Dance Like Nobody’s Watching… Part 2

Dress rehearsals. They’re the final run-through before the big show. If you don’t have it by then you’re probably not gonna get er done. Unless…

ACT I: The Arrival
Friday afternoon, I left work early and drove the 3.5 miles home with all intentions of arriving at the rehearsal early. After stopping at the dance supply store to get a last-minute item, I headed over to the concert hall, changed clothes and had about 20 minutes to spare. I am not normally the one who gets ANYWHERE early, so to intentionally leave early with the intent of arriving early is crazy in and of itself. 
ACT II: The Rehearsal

AB danced both of her dances beautifully. As for me? The first dance was great! Perfect, in fact. The
second one? The one I was worried about? I STILL didn’t have it down pat. That night, we finished rehearsal,  and I drove home a little after midnight.  A good night’s sleep and lots of prayers followed, and I vowed to sleep in so AB and I could both rest.

ACT III: The Big Day
AB had to be there promptly at noon, and her show started at 1. Since she was in the second act, we got there at 12:30, and she danced beautifully, as always! Between her show and mine we had a 3 1/2 hour break. We have a traditional to enjoy supper out on recital day and her choice was Stevi B’s pizza buffet, complete with 20 tokens for the game room. With another two hours left after pizza, we went home so I could try my very best to get this move right.

So I rolled. And rolled. And rolled. And then SHE rolled. The dog rolled. And we all rolled together.
At LEAST 100 times.
“Mama, it’s so easy!”
“Not for me. But I’m not giving up until it’s done right. As long as there’s still time, we’ll keep trying.”
I had given the hubs and my son a free pass from dance for the day, since they’d spent 9 hours watching us the night before, and they came in and caught us, yes, rolling on the floor. Of course. I’m sure we were a sight! But I felt like I might actually be able to pull it off, so I packed up and headed back to the concert hall.
ACT IV: I Hope You Dance
Somewhere in the midst of my rolling practice, I’d managed to misplace a jazz shoe. It was nowhere to be seen. Where I’d had a perfect practice the night before, the absence of a shoe gave me a slight disadvantage. I was now dancing in one shoe, with a borrowed black sock on the other foot. It wasn’t perfect that night. But it was MY best.

After the dance, I changed into the second outfit and found a quiet area on the other side of the arena. I sat for awhile, just resting my mind, and decided to practice a few more times.  Finally, I thought I could pull it off, when this woman and her three kids come out of the arena.
“I saw your first dance! It was great,” she says.
“Aww, thanks! We’ve worked really hard!”
“I wish I could do it, but I just don’t have the nerve,” she tells me sadly. 
I can see it in her eyes. She wanted to. She just doesn’t think she could! I encouraged her to enroll next year because lots of us moms are new each year. I wished her a great evening and headed up to the warm-up area backstage. 
As I’m standing there, the words of a dear friend came to me,  reminding me to dance my all for Jesus. And at that point, Jesus was the only one who would see me. And I truly did give that dance to him. But as I looked back at the audience, that sweet woman’s words came to me. Jesus wasn’t the only one who would see me. She would too. “I wish I could but…” were heaven sent just when I needed to hear them, and I knew I had to do my best for all those who wish they could. 
For HER. And for anyone else who wishes they could.
When it was time to do that move, I gave it my all and guess what? I DID IT. 
And when we got backstage when the dance was done I was so excited that I grabbed one of the girls in my dance and hugged her neck with a resounding “I GOT UP OFF THE FLOOR!” And we laughed and hugged, and it was a wonderful moment. 
 What a crazy, fun-filled, stressful time leading up to that moment. Three age-old lessons were reiterated that day. 
1) Sometimes what starts out perfect doesn’t end up that way. (Like my missing shoe!) You do your best with what you’ve got, and dance anyway.
2) Sometimes God sends people to encourage you just when you need it, and He expects you to return the favor. Do it. You never know if you can encourage someone else the way that first person encouraged you!
3) Don’t give up when there is still a mile left in the race, don’t quit early if you’ve made a commitment, and don’t give up until you’ve perfected the dance move. Do all of your work as unto the Lord, trying your best.  
If there is something in your life that you want to do… something you’ve dreamed of your whole life, or some talent that you feel God has given you to use to bring others to Him, do it, whether it’s painting, writing, building, serving, or dancing!  Don’t stand against the wall, watching life pass you by. Don’t tell yourself you can’t, because you most certainly can! It’s not about who’s watching. It’s about who’s cheering you on. Jesus. Me. And every other woman out there who doesn’t yet have the nerve. As the song says “when given the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance!”


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