Sunday, June 3, 2012

Dance Like No One Is Watching

Last night, after a week of feeling like everyone was out to irritate me (and succeeding!), I went to the local dance company's Dance Recital.  A little history... Sally Ann grew up here and has taught dance here for many years.  Really it seems like forever we shared kids, but she just isn't that old.  I don't know how that works.  She loves what she does and does it well.  Kids love her.  A small testimony to the lives she has touched:  Last year she moved to a new building on Kingwood's little dying main street and she had the name of her business painted on the outside...BIG!  In a funky graphic design.  A few of the old guard got excited about this and went to the City Council, but only one parent had to put it on Facebook and it was all over....the event page was full and the Council meeting well attended.  The painting stayed.
So, anyway, I have not been to a recital since my nieces finished dancing in Maryland.  Sally Ann puts on a 2 evening event because she has so many dancers and each night is 3 - 4 hours long.  Our Civic Center is filled with beaming or bemused families and friends.  Girls in frills and sparkles and pretty hair are flitting all about -
and then it is show time.

Lights go down and the dances begin.  There were about 75 last night.  Everything from clogging to ballet in toe shoes.  Jazz and tap.  Tumbling and modern.

There were the littles who could really just stand up there and be adorable with all their eyes on Miss Sally who is guiding them through their moves from the front row.
There were the girls I have watched at school...quiet and shy and awkward...dancing and smiling and filled with joy.
There were the big girls who were choreographing their own dances and sharing their souls filled with joy or angst or pain....lots of angst!
There were girls of all sizes and shapes who put on the costumes and become suddenly more equal, suddenly on the same team.
And then there were my favorites -

~A little 3 year old girl with spina bifida who I have prayed for since before she was born.  She has big sisters who dance and a family who has always made her life about her abilities instead of her disability.  She danced wearing leg braces and leaning fully on her sweet sister who never once took her eyes or hands off of her.  She was probably captivated by that smile on her face, the same as the rest of us.

~A little old lady in the adult class (30 soemthings to 70 somethings) who came on stage for each of their 3 dances with a cane and moved as she could.  On the clogging dance she put down her cane and moved even a bit more.  There was always a hand reaching up to help her on and off of the stage.  Her back was bent, but when she lifted her face you could see her joy.

Really?  How could I be irritated by late deliveries at La Ti Da, wrong deliveries, a car almost hitting me as she texted, an old tree falling in my day lilies, bad eating choices, a very rare disagreement with my little husband over housekeeping of all things, a chaotic First get the idea?!?!?!?

God put me there at that recital to show me joy and courage and trust and innocence and becoming and excellence.

And now, I want to dance like no one is watching!  And love like I'll never get hurt.  One of my favorite sayings for the week - Nothing is louder than love....God's Kingdom on earth....LOVE.

I wish you each could have been there.  I wish we could talk about it together.

Oh, and I am now a certified youth archery instructor for a program called Centershot...aiming to make God the center of your world.  I passed the written test with flying colors and all my arrows hit the target every time!  Yippee.


Constance said...

OMG What a sweet post! It makes me teary!

Donna said...

Maybe your sweet girls want to dance.....I would love to come and watch them. So happy you 'got' what I was saying. Thanks. And I will come and watch them run or play ball or whatever they love to do. Joy!

W-S Wanderings said...

Ack! Totally teary here too. It's just been one of those weekends. Sometimes it's far too easy to get distracted from what really matters.

Eldest LOVES archery.

haybales said...

SWEET! Just like you and all the performers you watched!

Donna said...

WSW, glad you are feeling the feelings, too. I found out that I kind of like archery, too. I actually have a beautiful recurve bow, but it is pretty hard to pull. We are using compound bows for the classes. Not as pretty, but easier to shoot...for me....for now. Shooting with Eldest is another reason to come and visit!

I keep trying to find and be the Kingdom of easily waylaid by petty easily!

Donna said...

You would have enjoyed it, too. In the book I saw that Nelson is one of the dancers, but he was on Friday night. Can you even imagine the size of that smile????

Baa-Me Kniits said...

The Dance recital sounds lovely, and so busy. How nice to see all the girls enjoying themselves and being brave enough to put themselves out there. We all get distracted but it takes effort to pull up and really look and notice things....sounds like you got it and had the reward of a concert too. :-)

K said...

I love the idea of archery. I remember shaving all the skin off the inside of my arm when I allowed a slight over-extension to get in the way of the rebounding string. Maybe you can teach me.

I spent most of last week in tears - not about the things that were bothering me - the world and its weirdness and politics and unkindness and people who think they are so much smarter than everybody else, dabbling in and teaching things that are certain to weaken rather than strengthen. And worrying about our business, which has been faltering, and about the children. Always about the children - who you want to protect from everything hard and sad.

But the tears came as I talked to a friend about the teacher mentioned above - about how important it is to do your best with your position and power to be wise and do what is healing. And with a neighbor about what a great job she's doing with her foster kids, and how kids are THE most important thing a human being can invest in. And when I saw Wabi's beautiful pictures - I think that was a sort of catharsis, because after that, the next morning, I felt somehow cleaned out and more hopeful and stronger.

Today - well, how do I explain this? It is the LDS practice that the first Sunday of every month is a fast day and a testimony day. So there are no formal talks or sermons, just the sacrament and then some forty minutes of people just coming up to the stand to speak about the things they have learned, the things they love and are grateful for - the things they know and believe.

One of the speakers was a neighbor of ours who is a nursing professor, who goes to Ghana with her students for several weeks every year. They go to a small village where there is a rudimentary clinic - and they take our money and bandages and blankets and all kinds of things with them to help the people there.

K said...

It was the rainy season, and conditions were rough because of some construction that had changed the channel of several small waterways. The entire area had become a sea of rushing water, and the village was an island. A woman and her infant had been stranded by the sudden flashflood, and were sitting in a tree, helpless to get to safety.

Two men, both happened to be LDS - one a senior missionary and the other a local church leader, stood at the edge of the rushing lake. The senior looked at the branch president and said, "We will rescue." And the branch president smiled back at him, nodding, and said, "We will rescue." So the senior waded into the water and started across the vast water toward the woman in the tree. After some time, he realized that he was no longer hearing the splashing of the man behind him, so he stopped, now treading water in the heavy, thick flow, and called out, "Where are you?"

The branch president, who - it turned out - did not know how to swim - called back, "I am two cocoanut trees behind you. Wait for me." And made his way forward in the water the best he could. They got to the tree. The woman handed down her child, and the senior gave it into the arms of the BP, explaining that the senior would first help the woman to safety and then come back for the child. Which he did. And the BP crossed that water behind him, back to safety. It had been an amazing and gallant and dangerous effort on the part of that BP. The people of Ghana are not swimmers.

When they climbed out onto the shore again, the senior turned to the BP and said, "Why didn't you tell me that you didn't know how to swim?"

Because," the BP said to him, "you spoke as if the Lord was speaking. And if he says to me, 'We must rescue,' then I know that is what we will do."

My friend then was quiet. And said with quiet passion, "I wish I had that kind of faith. That I could recognize the voice of the Lord, and have no fear - simply move in faith to do the thing that needs to be done."

We were all affected by the story. But I think it is exactly what you did this week. We have so many reasons to throw our hands in the air and just give it up, but faith will not let us. And so, because we must have our faces to the light, we just move forward - floods of circumstance or weak hay or health or just stupid things - and sometimes, really, I feel like I just don't know how to swim in it all, or what to do next. But you just do the next good thing, and then the next, and you are across the water.

I, too, want to dance as you have said - all the things you have said.

Donna said...

It's good to know I am not alone in my wanderings away from the light and the joy...finding our way back again and again must surely be grace.

Donna said...

What a powerful testimony. Mission trips have always been powerful learning times for me. To be fed from a larder that they had no assurance but faith would be stocked again....wait, what did I just say? 'No assurance but faith'....if that's all we ever had, could we live there? How do we give up taking care of things our self? Where's the balance? You know where I want to live? In this verse....Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things (food, joy, success, etc) will be added unto you. That's where I want to live, but I keep wandering out.
But, as you say, all we can do is continue to honor the tug and turn to the light and keep moving.

I'm ever so happy that we are on this journey together.

We will dance.

Oh, and the arm thing with the bow string? That happened to me, too, in high school when we were shooting in gym class. But, they taught me a way to hold the bow and I didn't get bitten at all! I'll show you.

Donna said...

I forgot to put in here anywhere that I did dance as a wee one. I started when I was 3 and danced until I was about 8 when we moved to a tiny place with no dance instructors. I remember loving the feeling of flying through the air and positioning hand and feet just so. I used to think that I tolerated the ballet to get to do the acrobatics, but now, as I think back and see with a bigger heart, I needed both. They are heart and soul...doing and being...peace and joy....or at least that's how they seem to me.

Rachel said...

I can well imagine what you experienced because that is how I felt while I was at Henny Penny's recital. I'd had a hard bad weekend. Dealt with some sorrowful hard things. While I was watching Henny Penny's recital my heart had a bandage put on it for awhile.

Donna said...

The magic of dance and, to remember how this helps the next time I need to be lifted up.

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

This is such a beautiful post, Donna... a dance within itself. My heart is smiling with you. blessings ~ tanna

Donna said...

Thanks, Tanna, for sharing the joy!

no spring chicken said...

Knitting, archery, dancing... You are my poster child. You can teach an old dog new tricks! Of course, I'm not calling you an old dog. ;)

I'm with Tanna, my heart is smiling with you too!

Hugs, Debbie

Donna said...

Thanks, Debbie! Your encouragement means so much....really. And I am an old dog! I did find out today in the little local newspaper that the little old lady that was dancing with her cane is 91! And she only started dancing 3 years ago....there is still time for me.