Being part of a sport at Dordt does not simply mean practices, watching film, performances, and competitions. All my life playing the few sports I played, this is usually what I pictured them as. Getting up at 5:30am, or staying after school until 5:00pm, or traveling an hour away to play on game days seemed routine. Too often I got caught up in this kind of lifestyle. As much as I loved the sports I participated in, I forgot why I was doing what I was doing. So much of my life was dedicated to our win-streak, or how highly we could place at a competition. Being part of college dance team has sometimes lead me to believe the same. I love dancing, and honestly look forward to practice every single day. Performing is entirely exhilarating, dancing is incredibly freeing from one’s stressors of homework, friends, etc., and being part of a team is such a blessing. Yet too often I think only of our upcoming performances or competitions as motivation to work hard.
Last Friday, I was given an opportunity to take a step back from this view. Our 6am practices on Friday mornings are always captain-led. Often we get to work on turn combinations, technique, or mini routines. This past Friday was different. We all had been in the mood to do some serious stretching because we were all feeling a little tight. We have been so busy learning and cleaning our state routines lately that we have not had a lot of time to seriously stretch. And as a dancer, that is crucial. So we came to Friday morning practicing anticipating some solid stretching.
Upon getting to practice, our captains asked us to grab a mat and circle them up on the floor. We turned off the majority of the lights in the aerobics room, aside from one in the middle of the circle, and a few on a far wall.
One of our captains began to explain to us her idea for the next hour. Not only do we too often get caught up in the business of daily dance practice, but our lives outside of dance become quite full that we all too often choose not to put God first. Our captain reminded us how important it is to spend individual time with the One who gave us the ability to dance. All of the communal worship opportunities at Dordt our amazing, but we also need to make our faith our own. She shared with us a devotional series she loves, called “Girlfriends in God.” She receives these by email daily, and encouraged us to check them out if we desire too as well! I have recently been able to read into these, too, so I thought I’d share the link with you as well! (http://girlfriendsingod.com) Our captain then turned on quiet Christian music while she began to read a devotional from a couple weeks ago she specifically selected for that morning. At this point, our other captain began to lead stretching. We were encouraged to simply enjoy the words of the devotional, while we relaxed into the deep stretching.
The devotion lasted about five to ten minutes. After meditating on the words, we simply were quiet, listed to the music, and stretched. After about 40 minutes of individual stretching, we completed the morning with about 20 minutes of gentle partner stretching.
This is why I love dance. It helps us discover ourselves, and we find God within the beauty of it. That morning reminded me how important it is not only to keep myself physically healthy, but spiritually healthy. While exercising our bodies, we spent some individual quiet time with the one who created the gift of dance. God calls us to praise him through dancing, something we all love to do, and I am so thankful we have the opportunity at Dordt to glorify him through dance.
Psalm 149:3a-“Let them praise his name with dancing.”