Hair and make up? DONE! Costume pinned in all the right places? Check!
Shoes on? YES!
Shoes on the right feet? Uhhhhhhh…YES again!
Earrings and choker? Check!
Hair bow positioned correctly? Absolutely!
Arms, legs, and feet stretched? Definitely!
OKAY! NOW IT’S SHOWTIME!!!!!
There is nothing like that moment when you watch your four year old boldly strut onto stage, looking all dolled up and fierce, ready to perform in her first dance competition. Little did I know back then that every time she would hit the stage for the next seven years she would take me with her. To this day, my heart fills with excitement and nervousness as if I’m up there dancing too, especially when she performs her solos. It is such a blessing to have the opportunity to watch my child fulfill her passion and share her God given talent of dance with others.
This weekend marks the beginning of dance competition season for our studio. It’s that time of year where the dance studio becomes like a second home, and my response to almost all invitations will be “I’m sorry, I can’t. My daughter has dance.” For the next couple of months, those words will be firmly etched in the brains of EVERYONE who knows us. But most of them are used to it by now. We have been a proud dance family for the past eight years. For us, our commitment to dance is not just about a fun extracurricular activity to keep Jaylah busy. When she was two years old I recognized that this was indeed a gift that God had blessed her with and I’d better do something about that. And here we are! (Side note: I must tell you, my experience looks NOTHING like what you see on the reality tv show, Dance Moms. Just saying!)
Being a dance mom for all of these years has taught me a great deal about teamwork, discipline, and FAITHFULNESS. It has also provided a wonderful opportunity for Joshua and I to teach our children about faithfulness and the blessings that come along with it. Proverbs 28:20 states, “A faithful man will be richly blessed”. God has proved this over and over again.
Here are 10 life lessons about faithfulness that dance life has taught me and my family:
1. Keep going. If you fall down, get up quickly, keep smiling, and keep on going.
2. No complaining. Sometimes our faithfulness requires us to do things we don’t want to do…like wear fake lashes. Complaining does not make things better. Be a team player and do what you have to do with a grateful heart.
3. Push yourself. This might mean showing up when you’re sick but you can do it. Consider Michael Jordan playing in Game 5 of the NBA Finals in 1997 with the flu. Sick as a dog, he still showed up, had an amazing game, and scored 38 points. That’s faithfulness.
4. Be on time. You’re a team member. Your time is not your own.
5. Stretch. You cannot have a peak performance if you don’t stretch yourself. Get out of your comfort zone.
6. Pray before you perform. The Bible instructs us to pray with ceasing (I Thessalonians 5:17). Invite God’s presence in all that you do.
7. Don’t consume too much junk. It will hinder you. Our faithfulness is not only to God and to others but also to ourselves. Take care of yourself – body, mind, and spirit.
8. Don’t worry about the “judges”. They may or may not like your performance but remember ultimately you are competing against yourself. Strive to be your BEST self no matter what they say!
9. Cheer on your teammates. At our studio we always say, teamwork makes the dreamwork! Be faithful to your team and support each other.
10. Keep dancing. If the music stops due to some unforeseen circumstance, if life throws you a curveball or two or three or 100, just keep on DANCING!
Ericka Symonette is the wife of Pastor Josh, Campus Pastor of NCC's Kingstowne location. She is a high school fashion marketing teacher, as well as the owner of Pulchritude Boutique. She and Pastor Josh are the proud parents of Jaylah (10) and Joslyn (8). They are expecting their third child in September.