My name is Joy Tripp and I am eighteen years old. I am in my twelfth year of dancing and this is my first year of being in Ballet Magnificat’s Trainee Program. Ballet Magnificat is a professional Christian ballet company with the desire to “…equip the trainees technically and artistically to bring God glory both on and off the stage.” It was never my dream to pursue ballet at a professional level after high school. But roughly a year ago, the Lord placed the desire in my heart to pursue ballet when I went to Ballet Magnificat’s summer dance intensive. Being a member of Rejoice! Dance Ministry for five years at AFAA also inspired me to pursue ballet because I wanted to keep bringing glory and praise to God through the art of dance.
One challenge I am currently experiencing is dancing with a knee injury I suffered back in May during rehearsals for my last high school ballet production. Dancing through injuries is never a fun or easy process! I thought taking a break from dance over the summer before my Trainee Program started would let my knee heal. I went to a physical therapist who told me to strengthen some of the muscles around my knee because it was weak. I was confused by what the therapist told me because I strengthen the exact muscles he told me to do every week at dance. I started my dance training in September with a knee that was in more pain than it was before summer break.
When it comes to injuries, I am the worst at taking care of them. Even taking ibuprofen and icing my injury for thirty minutes is difficult for me to do. On days that my knee did not hurt as much, I would push myself, thinking that my knee was getting better. The next day I would not be able to dance much and would have to sit out for part of the class. I found out that one of my trainee teachers was a Physical Therapist and she told me the opposite of what the first PT told me about my knee injury. My knee was actually hurting because the muscles around my knee were too strong. The muscles were very tight from using them constantly in dance class and my teacher encouraged me to release the tension in my muscles with a foam roller everyday before dance class.
The Lord has both taught and sustained me through this knee injury. He is teaching me the importance of taking care of myself daily like taping my knee, rolling out my muscles, and doing an ice bath. I am the Lord’s beautiful, wonderful, and fearfully made creation which is why I want to take care of myself. I am also His instrument which is why I am motivated to take care of myself to be able to better bring glory and praise to Him through my dancing. I have found that taking good care of myself has allowed me to dance almost to my full potential without much pain in my knee.