Saturday, April 4, 2015

I Don't Want to Miss the Dance

At the beginning of the year I set out to be Brave. A friend of mine even suggested a hashtag and I adopted #BeBrave2015 in all its cuteness.

The only hang up is that I don’t feel brave. Like ever.

So, when it was time to exercise my first brave action of the year – making the mother/daughter dance experience I created live – I hedged.

“What if no one signs up?,” I worried aloud to one studio owner.

My heart was to bridge togetherness in a culture that thrives on busyness, dreaming that meaty conversations built into a time of fun would foster deeper relationships. For mothers it would carve out one-on-one time with their girls and give guided help in some of the most important topics their girls are facing, For the girls, there would be joy, enhanced self esteem, and a greater understanding for what their mother loves about them and dreams for them. The minutes and conversations now translating into keeping her mom her go-to girl in the future. A healthy win for everybody.

If people sign up.

Not even ten minutes later I got a call that a pair had already signed up. A mother with no dance experience currently in the throws of breast cancer treatment wanting special time with her girl. I cried. I can be good at that :) 

My first group is a lovely set of five pairs. Each signed up for different reasons. Most, including the girls, have no dance experience.

I started the journey with them having no idea what to expect for outcomes. To design the class and look forward to it with my own daughter was one thing.

To know how it strikes the observer and those participating is quite another. The local newspaper came and Jill Callison wrote what will forever be a treasure. She even admitted to tears as she watched. The photographer captured in imagery the closeness Jill’s words perfectly articulated. And, as if that wasn’t enough to overwhelm, Dance Studio Life, which every studio owner in the nation accesses, picked up the story, highlighting it across the country.

As we’ve danced and chatted, mom participants have shared with me. Therese went through a 12 hour radiation and said, “All I could think was tomorrow I get to dance with Corissa.” Another found out about a family situation and helped her daughter through it based on a discussion sheet. One, whose girl has been struggling with feeling beautiful, was still teary and heart full days later. The girls shared too. One crying in hearing her mom’s insecurities because she felt understood. One telling me she decided to give her BFF necklace to her mom after a day’s talk rather than a friend. The dance floor rose a backdrop for honesty and transformation. And their tears when talking with the reporter? Well, it did me in. {Let the record show there are lots of smiles and laughs too}

“You’re changing lives,” one of the studio owners said.

I only see myself as being used as a vessel. I’m flabbergasted, grateful, excited, and humbly blessed. This first group and crazy experience has left a mark on my life that has me anxious to see how it works in the lives of my Meaningful Movements class this summer, as well as the expanded version, Precious Movements, for moms with their toddler girls.

I am a simple girl with hope for a better future. I do the every day activities we all do – try to stay on top of the laundry piles, feed my kids something semi-decent, and sign the Friday folder work. This whole concept came to me in the shower, where I do my best thinking because nobody is yelling “mom” at me.

So dance to the songs in your head, friends. Allow this chicken who would rather build up others than step out herself encourage you to try that which you feel passionate about. Might it flop? Yes. But it could mushroom into something more than you dare ever imagine.

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  1. Awesome! Keep being brave, because you apparently (secretly) rock at it.

  2. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story! It reminds me of the Steven Curtis Chapman song Cinderella! You should look it up and listen to it! <3 Have a wonderful weekend! <3

    1. I have that song on my phone. Love it. One of the girls at the dance studio did her senior solo to that piece last year and her dad came up on stage and waltzed with her. The whole thing was a surprise to mom/wife. It was a tear-jerker!


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