Monday, July 1, 2013

Retaking the Dance Floor

I was just a toddler when I first took to the dance floor.  My feet expressed what I often couldn't say in words and through the point of my toe and gentle curvature of my arms I was swept away into possibility long before the world could say what I could or could not do.  Somehow the patent leather gave me permission to dream and on that wood floor my dreams took flight. 

As I hit grade school, I found Miss Jill and in her studio I felt at peace, focused in a way no other space offered.  Expecting professionalism but always wearing a smile, this faith-filled woman inspired each of us to have faith in ourselves.  She had to know that many of us would hang up the dance shoes, but under her instruction we gained the confidence to do what we were meant to and believe that we could do it beautifully.

My shoes went into storage in high school.  An ankle injury was slow to heal and I suppose some of my spirit shriveled with it.  Time, I was told, would heal it.

A little over a decade later I became pregnant with our first child.  We'd meet the face of a precious baby girl and shortly after that princess learned to walk she started to spin on her tippy toes and show a love of dance her own.

I knew exactly where she needed to go.  My teacher was still teaching.  She still had her form.  I didn't.  :)  She still wore a huge smile and carried herself with poise that promoted students who knew their beauty and value.  And, she still knew how to draw expectation boundaries yet somehow make living inside of them fun.  My husband watched one class and joked that she should come help raise our kids and I think he was only half way kidding. :)  Fellow staff and teachers that'd come along side her were amazing just the same and Grace was signed up before her third birthday.  Sister number two eagerly followed.  Baby girl number three wishes she was old enough and shows off her moves from the sidelines of this studio where movement gives birth to story and that story dreams of the magic God has molded for us in a future.

And I missed it.  Just like baby girl number three I found myself feeling like I was behind the scenes on the sidelines of a stage I was meant to share.  So, when the summer dance offering came out I jumped.  As a mom, I often live my life around everyone else's availability, but this was my time.  My opportunity to pull that last pair of dance shoes out of storage and take to the floor once again.

Ballet is not technique but a way of expression that comes more closely to the inner language of man than any other. - George Borodin

The shoes were tight and I know there were movements that looked better in my head than in the mirror's reflection, but Miss Daintry brought to life a passion that never died and in those moments words were expressed differently.

Ironically, I'd come home and pound out words on the keyboard quicker and easier.  Writing, the work the Potter molded me to do professionally, was ignited by an artistic flame within.

Time has healed me...and differently than I would have ever anticipated because not only is the ankle comfortable, but I can appreciate the ripple affects nurturing this love has had on other areas of my life.

Tuesday was the final summer dance lesson and I'm now limited to dancing around the living room during the credits on family movie night - a tradition the girls started - and playing "dance recital" on rainy afternoons with the little people I get the pleasure of watching weekly in the studio.  But, I'm going to keep doing it no matter how silly it seems because it brings joy and helps inspire a better, stronger, more capable version of me.

What is it that you loved?  Friends, I challenge you to try taking to the floor, the field, or whatever you called "home" once again because in this seemingly little gift to yourself you might find yourself dreaming big once again.  A land of possibility stands before you. 

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  1. Beautiful. :) My sweet little girl wants to take ballet, and we're signing her up this year. I hope she loves it! Thank you for sharing! :)

  2. I love how everything else comes easier with that outlet restored for you. Thanks for sharing!

  3. This made me cry, Melissa! I was a musician for many years, from the age of 10 through high school, and here and there through college. I miss it greatly. I miss the feel of my finger on the keys and the emotions that poured out of me when I played. I wasn't the best at it - I didn't have the discipline to practice as much as the other girls in our studio. I had a natural talent that allowed me to do pretty well with little effort, and that was enough for me (much to the chagrin of my teacher ;)). One day we will buy a piano for our family, and I pray to God that my fingers will still remember what to do. Thank you for the encouragement to revisit the passions inside of us that never die!

  4. I love that one creative outlet enhances your creativity in another! Your passion for dance just leaps off this page, and how sweet that your girls are following in your (graceful) footsteps.

  5. "Time has healed me...and differently than I would have ever anticipated" So often God works in ways we don't expect. Thank you for reminding me to be open to the desires He has placed in my heart regardless of the way they look ot me or the world around me.


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