I remember sitting there, and the girl was hardly moving. Her face, her heart – they said everything that needed to be said. It was clear that she did not have extensive, if any, formal dance training, but it was also clear that she loved to dance. This girl was using her body to truly worship – to say something to and about her God, the creator of the universe.

This is a memory of mine from a dance ministry event I attended in Arkansas in August of 2004. I will never forget that moment in which God showed me so clearly the purpose He has for dance. It was a teachable moment that, in the ensuing years, would remind me that we do not have to be in competition with one another or with other studio dancers in order to be successful at dance. Dance is to be joyful, expressive, God-honoring. Our staff strives to offer the best possible technique and teaching methods to our students, and we are free to present dance differently than the world does. It is incredibly important to us to do everything with excellence, but not for the purpose of being able to pat ourselves on the back. It is so that we can honor God with the gifts He has given us, and we can be used to point to the God that we serve.

That girl, the dancer in Arkansas – she danced with no reservation and no concern for what others thought about her technique. When she danced with abandon for her audience of one, I learned one of the most important lessons of all of my 30 years of dancing up to that point.

That was refreshing to my soul!