Having a Servant's Heart
The dance studio can be a pretty competitive place. Any time we are working hard for something, it is easy to let the urge to achieve it sooner or better than someone else become our focus. We start looking around us and analyzing our friends’ strengths and weaknesses, then pridefully or grumpily look at our own, trying to see how we measure up against each other.
Have you ever done this?
It’s so easy to do without even realizing it!
At Doxa, we try very hard to create an environment of encouragement and positivity. But the truth is, we ALL have the choice of how we are going to approach our dance training, and it is up to each DANCER as well as each teacher to do their part to create the kind of environment that honors God.
Philippians 2:3 says it this way —
“Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”
That doesn’t mean we beat ourselves up, wishing we were different! In fact, it’s so important that we remember - like Ephesians 2:10 says:
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
God created you just the way He did for a reason. You are beautiful and loved, and have many gifts He has given you that you can use to do the good works He sets before you. Some of those things are dance-related, some aren’t. But whatever our strengths or weaknesses, whatever comes easily or we really have to work hard for, truly, WHATEVER we do — we are supposed to do it to honor and bring glory to God, not to ourselves.
So, how do we DO that? How do we keep from comparing ourselves and feeling so competitive with each other?
In ballet, we talk a lot about SPOTTING. You may have even discussed it today! Sarah Beth Marr, a Christian ballerina blogger, puts it this way:
Dancers keep their eyes focused on ONE THING when they are turning. Dancers, you know this…you breathe it and practically do it in your sleep. Dancers focus on one object, turn, and whip their head around quickly in order to bring their focus right back to that same spot. This spotting prevents dizziness, it keeps the dancer balanced…and CENTERED…right on her leg.
As Christians, we are SPOTTING Jesus. We keep our eyes fixed on Him, reading the Word and praying and believing His truth. We can’t take our eyes off of Him or we get distracted by things the world thinks are important - like being better than someone else - and we get really dizzy. We may feel not good enough, and get discouraged. Or we may think we are better, so we feel bored and stop working hard - and miss out on all we could learn to keep growing. But when we SPOT Jesus, we start giving our best because he is worthy of our best, and giving ourselves grace when we struggle. And we are free to be an encouraging friend to other dancers because we aren’t so worried about whether or not they are better than us.
And we have to remember, while dancing is fun and enjoyable and can be incredibly special to us, it is not the most important pursuit in our lives.
1 Timothy 4:8 says,
“For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”
How can you protect against being too competitive? How can you encourage other dancers around you?
*Concept adapted from Sarah Beth Marr’s blog posts: Having a Servant Heart in a Competitive World, and Staying Centered in a World That’s Spinning