My Ballet Journey | How A Dance Class Is Impacting My Life
Beloved friend!! I’m taking an adult ballet class and I’ve been wanting to share my journey with you!
For the better part of my life I believed talent and ability was something you were born with and if you didn’t have a skill then, “Oh, well, you might as well give up!” because you didn’t know how to do something. I felt stagnant and frustrated with new opportunities to learn because they made me feel super uncomfortable. I felt vulnerable, childlike-meets-Bambi-with-his-legs-crossed, any moment I was meet with a new skill I hadn’t developed. Especially as I started adulting! I avoided feeling and looking stupid at all costs. Sound familiar? Friend. You are not alone!
I’m learning that our excellent skills come from little tiny decisions to show up daily and practice something, for a long period of time. I’m learning our brains are rad and they can be reprogramed and our talents are ever growing if we are willing to let ourselves feel the vulnerability that comes with being new at something. I’m learning that our talents are given to us by God but developed by us in discipline.
As I look at my children, I am so encouraged at their tenacity and resilience to grow through novice-hood in the skills I’ve watched them develop. My crawling babies didn’t throw in the towel when they fell in their first attempts at walking. NO, in the opposite spectrum I could see the fire in their eyes when they focused on the thing they wanted to get to and as they fumbled their way towards walking each time they fell they got back up! Now that they are in kindergarten and second grade they are learning how to read. At the beginning, my second grader was having such a hard time. She’d get so frustrated at her lack of reading ability, but as we pushed through and were consistent she is now reading chapter books and saying, “Mom, it only took me three days to read this book!” And my Kindergartener just read her first book, when just a few months ago she couldn’t! It’s been a joy to watch them push through the resistance of developing a new skill.
As a 35 year old woman I have every right to say, “I’m done learning or pushing my body or self in any way shape or form!” I could be complacent with the skills I’ve already developed and stick to the things I’m really good at. I just know for my life I crave new learnings and spiritual growth. I know we are all different and not all of us love to push ourselves and our bodies in this way and that’s okay! I know and fully believe that God loves us no matter if we are evolving and becoming the people he knows we can be or if we choose to stay and remain. One isn’t better than the other and no path leads to more love or acceptance by God. We don’t earn God’s love. We get to delight in his mercy and grace because of what Jesus did for us. So. I know that no matter if I go to ballet and challenge myself or not, I am equally loved by God. However, I know who I am, and I am the type of person that really loves goals, vision and a hope for a new version of myself. I delight in pushing my limits and seeing what God can do through me. I delight in doing challenging things because I always grow so much from it!
So with my new Ballet classes, I’m choosing to put myself in that novice place where I might feel a little goofy because I don’t know exactly what to do. But I feel so confident in understanding who’s I am. I’m not the same girl staring back at herself in that dance room mirror. I have worth that no one can take away because Jesus loves me and therefore I love and believe in myself. I can give myself grace as I fumble through the novice stages of this class and I’m willing to put in the work so that I can see the fruit of sticking with something that scared me in the past. Something that used to intimidate me is now a place where I feel free to make mistakes and be okay not having it all figured out. I’m choosing to learn a new skill and be in a class that requires self-control and tiny effort made over and over again, with a “tendu” here and a “tendu” there. I’m really delighting in the spiritual blessings coming from the structure of ballet. And I am learning that “(God) is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us (Eph 3:20)” for both you and I! He is a God of abundance and for some reason he placed these deep desires in our hearts for us to discover more of him and ourselves as we grow and evolve. I don’t know where my ballet classes will take me I just know who I’m going with and that gives me peace that transcends my understanding.
Thank you for reading my friend. My hope is to encourage you to know how deeply you are loved and to not let fear hold your life back in any way! You are able because our skills, talent and abilities are up to us to develop in tiny actions day after day! No matter how old you are, you can start something new!
Photography by: Vanessa Harris