How to Prioritize Church and Commit to Dance
The dance industry is tough, even for the most grounded and well-balanced person. As a parent (or to the advanced student who may be reading) you are charged with shaping a whole person whose life is not only about dance. Church services, youth groups, and classes may be an important part of your family life. If this is your story, read on to learn how to prioritize church and commit to dance.
When your child is very young and attending classes once a week, it is very likely that you’ll be able to manage their schedule. However, as your child advances and is attending classes on multiple days, you may encounter conflicts between church classes, services and their dance training.
There is not one right answer. However, it is important to communicate. Talk with your studio owner and/or faculty and let them know of your commitments. Don’t be embarrassed. Do not pose it as a question.
Try: “_____ is held on Tuesday nights. Is there another day or time that my child can attend class?”
Avoid: “Well, we’re thinking about possibly going to _________ but we’re not sure. What do you think?”
Do your best to plan as far in advance as possible. If you know of commitments prior to the start of a dance season, work to create a schedule that meets your needs. If special events arise during the year, make the faculty aware of the dates, in writing or via email.
But, don’t be surprised if you must make tough decisions.
If a service takes place when a choreographer is coming in to set a ballet and you choose to attend, for example, understand that your child may have to miss the opportunity of being in the ballet. You could choose to cancel your church commitment, but these decisions can be defining moments. What is most important today or in the long run? Your actions reinforce your family’s values. In turn, this will help your child to make their own choices in the future.
As your child advances, there may be decisions to make about how summer days are spent— dance intensives, church camps, mission trips, etc. Extensive dance training is necessary for a professional career, but one’s heart is more important than anything. Guide your child’s faith and encourage their calling in dance. A dancer cannot succeed in dance through faith alone— progression requires action, and therefore classes, rehearsals, and sacrifices are necessary. But, without attention to their spirit, none of the training in the world matters (1 Timothy 4:8).
Communicate with your child’s teachers. They may or may not share your faith, but you’ll have a much better chance of working things out for everyone’s benefit if you speak openly and plan ahead. Communicate with your child. Help them to understand the choices that are made and how to exercise their faith in all areas of their life.
Ultimately, the question doesn’t need to be church or dance class as if it is a competition. Instead focus on how each day— from going to class to going to church— can honor God. (Romans 12:1-2 MSG)
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