Dance

October 12, 2012
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Hands stretch, head ducks, legs kick, and arms grab.
“Clunk!”
The sound of a bowling ball smacks the floor, and a series of gasps blare through my ears. I see blackness.
“Bethany, are you okay?”
It takes my mind a minute to register. My dance partner failed to catch me during the lift—and I’m lying in the middle of the floor. But moments later, I’m on my feet dancing and spinning. Despite the pain in my head, I can’t give up. I have to finish strong.
My routine ends and within seconds, I’m surrounded by concerned friends and teachers.
“Bethany, are you okay?” my instructor repeats. She searches my head for any damage. And I’m escorted to the athletics office.

After several doctor’s appointments and check-ups, I’m thrilled to hear I don’t have a concussion—but I’m less thrilled to hear from my instructor.
“You want to replace me? I’ve tried the routine once!” I’m hurt by what little faith she has in me.
“I’m sure you’re nervous to try the lift again, and I see you aren’t confident. Try it again with your partner tomorrow. But if it’s less than successful, I’d rather an understudy take your place.”

Then, I realize that my instructor doesn’t truly know me. Aside from my 14 years of dance experience, she fails to understand my determination. She doesn’t know how driven I am to successfully perform this dance routine.
That night, I practice over and over again. I practice with my hands stretching further, my hands ducking faster, my legs kicking higher, and my arms grabbing stronger. I fall on the first attempt—along with the next five—but I don’t give up. I’ve learned in life how to persevere.

Walking into rehearsal the next day, I know that based on my performance I could keep, or lose my position in the dance.
“Okay, Bethany, let’s see you try the lift with your partner.”
My heart thuds. Before we attempt the lift, I grab my partner’s hand. “We can do this!” I say smiling. “I know that you’ll catch me.”
My partner’s face brightens, and together we walk onto the dance floor. “Ready?”
“Ready.”

One more assuring nod and I take off. Hands stretch, head ducks, legs kick, and arms grab…perfectly. I see blackness. But when my eyes open, I see me feet perfectly in place. We did it.
A round of applause echoes through the room, but nothing compares to seeing my instructor’s face—blown away.

The truth is, I get nervous. I panic, and worry. But all of those worries are far outweighed by the vast amount of confidence I have, not in myself, but in my awesome God. My confidence is what drives my determination. It’s He who I trust, and He who I follow. It’s through Him that I need not fear, and through Him that “I can do all things through He who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).





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