How can students show love towards one another instead of a heart of competition?
While dance is not classified as a sport, it is a highly competitive environment. It can become very easy for a dancer to spend his or her entire time in class comparing themselves to his or her classmates. This can sometimes make it difficult to develop relationships with one’s classmates.
I have been incredibly blessed throughout my time dancing at both Arts Alive and now Alamance Fine Arts Academy to have incredibly kind and gracious classmates who are highly encouraging to one another. However sadly this is not always the case.
There are times when, as a dancer, you will be in classes with people who are clearly better than you, causing you to doubt yourself and become jealous; or where you are possibly the best, causing you to become proud and aloof. I have been in both of these situations myself, the former more so than the latter, but we must learn to avoid both, for both situations cause friendships to fall apart.
As Christians we are called to love. Jesus says in John 13:35 “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another”. Thus while dance is often highly focused on technique and achieving near perfection, it is more important for us to show love to our classmates than to focus on who is the best or who is the worst.
For me this is a constant struggle. Dance, specifically ballet, has hundreds of rules for technique about which we as dancers must be continually aware. We strive to be perfect in every movement with every breath. Sadly too often we become so focused on perfecting our craft that we forget why we dance.
About a year and a half ago I had an injury which took me out of dance for 3 months. Dance is such a big part of my life, and not being able to do it at all was devastating for me. However it is often in the hardest parts of our lives, that we realize that our focus has been on the wrong things. Why was I dancing? What was the point?
It was when I finally thought about these questions that I was able to realize what dance is to me. Yes it is a beautiful art form. Yes it is very strenuous. Yes it has hundreds of rules. But the most important thing is that dance is a form of worship. Through dance we are given the greatest opportunity to show love, not only to one another, but also to our Heavenly Father. Dance is about expressing ourselves, and what better expression to show than one of love.
Every time I walk into a dance class I struggle with comparing myself to my classmates. But what I have to remind myself of daily is that I must learn to be excellent in my dancing but without love excellence is worthless.