Saturday, October 29, 2011

I Survive the Seasons!

I'm thankful today for the change of seasons outside and in my life. It amazes me the changes my body is going through. As I get ready to approach the 50 and 1/2 mark I'm reflecting today on the many changes my body is going through. I had the awesome experience yesterday of being in the audience on the Dr. Oz show. The topic was Peri menopausal Rage. Look for me sitting in the first row on the November 3rd episode. I don't suffer too much with the rage but I have experienced extreme mood swings in the opposite direction. I once attended a wedding and had to keep putting drops in my eyes because I kept crying, even before the wedding started. I would get so depressed over anything. I thought my friends didn't like me anymore and just cried all the time. I have since started taking natural vitamins which have really helped with the mood swings and the hot flashes. Growing old gracefully is not easy but it is possible. It is definitely better than the alternative - not growing at all. So I"m thankful today that I survive the seasons. I'm thankful for the gift of dance and how it lifts my spirits. As I dance my prayers in the morning I am renewed and ready for whatever why the winds blows. Today I dance because I've survived the seasons.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


I've just finished reading a book titled TEN by Terry Smith. From this summer reading I have decided to live my life on purpose. What does that mean? It means everything I do, I do with purpose and I am allowing God to truly direct my path. I have found that many times in my past I react and live according to what has already happened. Its as if my life has been a reaction to my circumstance. Now I'm putting my purpose in front. My actions are now at the front of my prayers instead of being a reaction to what has already happened. This book challenges me to be a better leader not just to be better but because I have a responsibility to those I lead. As I start a new school year at a brand new school I'm excited about what's ahead. I've asked God to choreograph and synchronize my path to His will. I concentrate on the message He has for me to deliver and from that, the choreographies will come. Its a new beginning for me and I've raised the bar for myself.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Salsa, Salsa, Salsa

I DANCE BECAUSE 2nd annual Salsa party was a success. Even with the rain we had a nice crowd and everyone had a great time. I loved especially seeing all the couples dancing with each other. I even heard that some have been practicing at home.

I still think dancing with your mate is a great way to keep communication lines open. It works for Darrell and I. When we practice at home it forces us to look at how we talk to each other. When either of us makes a mistake if effects the other one immediately and we have to take responsibility for that right away.

I had to opportunity to dance with Jose, the owner of Just One Dance Studio at the end of the party and I felt amazing. That dance reaffirmed my confidence in dancing salsa as he is an excellent salsa dancer and I was able to keep up with him. Darrell and I need to practice much more. It gives us something to work up to. I'm happy with our annual fundraiser. Now I'm on the lookout for board members and setting up an art show/photo exhibit. Be on the lookout for our next event.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dance with me!

In one week, I DANCE BECAUSE will host its 2nd annual dance party. Some have asked why am I giving a salsa party. I am a dance educator/liturgical dancer with a passion for helping other celebrate life through dance. My husband and I are the directors and the marriage ministry at our church. We started using dance as a teaching tool for our married couples and it is working.

So often in a marriage or any relationship for that matter problems start long before you really notice them. When there is tension in a marriage, one of the first things we do is stop touching. We create more space then is needed between us and become comfortable with not being physically close. Our arguments them begin to be about other stuff than about what really is at the heart of the matter.

The lessons I am learning in dancing salsa with my husband parallel so many lessons of marriage. For me the biggest is following the leader. So often Darrell will say "Let me lead!" I always want to say "but I'm the better dancer and you aren't doing it right!" Of course I don't say that. What has finally happened is he is learning. He realizes that if he doesn't lead correctly we both go the wrong direction and it is his responsibility to get us back on track. He has also learned that even though I am the better dancer, I'm trusting him to show me the way. If I make a mistake its because he didn't give the right lead at the right time.

Do I think dance can save a marriage, probably not but it can help keep the lines of communication open. It keeps us touching our partner in a positive way and forces us to look at each other. Most of all it is great exercise - physically and spiritually.

So, in case you didn't know - Our Salsa party is Friday, July 8, 2011 at Just One Dance Studio in Belleville, NJ. Doors open at 7:30 and the 1 hour lesson starts promptly at 8. This is a fundraiser for our business and our scholarship fund. Tickets are $20. Join us. Bring your spouse or significant other. Say to your spouse or significant other "Dance with me" and see what response you get. Looking forward to seeing you there.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Movement or Meditation

Last night on the news there was a segment on meditation and how beneficial it can be to our lives. Many talked about healing and being able to cope with life circumstances because of meditation. So I asked myself, what is the difference between meditation and prayer? Would I feel a closer presence with meditation as opposed to my movement prayers? Was I missing something in my devotional time? So I decided to try it this morning before dancing my prayers. I sat quietly for 15 minutes, no music, just sat and listened to my breath. My conclusion, for me meditation is another posture of prayer. It was a relaxing, quiet time for me to just listen for God's still voice. I enjoyed much more my dance prayer that followed. I enjoy feeling the Holy Spirit enter my body as I dance before Him. What a joy to be able to offer my body in worship in the morning. This morning I danced to HERE I AM TO WORSHIP. I trust God was pleased. I feel equipped for the day. I have a smile on my face and in my heart. I will continue to try meditation but I must say I so much more enjoy dancing my prayers. Maybe tomorrow I'll try the reverse, dancing then meditating on God's word. I know when I start my day with praise and worship, God inhabits my praise and orders my steps. Have a great day - I dance because...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Fifty and Fabulous

I've just celebrated my 50th birthday. I am so thankful to have reached my golden birthday but it still brings mixed emotions. As I continue to dance I struggle with this body that isn't able to do many of the things I used to. I continue to question God as to the next leg of my journey. I love to dance but what do you do when your body just can't keep up with the visions.

Every year for my birthday, my husband and I go to see The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. What an awesome performance it was this year. My favorite piece was Anointed. Seeing them this year really helped to ignite the passion of dance within me. I so want to be able other young dancers experience dance.

Now more than ever I want to pass the gift of dance on to others. I DANCE BECAUSE will be a viable organization giving scholarships and resources to so many young people who need it. Dance helped shape me into the person I am today. I believe I am more compassionate and giving because of dance. Dance has helped me experience what I feel so I can fully be in the moment of my experiences. There is such joy and happiness in being fully involved in dance. I can't help smile at the faces of my young students as they experience dance. For my older students, it takes time to get through the outer hard shell they put up to protect themselves, but I continue to chip away so they too can experience the joy of leaping through the air, spinning beyond control and just grooving to their own beat.

I used to wonder how some of my older dance teachers taught without fully moving. I've had dance teachers that taught from a chair. I always wondered how are they doing that. Well I'm about to find out. Its time to make these beautiful movements in my heart and my head come to life in my students. This is a new season for me in many ways. I'm excited and ready to see what God has next. Fifty and fabulous, I dance because....I still can and I want to pass it on.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Dancing with Purpose

Happy New Year! As I reflect on this past year and look expectantly into 2011 I continue to ask myself "Why do I still dance?" My body is getting older and I've been plagued with numerous injuries the past couple of years. It is frustrating to realize my body can't do some of the things it used to.

The month of December is always a busy one for me but this one seemed heavier than usual. As we celebrated my son's 21st birthday on the 13th, I reflected on the many ways he has impacted my life. Although it is still hard for me to comprehend my little boy being 21, I am so, so proud of the man of God he is growing into. On the 22nd of December, my school put on the biggest production of The Nutcracker ever. We transported over 100 students to another school so they would have the opportunity to perform on a real stage which my school doesn't have. As a result of all the rehearsals I was unable to attend my own dance ministry rehearsals. Then I got the call, I was asked to dance the role of Mary, mother of Jesus for our Christmas Eve candle light service. The part didn't require any rehearsal for me. Thank you God, I was still going to be able to minister which meant the world to me. Hours before I was to dance, Darrell, my husband, became ill and needed to go to the hospital. He told me to take him and leave him so I could still go dance. I considered it - was I being selfish? Then our friend Zach offered to take Darrell to the hospital. I promised I would come as soon as I finished dancing.

Darrell went to the hospital and I went to dance. I prayed and receive such a peace about the whole situation that I didn't even look at my phone until after I finisihed dancing. As I danced down the aisle with the baby in my arms, I was reminded of how Jesus came into this world to save us. I reflected on His purpose of being born to die for our sins and at that moment my own sense of purpose was renewed. I was born to dance and to help others do the same. 2011 I am recommitting myself to dancing with purpose and passion.

Oh FYI, when I finished dancing, there was a text from Darrell stating that he was feeling better and he would be home soon. Thank you God! Why do I still dance at 49. I dance because I am called and there is nothing more important that doing what God tells you to do.