The Dancer as the Star in the Epic of Life

"I've always felt life first as as story - and if there is a story, there is a story teller." - G.K. Chesterton.

I've been writing and directing plays since I was in elementary school. My first "big" production was a Christmas play that I wrote when I was around ten years old. I roped my siblings and relatives into performing and asked my pianist mother to play the music that I had carefully picked out. I even typed up programs (with several misspellings - I know because my mother saved them) to hand out to the audience. It never became a hit play on Broadway, but for me, it was life changing.

Fast forward past my marriage and on to the birth of our three children. I realized that I could incorporate my love of children, history AND drama by offering to direct (and sew costumes and paint scenery) for an American Girl Felicity play. My oldest daughter and her friends were about six years old when we put on this grand production. We practiced a lot, and since a few of the girls in the play were not good readers yet, the mothers got together and read our own daughter's part into a tape recorder so they could learn their lines by listening. We were able to use a local church for the performance and had a sizable audience. My greatest delight was to watch the girls shine in the roles that they had worked so hard in preparing. It was worth all the time and effort to watch them become more than they were when they started. I got to, in a small way, be part of their life's story.

I've gone on to direct plays for other children's groups and choirs, and I've directed choreography as well. And each time as I sit in the dim light of the front row watching and cheering the stars of the production on and watching them shine, I am deeply satisfied. And I get the same sense of satisfaction teaching and calling dances at the balls. But at these dances, instead of having a few "stars" and a large audience, everyone gets to have a part and be one of the "stars" at the event. And just like a play, we practice their parts by teaching the dance steps, and then when the music plays, each person is ready to be the prince or princess of their evening's story.

I believe we are all part of a bigger story. John Eldredge says in his book Epic, "Live unfolds like a drama. Doesn't it? Each day has a beginning and an end. There are all sorts of characters, all sorts of settings. A year goes by like a chapter from a novel. Sometimes it seems like a tragedy. Sometimes like a comedy. Most of it feels like a soap opera. Whatever happens, it's a story through and through."

I look forward to dancing with you sometime, and being part of your story!

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