah
1 By the word of the LORD a man of God came from Judah to Bethel, as Jeroboam was standing by the altar to make an offering. 2 He cried out against the altar by the word of the LORD : "O altar, altar! This is what the LORD says: 'A son named Josiah will be born to the house of David. On you he will sacrifice the priests of the high places who now make offerings here, and human bones will be burned on you.' " 3 That same day the man of God gave a sign: "This is the sign the LORD has declared: The altar will be split apart and the ashes on it will be poured out."

4 When King Jeroboam heard what the man of God cried out against the altar at Bethel, he stretched out his hand from the altar and said, "Seize him!" But the hand he stretched out toward the man shriveled up, so that he could not pull it back. 5 Also, the altar was split apart and its ashes poured out according to the sign given by the man of God by the word of the LORD.

6 Then the king said to the man of God, "Intercede with the LORD your God and pray for me that my hand may be restored." So the man of God interceded with the LORD, and the king's hand was restored and became as it was before.

7 The king said to the man of God, "Come home with me and have something to eat, and I will give you a gift."

8 But the man of God answered the king, "Even if you were to give me half your possessions, I would not go with you, nor would I eat bread or drink water here. 9 For I was commanded by the word of the LORD : 'You must not eat bread or drink water or return by the way you came.' " 10 So he took another road and did not return by the way he had come to Bethel.

11 Now there was a certain old prophet living in Bethel, whose sons came and told him all that the man of God had done there that day. They also told their father what he had said to the king. 12 Their father asked them, "Which way did he go?" And his sons showed him which road the man of God from Judah had taken. 13 So he said to his sons, "Saddle the donkey for me." And when they had saddled the donkey for him, he mounted it 14 and rode after the man of God. He found him sitting under an oak tree and asked, "Are you the man of God who came from Judah?"
"I am," he replied.

15 So the prophet said to him, "Come home with me and eat."

16 The man of God said, "I cannot turn back and go with you, nor can I eat bread or drink water with you in this place. 17 I have been told by the word of the LORD : 'You must not eat bread or drink water there or return by the way you came.' "

18 The old prophet answered, "I too am a prophet, as you are. And an angel said to me by the word of the LORD : 'Bring him back with you to your house so that he may eat bread and drink water.' " (But he was lying to him.) 19 So the man of God returned with him and ate and drank in his house.

20 While they were sitting at the table, the word of the LORD came to the old prophet who had brought him back. 21 He cried out to the man of God who had come from Judah, "This is what the LORD says: 'You have defied the word of the LORD and have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you. 22 You came back and ate bread and drank water in the place where he told you not to eat or drink. Therefore your body will not be buried in the tomb of your fathers.' "

23 When the man of God had finished eating and drinking, the prophet who had brought him back saddled his donkey for him. 24 As he went on his way, a lion met him on the road and killed him, and his body was thrown down on the road, with both the donkey and the lion standing beside it. 25 Some people who passed by saw the body thrown down there, with the lion standing beside the body, and they went and reported it in the city where the old prophet lived.

26 When the prophet who had brought him back from his journey heard of it, he said, "It is the man of God who defied the word of the LORD. The LORD has given him over to the lion, which has mauled him and killed him, as the word of the LORD had warned him."

27 The prophet said to his sons, "Saddle the donkey for me," and they did so. 28 Then he went out and found the body thrown down on the road, with the donkey and the lion standing beside it. The lion had neither eaten the body nor mauled the donkey. 29 So the prophet picked up the body of the man of God, laid it on the donkey, and brought it back to his own city to mourn for him and bury him. 30 Then he laid the body in his own tomb, and they mourned over him and said, "Oh, my brother!"

31 After burying him, he said to his sons, "When I die, bury me in the grave where the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones. 32 For the message he declared by the word of the LORD against the altar in Bethel and against all the shrines on the high places in the towns of Samaria will certainly come true."

33 Even after this, Jeroboam did not change his evil ways, but once more appointed priests for the high places from all sorts of people. Anyone who wanted to become a priest he consecrated for the high places. 34 This was the sin of the house of Jeroboam that led to its downfall and to its destruction from the face of the earth.

HPTeach said...

Well, I can't say "Go and do this" or "Don't go and do this." It truly is something you must come up with on your own or step out on a limb and go for it.

I think that God has given us talents for specific purposes. He may close doors for good or He may close them for time periods.

If you choose to do one of the options, the first one sounds like a great idea. Getting your feet back into it for a short time frame (until December) will give you an idea if you should be there longer. Plus it's something you love! On a personal note, I have the opportunity to do the same with Cheerleading again. It's been years, but I can still choreograph and teach without being technically in shape (though it is the best scenerio to be).

Think of your time away from Chris to do this ministry as time for him to study. You will still be supporting him and being there for him, but giving him some time to spend in his studies. Then carve out other times during the week to spend with him and only him.

Love you and I know you will make the best decision for you and your family! Let us know how it goes. Hugs.

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