So, I've shared on FB and my blog that I applied for a dance teacher position and I am very excited to let you know that I got it! I am happy to report that contrary to the original information I received, I did not have to perform a solo in front of judges. Thank you to my prayer warriors who specifically prayed about that for me. :)
Today was my interview though and I had to take a written lesson plan for a 3-5 year old ballet/tap combo class and then do a mock class with the studio owner's daughters who are 8 and 11. There are no words to tell you how nervous I was. I know it is silly. I was the most stressed out because I could not find the music I wanted to use. I was also having serious technical difficulties because I don't know how to work any of our contraptions that play music. I finally broke down and hauled the kids to the Family Dollar to buy a good, old fashioned boom box with a CD player. They didn't have one. I started to panic and wonder if they even make such things anymore, but luckily I found one at Dollar General. It even has a place to hook up my MP3 player! MP3 players will probably be so yesterday (are they already?) when I figure it out, but I was still excited. Anyway, I tell you that big long story to tell you we didn't even use the music!! We just went through some simple barre exercises and then she offered me the job! She kept referring to how long it's been since I danced and I really think she wanted to make sure I didn't throw out my back during the first port de bra or land straight on my booty during the first grand plie. I was a little anxious to find out about that too. :) I will be working with the little kiddos and it will be about 4 hours a week to start with. I was excited about that too, because while I wanted the opportunity to teach I still feel very strongly that my main job is at home right now.
I had so much fun making my lesson plans!!!
That being said, one of the most special things for me is that I will get to share this with my girls. Sarah actually went with me today and I was amazed at how much it calmed my nerves to have her with me. I was able to practice my lesson plan on her and that helped my confidence as well. I never wanted to push my interests on my kids, but Sarah genuinely loves to dance and I can't tell you how many times she told me she hoped I got the job.
I am so thankful for all of the encouragement and support my friends and family have offered. I normally would NEVER have said a word about something like this until I knew it was a done deal, but I'm glad I did because everyone has been so sweet and supportive. I know it may not seem like a big deal to anybody else, but it's pretty big thing for me. You see, there is a reason I haven't danced for the last 9 or so years. In fact, there are several reasons. The first is INSECURITY. Can anybody relate to that? I don't know that I have really ever shared this story before, but while I was still in high school I tried out to be a Dixie Darling. For those of you who don't know what that is, they are the dance team at the University of Southern Mississippi. We lived in Petal, Ms. when I was little and I grew up idolizing the Dixie Darlings. My parents took me to Hattiesburg one weekend for try-outs and....I got sick as a dog. I'm pretty sure I had the flu. I don't know if I slept at all the night before the try-outs. The next day I was struggling, but a good dancer knows, the show must ALWAYS go on! Somehow I survived the audition and even made it to the final round. That was as far as I made it though. I got cut. They were holding more try-outs in the next couple of months and I was told I could come back and try again, but I knew I wouldn't. I was crushed. Sixteen years of dance and I couldn't even make a college dance team. Did I give myself any credit for making it to the final round with the flu? Nope. I let that experience destroy any confidence I had in myself as a dancer.
I've never regretted that I didn't go back and try out again. I really haven't. Because that is how I ended up at William Carey and met my best friend. I also got a scholarship for the speech/debate team, something I know was a God thing. Only I could dance for 16 years and end up with a debate scholarship. Go figure. :) I can say very confidently though that the lessons I learned from that time have been invaluable in my life and I wouldn't trade 'em for the world. I just knew at that time that God was asking me to lay my dream of dancing down.
It was at that point that I decided it was time to be a serious grown up, and there was no room in that world for ballet or kicklines. It wasn't long after that that my life was shrouded by depression. That led to weight gain. I know that weight gain can cause difficult body image issues for anyone, but for someone whose greatest love and passion revolved around having a certain body shape and that body being in shape, I completely gave up any hopes of dancing again. I was devastated that my body couldn't do things I had spent so many years training it to do.
Just last year I really felt the itch to dance again. Sarah started taking and I could barely sit through a class without tapping my toes or wanting to correct someone's arm placement. At the beginning of the year Sarah's teacher agreed to let Sarah and I do a dance together at her recital and even asked me to help pick out some of the music for the recital. I found myself not just picking out music, but choreographing steps in my mind. When I found out we were moving and there was no dance studio here it was then that I felt like God said, "Why don't you teach?" And I knew that it was time. That is was okay for me to pick up this dream again. A dream that has evolved quite a bit. A dream that has gone from self-absorbed, all about me, I want to be the best dancing, to the dream of sharing something that I love so much with others. A dream of using the gifts and talents God has given me to benefit others. A dream of showing my girls that you are never too old to have dreams.
It is a bittersweet day for me. I wish so much I could call my Dad and tell him. He would be SOOO excited. I know he would. When I left William Carey to change majors he said, "I should have just taken the money I paid them and bought you a dance studio." He wasn't saying that to be mean. His next words were "That's what you love." He just knew me. Better than most. He knew that the little girl in a tutu was still in there and that my love for dance didn't change because I reached a certain age. My Daddy invested so much money in dance lessons, costumes, shoes, recital fees and programs. I know many dads would have reached a point where they said "Enough is enough!" Not my Daddy. He knew it made me happy and that was all that mattered to him. So, it is a sweet moment for me that today, his investment paid off.
It is also a sweet day to know that while there may be times that our Heavenly Father asks us to lay down certain dreams, there are also times when He turns around and places them right back in our laps...