Dance is a Body Language with no Language Barriers

To me ministry means the precious task of imparting the life of God to a person. It is our great honor that He uses us to be the channel to impart what of Him is needed in the situation.

As dance is a body language with no language barriers we can impart this through the medium of dance. As a dance can embody the meaning, the emotion, the feeling which once viewed is often beyond what our words can express (but words can further define the meaning).

Beth

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The 1-2-3 of Starting a Dance School : A Guide for Teachers to Use their Gift in Opening a Dance School

Beth 2014

By Beth Bluett de Baudistel   – ICDF Network Coordinator for Dance Teachers
Honour God • Respect each other • Dance for Joy

A guide for teachers to use their gift in opening a dance school.
To help them become a productive steward of their ‘talent’ and skill…


 

1. Know that God expects you to use your gift.
Parable of the bags of gold Matthew 25:14-30  Scary!
In the parable two went straightaway to use their talent.

One did nothing, he was named as the wicked(!) lazy unprofitable servant! Whew!

2. Ask, Seek, Knock.

Matthew 7: 7-12

Knock & the door SHALL be opened!
Ask how. Ask for help. Ask for ideas. Ask for a plan
Seek where. Seek to whom. Seek inspiration
Knock and expect Him to open the doors you need

3. Brain storm thoughts, ideas.

Write it down so you can run with it .
Habakkuk 2:2 “Write down the vision. Make it plain so that he who   reads it may run with it.”

4. Assess the needs of your community.

Matthew 9: 35-38
“The harvest is ripe the workers are few”.
Look the harvest is ripe. Ask the Lord of the harvest to send workers into the fields. Assess how you will let people know.

5. List your needs then place your hand over them and declare  God’s blessing and release for all needs.

Matthew 6:32 33
”Your Father in heaven knows you have need of them.  Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.”

i. A place
ii. A curriculum. Get qualified.  2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workmen that need not be ashamed”.
iii. Government & legal requirements, business name, insurance.
”give back to Caesar that which is Caesar’s”  Matthew 22:1
iv. A finance recording method, bank account . Be above reproach.

6. List obstacles and place your hand over them and declare:

The mountain’ of obstacles to be removed and God’s pathway for you to be made straight. “You are of God, little children and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.” 1 John  4:4

7. Write from the above a Master List

Number in the margin which priority each task is.

Some will have (1) others (2) and still others (3) (4) and so on,
Post this list in a prominent place and tick off as each task is fulfilled

8. Seek a person with vision to pray – over you, your vision, your tasks, your needs, your obstacles and your fulfillment of the vision.

9. Sign a document giving your dance school to the Lord.

”The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.” Psalm 24:1

This means your business!
Be about our Father’s business. See yourself as His employee. It helps!   Less stress because it is His business!

10. Get Cracking – Co-labouring with Christ.

Be a doer not just a hearer
“For a dream comes through much activity….and a fools only by words”. Ecclesiastes 5:3
“I press towards the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Jesus Christ” Philippians 3:4

A Petition against the Sexualisation of Children in Dance

“Any teacher who encourages a young child to dress provocatively for a stage performance is culpable of gross misconduct”

 “..what is deeply troubling is that (dance) schools are actually soliciting obscenities.” “it is not the kids who should be held accountable. Adults decide costumes & what the pre teen kids perform”

 “Teachers are supposed to protect the innocent and nurture values that better the individual.”

On May 25, 2008, Queensland, Australia’s Newspaper The Courier Mail, published these lines in articles entitled “Dance of Innocents” and “Children Pawns of Errant Teachers”. Rather than stand by and watch, it is possible for you to take social action.

Mary Bawden, an American dance teacher from California writes:

I am writing to let you know about an issue I am deeply concerned about.  Over the course of the last decade, dance for young children, particularly little girls, has changed. Alarmingly, young girls are becoming increasingly sexualized through dance. If you have recently attended a dance recital or viewed any one of many reality shows on television, you have no doubt viewed choreography that exploits and sexualizes children, using sexy moves, adult costumes, and mature, sexually charged songs to make little girls look and act like mature women.

When the beauty of dance is used to sexualize young children, it is a departure from its intended purpose. Because of this, I have decided to partner with ECPAT-USA and start a petition that brings education and awareness to dance studios so that we can stop this trend.

ECPAT-USA, the leading policy organization fighting the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC), belongs to an international network of organizations that have offices in 73 countries around the world. They have agreed to support this petition.

I hope that you will join me in this effort by signing. Thank you!

This is the petition link: http://www.change.org/petitions/dance-studios-stop-adult-sexual-choreography-and-costumes-for-girls-under-12

WHO owns your school?

I ‘gave’ my dance school to the Lord, a number of years ago. I even wrote it as a document and filed it away. I ‘saw’ Him as my ‘boss’ (best boss to work for) and myself as His employee in ‘His’ dance school. It took a lot of the strain of responsibly off my shoulders.  I was happy to follow the direction I felt came from Him. Then whatever happened was His responsibility!

I did however make the mistake of hiring an ancillary teacher, new in town, who was of a different agenda to me/our school. She was burnt out and just wanted to teach one day per week. I thought ‘what could be the harm in this’ – I needed a day off. She gave our highly gifted students an extra performance class.
Well, a year later, unbeknownst to me, she had regained her vitality, had her eye on my gifted students, planned her own school, convinced them all why she was a better teacher than me (and that she would put them in lots of competitions) and left the school taking 11 of the 12 gifted students she taught, with her!
It all happened in a week. I was stunned! I was dismayed! I felt cheated and felt naïve and very stupid. A Grade 4 class went from 12 students to 5 and a Grade 5 class went from 5 to 1!

I asked the Lord, what is happening? I couldn’t snap myself out of what I was feeling!
He ‘said’ clearly in my mind – “Why are you downcast? I am doing a new thing.”
Well that was February. By the end of that same term (April) I had new students and had exactly 12 students in the same Grade 4 class again! BUT STUDENTS OF A DIFFERENT NATURE! What a joy! They could hardly wait ‘til we came to the expressive section of the class, (after the technique). They LOVED doing the mime about falling into a pit and Jesus finding them and pulling them out, then dancing joyously.
The previous students who left, used to roll their eyes when we would get to this mime, as if to say ‘do we have to do this’? Grade 4 now became joyous to teach. SO even in my apparent misjudgement of hiring the ‘wrong’ teacher, God made even my mistakes to prosper! Glad I gave Him my school. He is the smartest business manager!!

~ Beth Bluett de Baudistel
ICDF Network Coordinator “Dance Teachers”

Handling ‘Dance Parents’

Many a teacher has been dealt a ‘verbal blow’ by the unwarranted criticism from a dance parent! Some people, as Dylan Thomas said, would “correct God on His sunsets”! Nothing pleases them! So, as in all criticisms, what does a teacher do? Examine oneself but also realise some people just love to a pick mite of sawdust out of another’s eye, while having a beam of wood (their attitude) in their own eye! I have found teachers are putting in their very best effort and can do with encouragement, not criticism.

Some dance parents have “an agenda” for THEIR child and are verbal about letting the teacher know. They can ‘sow’ discontent among other parents of the school if the teacher doesn’t comply.

How does a teacher deal with this?
Can they single out one child at the expense of the others just because that parent is very verbal?

I think it is advisable that teachers define the direction of the school in their own mind in consultation with what they feel God is ‘calling’ them to be in the community – and where their strengths lie. This can be written out as a goal or a “Vision Statement” for their or their dance school’s benefit (and used in advertising too).  Does the tail wag the dog? 

A clear goal or “Vision Statement” frees a teacher to try NOT “to be all things to all men”. There are usually plenty of dance schools around; a dance school to cater for all agendas! If a teacher, for instance, feels entering their students in dance competitions is more negative than positive, they write a comment on this in their vision statement, for example, “Children are encouraged to be the best they can be in a non-competitive environment”.  Then the teacher can kindly suggest to parent who is ‘pushing’ for competitions –  to seek out a dance school that would better suit her wishes, as THIS SCHOOL does not do competitions for X and Y reasons.

It is better to lose a student whose parent is discontent, than to have that parent infect other parents. The Bible is graphic:

“Throw out a troublemaker and contention will cease.” (Proverbs 22:10)
“Can two walk together, except they agree?” (Amos 3:3)

Then peace reigns and the teacher sleeps at night. However there is a place for a parent to have a quiet word to the teacher, if their child is struggling in some area or there is an issue at home/school that could be affecting them. This just helps the teacher be mindful of this and take it into consideration.

~ Beth Bluett de Baudistel
ICDF Network Coordinator “Dance Teachers”

Striving for Perfection or Mere Circus Tricks

In striving for perfection, the following concerns me:

The disproportionate number of knee injuries dancers have and the number of dancers who need hip operations after they finish their career.

Are we giving dancers and serious students enough ‘down time’ for recovery of muscles and joints. Quite a few movements are extreme on the joints, though aesthetically lovely to watch or stunning to view. Perhaps more time in warm up and careful cool down stretching with specifically designed exercises is needed. I find the quadriceps muscles particularly need to be stretched after dance.

Physios even talk of ‘rest days.’

Teachers need to use discernment. In competitions, accomplishing extreme feats is rewarded. It would be amazing if we could somehow measure the director or teacher’s care of the dancers in our charge – and reward that!

In performance it would amazing if our ability to ‘move’ the audience would be our goal rather than aim to have them impressed with how ‘clever’ we or the dancers are!

My teachers Misses Joan & Monica Halliday (dance legends in Australia) used to say (with disdain) at dance that became just a series of feats and devoid of art… ‘mere circus tricks’. I think they were right on track!

~ Beth Bluett de Baudistel