I officially retired from teaching ballet nine years ago but hanging up my ballet slippers for good wasn’t in the cards even after 35 years of owning my own dance studio. God blessed me with the opportunity to teach one ballet class a week at a modern dance studio which was wonderful. I taught my one class without the responsibilities of owning and operating a small business. I did that for five years and have now retired from that as well. The skills and discipline learned from ballet have however carried over to everyday life.
One of the first things I always taught my students was how to spot – a technique of focusing on one thing so you don’t get dizzy while turning. “Did you remember to spot?” was a common correction as a student glided or stumbled across the room. Through the years I noticed that the youngest of my students never seemed to care if they got dizzy. The anticipation of ruffled tutus, sequin tiaras, glittery wands and maybe even a ribbon streamer were enough to counter any and all ill effects of turning. Spinning, twirling, whirling around even tumbling to the ground were all part of their ballerina experience.
Needless to say, as my students advanced in their studies, stumbling around after a sequence of pirouettes wasn’t beneficial. Spotting was an important technique for them to master. The concept was simple – fix your eyes on one point. Of course, doing that as your body was performing a pirouette wasn’t that easy, your head can only turn so far before you have to “snap” it around. And that was where it got tricky that moment when you had to move your head but needed to keep your eyes focused on your spot. That was the part that took practice and more practice until it was naturally what you did – fix your eyes, accomplish the move and end still looking at the same spot, not dizzy but able to continue with the dance.
Some days the activities and responsibilities of life can feel like we are being spun around like a ballerina. May I suggest find your “spot”– focus on Him. There is a beautiful hymn that states “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12: 1 – 3 NIV
“As for us, we have all of these great witnesses who encircle us like clouds. So we must let go of every wound that has pierced us and the sin we so easily fall into. Then we will be able to run life’s marathon race with passion and determination, for the path has been already marked out before us. We look away from the natural realm and we fasten our gaze onto Jesus who birthed faith within us and who leads us forward into faith’s perfection.His example is this: Because his heart was focused on the joy of knowing that you would be his, he endured the agony of the cross and conquered its humiliation, and now sits exalted at the right hand of the throne of God!” Hebrews 12:1- 3 TPT