2.18.2008

for the love of dance...

Dance hasn't been a bed of roses this year. As far as Tali is concerned, it's been the same dance classes with the bonus of a weekend in St. Louis and the opportunity to dance with the big girls... but for her mommy this has been a very different year than last. Personalities have clashed, lines were drawn, sides taken, confidences shared, feelings hurt... and over what? Over who's daughter is a better dancer? Not really... Over someone's child being put in the back of the line? Nope, not that either. Over the cost of classes or competitions or costumes? Nah, we work that out fairly well. No... the problems have been a result of competition among the otherwise humble dance moms... over who's fundraiser is better.

Ouch.

Just typing that is convicting. How ridiculous. Honestly, how absolutely ridiculous. Now, this isn't the first time I realized how ridiculous this competition among fundraisers is... I realized it months ago. In fact, I pulled from fundraising entirely because of it, thought it would be better for the group at large if I gracefully bowed out. Ok, maybe not so gracefully. Maybe instead of just no longer fundraising I had to send an email to explain myself. Note to self, email is a bad medium in which to explain oneself. Yet we tried to move on. Tried to be a part of the "team". Tried to get beyond it all...

But it just wasn't happening. Other moms gathered and left us out. Fellow dance moms sat in the same waiting area, obviously talking about us. They went to dance warehouses and called it "running to get a few things". I don't want these things to hurt my feelings, but they do. They did. Don't invite me, that's okay- but why be shady? I know what you are thinking, dear friend. "This is ridiculous". And it is. The instructor stopped greeting my beautiful Tali. Our class was left out of special choreography in the Christmas Show. No showcase dance for the little girls in St. Louis.

Still thinking it's ridiculous? Me too. But did I rise above it? No, I sunk right into the muck. Purposely left others out. Said mean things. Thought mean things. Became a mean thing. So I started thinking that for my own sanity, maybe we needed to move on. For the very good of the studio, it was time for us to leave. We were seen as trouble makers, difficult parents, those kind of people that our instructor informed needed "weeded out". (yeah, that hurt too).

Then we have competition this weekend, and Tali is so ALIVE. Vibrant. Excited. Coming off of stage she is glowing. Were the performances perfect- no... but watching her, she was perfection in my eyes. So we start talking about dance, and our previous intentions of taking a break. We discuss tumbling, cheer... all these other opportunities... even other studios. And finally Tali tells me in her sweet little voice "mommy, I really don't want to quit dance". There it is. I was ready to go. But it was for me. Were the girls slighted at times? Probably, but in the end, she still loves dance and her friends at the studio. How much? How important is dance to her? As we continued to talk over the next day... I finally told her if she had to choose one thing, what would it be...
her answer...

"Mommy, this is the hardest thing, because I like them both... but dance is the thing that God put inside me."
And it is. And it is a special gift that she recognize it at such a tender age. I'm still not sure what God has put inside me... except a desire to be a better Child of His each day. Not to sink into the muck but to treat people with kindness, love, and respect- regardless of how they treat me. To be a light. To bring with me the joy of the Lord into every situation.

Some of you are thinking, "this is just a dance class, Becky"... but it's not. This has been a time of learning and growth and trial and temptation and failure and success. It has been a time of finding priority. And a time for my daughter to discover her passion... the thing that God put inside her... the love of dance... and I get the distinct joy of watching her enjoy her passion and learning a little myself along the way about patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, self-control, joy, love... and peace. And I have that now.

Have you heard the saying "dance like no one's watching"? Well the truth is- people ARE watching, and I know that what they've seen lately hasn't been what I want them to see. I look at my daughter and I learn so much about how to treat people. As I watch her dance through life I come to understand what "unconditional" really means... so please, darling girl...
...dance on...

5 comments:

Carol Maze said...

Beautiful!! Put your light on a lampstand and let it shine, let it shine, let it shine! :)

Lauren said...

It's obvious to me that Tali's talent for dance matches the sweet gifts the Holy Spirit put inside of her.

so "take heart and wait on the Lord..."
my sister.

Anna Osmon said...

Reading Quotes of Talis pretty much brought tears to my eyes. Her passion is amazing. You will find your Extra Special Gift soon too :) Who knows maybe its right in front of you! We can be patient together! :)

Nicole said...

(This is gonna sound like I'm calling you an addict but oh well, I'll do it anyway.) One of the bigggests steps is admitting it which you obviously have. Now you just have to keep trying and praying and believing. Mom's can be vicious. Just like jr. high/high school girls. But you can be just as loving back to them. Easy? No. But important.

Love you Becky!

Tavita said...

Keep up the good work.