Life Lessons From Ballroom   1 comment

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I help “teach” a Kid’s Ballroom Class.  By teach, I mean, I help my very talented friend by wrangling the students while she teaches them some awesome skills!  I actually think a lot of what I do is make the kids feel good about themselves and breed confidence.  By that, I mean that I’m learning at the same time as them, so I make mistakes, have to correct myself and sometimes I just don’t know the answers.  I find so often it comes down to teaching basic life lessons that have nothing to do with choreography, so that they can succeed in Ballroom.  Each class, I walk away being reminded myself of several life lessons.

1.  Attitude is everything

The main expectation of all the students in our class is to “Have a good attitude and try your best”.  Simple, right?  I’m an adult and I’ve been trying to master that skill my whole life.  Some of our students have a natural gift for graceful movement. Others, well, not so much.  Does that mean our “natural dancers” are going to be the best dancers in the class?  Not at all.  It’s amazing what a difference a great attitude and hard work can make.  It really bridges the gap.  There are things that I’m good at, but to be great, I really have to work hard.  It may not come as naturally as the next person, but it doesn’t mean I need to disqualify myself.  Many of the most successful people in their fields are people who were moderately talented, and applied this principle and became leaders in those areas.  In fact, sometimes natural talent can be a bit of a stumbling block.  It’s so tempting to rely on natural ability instead of putting the work in.   “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters . . .”  Colossians 3:23

2. You don’t get to pick who you work with

In our ballroom class, the students are asked to rotate partners several times in the lesson time.  Teacher chooses the partner.  If the child wants to be successful and learn in that moment, they need to adapt to their partner.  It’s vital to work together.  There are several people in my life that I didn’t “pick”.  But there they are, and I have a choice.  I can learn to work with them or have my feet stepped on and my hands squeezed, maybe even fall a time or two.  I can’t control anyone but myself, but I can adapt and accommodate the weaknesses and strengths of those around me.  “We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.” Romans 1:15

3.  The goal is to look like the teacher, not the rest of the class

There are always a few students that excel and will accomplish the basics of a step quicker than the rest.  So what happens?  Other students start looking to them for as an example instead of the teacher.  Students that excel look around and see that they are doing better than the other children and stop practicing.  The goal isn’t to look like the other students in the class.  The goal is look like the teacher.  If we compare our progress with those around us, we will constantly swing from security to insecurity.  Finding your identity in comparison leaves you on shaky ground.  Be honest, how many times have you justified a behavior based on the logic that “well, at least I didn’t . . . like so and so . . . “?  The reality is, I’m not called to look like my friends, like my pastor, like any famous evangelist.  I’m called to look like Christ.  Anything less is missing the mark.  Anything less is sin.  I’m so thankful for the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross.  He covers my failures, my sin and inadequacies.  I’m righteous because He is righteous.  He is the only one I am to look to for who I am and what I do.   12 We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.” 2 Corinthians 10:12.  “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

4.  Always listen for the next step

Our students are so excited to learn, that they will learn a part of a step and dive right in.  Often, they do so before the teacher is done explaining the whole segment.  What we have is a bunch of little dancers doing various portions of a step and never completing it.  Of course, they are correctable, and with some repetition, they are right back on track.  I can’t count the number of times that I have heard from God on something, and rushed forward to do it.  When I think I have it, I just keep going based on what I think is the next step.  After some major detours and even falling flat on my face, I’m learning to stop and listen.  I don’t just want to do what God has asked me to do, I want to do it His way.  I want to do it in His timing and His heart.  Instead of rushing ahead after I know the first step, I’m learning to stop and listen.  I want to hear the next step before I move a muscle.  I’m still learning.  Sometimes like our little dancers, I get excited and try to rush ahead.  He is always gracious to get me back on track.  “I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.”  Isaiah 42:16

There are so many more lessons that I’m reminded of each week.  I’m excited to watch as these students learn and grow as dancers and as people.  I’m definitely growing the process as well!

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Posted January 18, 2015 by canadianmeesh in Uncategorized

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One response to “Life Lessons From Ballroom

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  1. You’re a great co-teacher! I think you’re exactly right: the things we are really teaching are more than just dance. Very proud of our little team and the “attitude work” they’ve done so far!

    Liked by 1 person

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