Last year I decided I wanted to make dance a part of my life again. I had danced when I was younger but never made space for it once I was in college and then married with kids. Finally I realized it was one of those things that I thought about everyday and I needed to make the space.
Even though my daughter did ballet with one studio, they did not offer any hip hop classes. So I started to research other options. I told my friend, Veronica, that I was planning on signing up for a class in town and she had a brilliant idea: let’s start our own class.
The studio that my daughter dances with is run by a lovely young woman who goes to my new church. Veronica suggested we ask her if she could create a class if we were able to fill it. She said yes!
A few weeks later, six moms got together for our first hip hop class. Our teacher was a college student who was the epitome of charming. Not only was it a blast to chat with her in class and borderline stalk her on Instagram, but it was a refreshing gift to learn from her, and I don’t just mean choreography.
This girl is something else. She is wise and mature beyond her years. She is graceful not just in dance but also in the way she presents herself. You can tell within five minutes of meeting her that she has integrity and a passion for her faith.
Between the dance moves and the song choices, you could tell she was not your average college girl. She was not interested in flaunting body parts or crude language. She loves and respects God, and therefore, she loves and respects herself, which is reflected in the way she dances.
One thing that stuck out to me immediately was her choice of words in moments of frustration. When I would be getting ready to blurt out a four letter word, our dance teacher would say “fruit!”. I LOVE THAT.
I love it because she is not delicate or weak. She is strong. Her personality is big. She is endearing. Her sense of humor is contagious. But in a moment when she could so easily swear like most other people her age (or my age) would, she chooses something better. Something that makes you stop. Something that makes you laugh. Something that makes you think about your choices.
If you have no issue with swearing, fantastic. Do what you feel. But I have spent over a decade trying to minimize the crude language that leaves my lips. That’s my own personal conviction and choice. But it is hard!
I so often tie censoring my language with being overly precious and uninteresting. And, let me tell you, I want NONE OF THAT.
But Colleen has been this sweet little example to me of what is possible. I can be strong and not offensive. I can be funny and not crude. I can be endearing without shock value. I know this because Colleen is all of these beautiful things.
And do you know what the best part is? She’s younger than me. Maybe ten years younger. I LOVE that. I want to always be willing to learn from people younger than me. I want to have my eyes and ears open and ready to learn from whoever God may put in my life when I need a lesson, whether it be big and obvious or small and subtle.
May your attitude remain humble. Your curse words silly. And your dance moves BANGIN’.