“Just look at me” or “Just watch me” are two phrases I have said many times while teaching little girls ballet. That was my career path for 35 years – I taught little girls ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical and even a little gymnastics. It was great fun and very rewarding but there were times that it could be frustrating. One of things that I taught my dancers to do was how to turn without getting dizzy. Little kids don’t mind getting dizzy but if you want to be able to perform a combination or routine you can’t be dizzy after your turns. The technique is called “spotting” or “snapping your head”. The technique involves focusing your eyes on one spot and then turning your head quickly so all your eyes see is that one focal point. It takes concentration and practice.
The annual recital is the main event of the year. It is the icing on the cake. It is one performance that involves the months of training and weeks of rehearsal to learn a “dance”. As I used to tell my high schoolers or “big kids” as they are known, the littlest ballerinas or babies can just walk on stage in their pink tutus and the audience loves them. You however as “the big kids” have to really know what you are doing. The hardest group to get to understand this is the early elementary age – the 6 & 7 years old.
A few years ago I had a class of beginner ballet students that really knew their dance. They were a great fun group of kids. There are classes that you think “oh, my. I am so glad their costume is cute and the music is good because they have no clue.” That wasn’t this group. They knew what they were doing. Well, they knew what they were doing until dress rehearsal and then they fell apart. They couldn’t get it to together at all. I mean at all. They were so distracted that I finally had to close the curtain and let them do the dance with no one watching. I kept pointing to my chest and saying “Just look at me. If you just look at me, you will be fine” It was so frustrating. The next day while I was driving to the recital I thought about the whole bizarre incident and why it was so hard for them to do the easiest thing of looking at me. The Lord reminded me that He tells me that all the time “just look at me”.
Today my very personal God reminded me again. My devotional reading from Jesus Calling states: “MAKE ME YOUR LOCAL FOCAL POINT as you move through this day. Just as a spinning ballerina must keep returning her eyes to a given point to maintain her balance, so you must keep returning your focus to Me. Circumstances are in flux, and the world seems to be whirling around you. The only way to keep your balance is to fix your eyes on Me, the One who never changes. If you gaze too long at your circumstances, you will become dizzy and confused. Look at Me, refreshing yourself in My Presence, and your steps will be steady and sure.”
Just what I needed to hear today and in a way that spoke to me. I am grateful for the reminder.
As I watched my 6 year old sing in the church kids choir musical last Friday, I wanted so badly to go down and have her look at me rather than the big screen. She spent the whole performance glancing up to see if she was on screen; probably to the detriment of getting herself on screen with her animated renditions of the motions. Very relatable moment. Thanks for a great reminder.