Deuteronomy 6:6-7

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. ~ Deuteronomy 6:6-7

Monday, February 21, 2011

Tiny Dancers

I think it was the summer of last year that my husband and I began talking about what kind of extracurricular activities to get our daughters involved in. Now, I don't know about your family, but in ours, we have two daughters who are almost complete opposites in every way. One is very shy, and it almost appears to be painful for her to speak even to some of our closest friends and family. Then there's the other one...:) Loud, funny, outgoing, wild and wonderful! We still have no idea where she came from ;)
Why am I telling you all of this? There is a point, I promise, so bear with me.
Well, as we talked about all of the different possibilities, the favorite activity quickly became dance. Oh, they were so excited! My husband and I were hesitant, at least as far as our little wallflower was concerned.
I began to try to convince her to try something else. "Honey", I said,"You know that you have to perform in a recital in front of LOTS of people, why not try an art class instead?" But she was adamant. Dance was what she wanted, and that was that. We signed her up.
Guess what happened?
She LOVES dance! Not only did she manage to perform in the recital at the end of the year in the auditorium of our local high school, she was giddy with the excitement of it all. She decided very soon after that, when she grows up, she is going to be a dance teacher. And that sweet little thing grew in her excitement when she found out that she will actually get paid real money to teach. (She thought she might have to pay to teach dance.)
I have to say that I am surprised. But, I am so glad that my husband and I did not try to put our little girl in a box and decide for her what she is and is not capable of. What she, and we for that matter, would have missed out on! Ironically, I was about to do the very thing that I hate to have done to me. I can't stand when people decide that I'm only good for _____ (fill in the blank).
You know what else? These classes have built her confidence, her coordination, and her social skills.
So, how are we encouraging her in this pursuit? Well, she's still very young, and it is likely that she will change her mind at least once or twice before she reaches adulthood. But, this little experience has shown us that we need to let our children try on different things and see how they work, what they feel like, and see in what areas the Lord has gifted them.
Whatever our kids choose to do, my hope is that they will always feel that their parents always stood behind them, and allowed them the freedom to try, and yes, even fail, as they figured out the path that God has planned for them.


  1. I have a very shy granddaughter (now 7). Like your daughter, almost painful for her to speak to someone. Soccer was what brought her out of her shell. The first year, she stood on the field and since her aunt was the coach, occasionally she'd "drag" her around the field to follow the ball. The 2nd year, she'd walk around the field on her own. The 3rd year, she jogged around a bit. Then we enrolled our youngest daughter and they were put on the same team, the granddaughter thought it was her job to show our daughter the ropes. By mid season, Hailey was the leader of the pack when it came to chasing that ball down. Had it in her control most games and she'd go up against those twice her size to get the ball back. Now, although still a bit timid in new situations, no longer "hides" behind legs or buries her face when someone speaks to her. It has been great fun to watch this transformation in her.

  2. Great post! I have 2 daughters and my shy one excels at ballet. She's a totally differnt child when she dances, full of confidence, grace and poise. Those things are slowly pouring over into other areas for her, but the ballet has been a HUGE blessing. I hope your tiny dancer continues to love it!

  3. Great job encouraging your daughter and allowing her to try something new. I love stories like this. Stopping by as part of the TOS Crew Blog Walk.

  4. Thanks for commenting everyone! I love to hear everyone's stories.