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What I’ve learned as a dancer

You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy

Psalm 30:11

I was 12 when I first truly discovered dance. It wasn’t planned - a dance group was set up for the church youth and I decided to go along and try it out. I fell in love with dance pretty much straight away and have been ever since. From that first class all those years ago, dance has become a huge part of my life. This week I was looking back over some of the things I’m most looking forward to after lockdown and dancing with others was high up the list. With that in mind, I thought it would be good to reflect on and share a few of the things that being a dancer has taught me thus far in life…

1. Hard work is important

Like anything in life, to improve you have to put the work in. I train with my dance group every week and I’m constantly dancing around my flat (sometimes I don’t even realise I’m doing it!). New techniques must be honed through practice and perseverance until they become second nature. I can’t count the number of times I’ve fallen flat on my butt and got up and tried again. I see the same pattern in my relationship with God. Just saying I’m a Christian doesn’t quite cut it, the same as saying I’m a dancer without actually dancing doesn’t make it so. The only way to grow and develop is to put the work in. It takes commitment, dedication, and passion to pursue our relationship with Him. Time spent reading the Bible and getting stuck into His Word, talking to Him and hearing His voice. The more you practice, the more natural it becomes and the more of a foundation you have for when times get tough.

2. Teamwork is important

A piece of group choreography involves working together, moving in sync to accomplish the overall piece. We all have to do our part. I am blessed to be part of an amazing dance group who encourage and support one another to help each other improve. Each of them inspires me to up my game and continue practising to improve myself and my technique. It’s important to remember that as Christians we are part of one body. We aren’t on this journey alone. We are called to be accountable to one another and work together; encouraging one another, building each other up, and supporting one another. We are stronger and more effective when we work together. I don’t know what I would do without the amazing support network I have around me who celebrate the good times with me, pick me up when I fall down, and challenge me to up my game when I need to.

3. You need to really listen

When learning a routine, it’s important to familiarise yourself with the piece of music you are dancing to. You need to really listen to the music, not just the lyrics, but the beat behind it and allow it to guide your movement. It’s the same in our relationship with God. We need to make time to hear God’s voice, not just read His words, but understand the heartbeat behind them and allow Him to guide our lives. It’s about getting to know God personally, who He is and how He speaks to us individually, not just knowing about Him.

4. Give it your all

There’s not really room for inhibitions and holding back when you perform. When I get on that stage, I leave everything else at the door and give my all. I do my best to finish off every line, emphasise every move, give the performance all I have. The final performance shows how much has been put in. In my relationship with God I have the same choice to be half-hearted or to give Him all I’ve got. What I put into my relationship with Him shows in the life I lead. God is after our full commitment, but it’s up to us how much we choose to give.

I love how God created us with unique gifts and talents to bring to the world. What gift(s) has God blessed you with and what is He teaching you through it? How can you use it to honour Him this week?

Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord with all his might

2 Samuel 6:14

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