Grounded, but lifted

Ongoing musings related to dance, memories, love, life, and Jesus...

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We need to adopt the belief that to be a follower of Christ means to care deeply about and pursue other followers of Christ, including the ones that we don’t instinctively value or like. We need to adopt the belief that to be a follower of Christ means to allow our identity as members of the body of Christ to trump all other identities. We need to adopt the belief that to be a follower of Christ means to put our commitment to the body of Christ above our own identity and self-esteem needs. We’ve coped with our divisions long enough. It’s time for us to discover our true identities as members of the family of God. It’s time to rally around this identity, overcome our divisions and change the world. In sum, it’s time for us to change the way we see ourselves.

Christena Cleveland

Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces That Keep Us Apart, pg. 97

Filed under christianity jesus reconciliation church religion hypocrisy bible God

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koinonia

God is really bringing clarity in the area of how I relate to my church community. I feel like I actually have a few things figured out.

I’m 22, striving for consistency (read: stability) across work, goals, etc., and with the help of some lady friends who are a few years older than me, I have been thinking critically about what has changed, why I feel strange, and how I relate to my church community. I recently read a couple of InterVarsity Press books about community (this one and this one) and it’s helped me articulate how for many reasons, transitioning out of college oriented community is an especially vulnerable time. Many have little to no support and struggle in isolation as their built in support system drops from underneath them and their friends scatter. Recently I struggled for a couple of reasons. I had a mild panic attack when I realized that:

1. I was no longer part of the college ministry age group
2. I’m unmarried and I don’t anticipate having a family for at least the next 5-10 years
I started to feel discouraged, all of a sudden realizing that I couldn’t relate to anyone around me. A friend of mine pointed out that as Christian women (and young men can certainly relate), we live in opposition with two cultural patterns. In the Christian world (which often doesn’t always reflect the rest of the society), men and women marry young while in the “secular” world, men and women casually date/hook up for a while before they end up settling down with a partner.
So I find myself in the tension between those two commonly seen trends, not adhering by either of those choices. And right now I know that singleness is a very appropriate place to be for the next several years based on my current career trajectory. So…I won’t be married for a while.
Naturally, many young adults encounter tension in this reality on a regular basis, especially with most churches being family-centric. Which is odd…being family oriented isn’t a bad thing, but what about when singles feel like they don’t have a place or when they only feel pressured to tie the knot and settle down based on who they’re surrounded by? This is an area of tension I will continue to encounter.

When you’re in college, it’s fairly easy to bear one another’s burdens. Relating to people around you is effortless. I am finding that in post college life you really have to go the extra mile to bear the burdens of those whose stages of life you can’t relate to. I’m learning about the cost of community in a new way. I also realized that as a single woman, I have to do a lot of work to initiate relationships with families I know. So, I feel that God is challenging me to be much more selfless with how I relate to those in my community. I’m forced to think of myself a lot less because I don’t have college life or even post college transition life in common with most people around me.

So, some of these questions aren’t fully answered but to be able to bring the tension to light is a step forward for me in itself.

Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Filed under community jesus bible singleness church spirituality religion growingup

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In the end, we may technically share group membership and the label of “followers of Christ,” but we are no longer a team. We are driven by our own needs, not the needs of the entire group. We are teammates in name but not in heart. Our ability to unite with the entire body of Christ is seriously impeded when our primary concern is to preserve our self-esteem.

Christena Cleveland

Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces that Keep Us Apart, pg. 94

Filed under christianity jesus reconciliation church religion hypocrisy God bible

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This unassuming box may be small in size, but it is powerful and rich in sound! 
This speaker connects wirelessly to your device up to 30 feet away through Bluetooth. Auxiliary cord connection is also available. 
Dance teaching friends, this an amazing and convenient little machine (it weighs less than my iPhone 4) to carry with you for classes in community venues when you need pop up sound on the go. 
It’s perfect for teaching in a classroom, church basement, rehearsing in a non-studio location, or jamming in your kitchen! 

This unassuming box may be small in size, but it is powerful and rich in sound! 

This speaker connects wirelessly to your device up to 30 feet away through Bluetooth. Auxiliary cord connection is also available. 

Dance teaching friends, this an amazing and convenient little machine (it weighs less than my iPhone 4) to carry with you for classes in community venues when you need pop up sound on the go. 

It’s perfect for teaching in a classroom, church basement, rehearsing in a non-studio location, or jamming in your kitchen! 

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next chapter

I think a huge part of adjusting to post grad life is learning to chill out about where things with dance are going. I’m exactly where I need to be and I’m not doing so bad. Besides, I haven’t been out that long, as a dancer I admire pointed out to me.

The night of my last undergrad performance, I had a bit of a broken heart because I felt like I was losing my safety net. All of a sudden I was grieving and I felt vulnerable.

So, naturally I found comfort in taking ballet and modern classes and it was deeply comforting to participate in something my body already knew. I didn’t “know” anything, but my body sure did. I knew how to tombe-pas-de-bourree-pirouette. I even did a triple that day. I knew how to improv starting from the floor and I knew the teacher’s warmup so it wasn’t too much of a stretch to pick up his combination.

With the “losing my safety net” mentality I think I somehow convinced myself that I would never, ever get corrections on my technique or special attention again because I had this idea that dancing outside of college at my age meant being overlooked until I got lucky and someone decided to take interest. But a lot of a dancers are so much more generous than that. It sure is a funny time, but there is indeed such a thing as life and continued growth after graduation!

I need to rationalize the cynical thoughts I’ve been having, and I need to acknowledge that I’ve had many positive interactions within my community and it’s more possible than I think to find a niche.

So, to keep my thoughts in a more rational place I have a collection of positive feedback and interactions that I need to remember:

  • "You remind me of one of my favorite students."
  • A teacher targeting the rotators in her warmup at my request and because she took the time to correct my rotation in my tendu the day before
  • Any time I’ve been asked to demonstrate because of a quality I embodied well
  • "You’re a beautiful dancer"
  • A woman I interviewed with a week ago affirming, validating, and celebrating where I was and what I had to offer, and we know we’ll end up working together in some capacity
  • Seeing videos of myself and realizing that I’m slowly getting better at using precision and sharpness in my movement
  • The teaching job offer I got last weekend that will diversify my skill set
  • Realizing that I can put “rehearsal director for [local dance company]” on my CV
  • "You move really well. The way you choose to direct your energy is great."

It’s the little steps that give me hope. Glad to have a much needed visit home soon because balance in my dancing body isn’t the only balance I need in life.

Filed under dance dancer contemporarydance moderndance dancelife dancerprobz

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"Could it be that the encyclopedic nature of our contemporary Bibles is driving this idea that the Bible literature is dry and boring?” 

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full out

Today my heart is full of gratitude. I loved class with Eiren Shuman of Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers, which he describes as “athletic contemporary dance based in release technique.”

I find his material so satisfying to work with because it meets every contemporary dancer need I have: I get time on the floor to oil up my body and become more kinesthetically aware of where everything is but I also get to engage my rotators and stand strongly on my legs but then I also get to figure out fun and challenging inversions and then I get to work with a lot of delicious qualitative changes while using my whole body in a pathway full of momentum to spiral into turns after coming out of an exciting series of jumps.

His work is sophisticated, and it’s fun.

So, athletic is about right…but then there’s Eiren’s carefree spirit, his sense of humor, and his eclectic music choices that complement all the movement and the energy of the class as whole fills me with an appreciation of the strength and beauty dance cultivates in our facilities. I love having the range of motion I do and I love eating up space and I love that organic energetic balance that happens when dancers come into a room together to work.

Yes, this is absolutely what I want to continue doing.

Get your life.

Filed under dance crush contemporarydance phillydance moderndance ballet werk fierce

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it is important to know the difference between people who want to minister to you and people who want to market to you. Ministering to you involves learning about your specific situation and giving you the tools you need. Marketing is about taking the product I have created and then convincing you that you need it. There is nothing inherently wrong with marketing, but you need to be able to identify it clearly when you see it.

Jed Brewer on episode 128 of Say That

Get it Free on iTunes or our Website

(via thebridgechicago)

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weighing in

sarah-anne:

Hey girl! I love your blog. Here are some dances and dancers who have bodies different, for various reasons, than the “existing ideal” (“long limbs, slender, athletic, small head, little to no curves”)

Rennie Harris Puremovement

Hilary Clark (here she is in Tere O’Connor’s “Baby,” full length and excerpts)

Axis Dance Company (here’s a recent work sample). I’m excited about the new dance that Joe Goode will choreograph, “to go again, a dance theater work that brings to light issues facing our nation’s veterans and addresses their resilience following sever life changes.” 

Larry Goldhuber/BIGMANARTS, he danced for for Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company.

Suzanne Richard 

Hi there! And thank you, I appreciate it. From what it looks like, I wouldn’t be surprised if we ended up crossing dance world paths at some point. 

Thanks so much for your response and the references, I’m always glad to hear of people and work I should keep on my radar :) It was refreshing to see a variety of dancers featured in the excerpts you shared.

I’ve only seen Rennie’s concert work a couple of times, but I’m definitely keen on what he does. Also-seeing Genome was probably one of my most memorable audience experiences. It was in 2008 and it was the first time I saw DX in performance. I’ll have to look more into Suzanne’s projects.

Cheers!