Friday, November 23, 2012

On Choreography

This year, for the first time, I choreographed and taught an entire dance to other class members. I've done smaller dances before for me and my three younger sisters... but this one was for 9 girls (including me), two dads, and a brother. I also helped with the choreography for another dance. Along the way, there were unexpected challenges and equally unexpected rewards. For instance, I have learned that:

  • Nine girls in a very small room makes it very hard for everyone to focus, but...
  • Even when nothing seems to be going right, God gives me the patience and grace to keep my head. Which is a miracle in itself.
  • It's easier to teach people in twos and threes than all at once.
  • The things I thought would be easy for everyone to understand were hard, and the things I thought would be challenging were mastered quickly.
  • No matter what they say and do while I'm teaching the dance, there are girls who care as much as I do about learning it well ... and it shows!
  • If you dance outside in bare feet on a cold day, you can't feel the ants when they bite you.
  • I can't teach a dance and answer costume questions at the same time.
  • I wish that, in the past, I hadn't asked Anna costume questions while she was teaching a dance.
  • If you're not going to write down your choreography, you'd better practice it OFTEN, or you will forget it by the time you have to teach it and, therefore, will have to make it up on the fly.
  • The device that plays music from a disc is called a "CD player," not a "boom box." And it is a very important device!
  • When asking people to play the part of Adam and Eve, be sure to specify what they're wearing up front. =) (Which, by the way, is a tan tunic with tan pants or a tan skirt.)
  • Having a former gymnast who can do handsprings is helpful when choreographing the fish in Creation. (Don't ask, just come and see!)
  • When there's no one else around to video the dance for the girls to practice with, a 6-year old can run a camera just fine!
  • Seeing everything come together, despite all the train wrecks in practice, sends chills down my spine.
  • Hearing your sister say that she didn't like the song that much initially, but now she likes it because of the way the dance interprets it, is one of the highest praises.
  • If this dance really does come together, all glory goes to the God who gave me the creativity, energy, peace, patience, and wisdom to choreograph and teach it. And to the God who took the little I could do and brought it all together.
The other day, I was listening to music for next semester and started thinking, "Whoa, I wonder what we'll be doing to this!" And then I realized... I very well may have to come up with what we're doing to that particular song! And if I don't, the other girls my age will! It will definitely be an adjustment to not have Anna here. But it will give us all the opportunity to grow. Choreography is fun, but sometimes stressful because there is a deadline... you can only teach what you've come up with so far, and the girls can't practice until they're taught. It's a privilege, but it comes with a risk. But God's grace is sufficient. Even when time is not.    


  1. Great thoughts, Natalie! God's grace is truly sufficient, and somehow He makes the time be too. It's been so neat to see your dance come together, and it does interpret the song so well!

  2. Thanks, Anna! Praise from you is another very high form of praise. :-) Hopefully we will have the time and strength to realize "The Promise Fulfilled!"

  3. please post presentation dates