My Pointe of View

My thoughts on God, Life, and Dance

Are You Hanging Out at the Barre?

Written By: jamieu - Feb• 12•12

I take a ballet class every day. And every ballet class begins the same way, at the barre (yes that is how it is spelled). The barre is just that, a horizontal bar that is mounted onto a wall or onto standing legs. Its purpose is to provide support for the dancers as they work to maintain proper placement and balance. At the barre you begin a progression of exercises that build upon each other. Plies, tends, degage, etc. If you are not a dancer, just consider those the ABCs of ballet. You cannot read a novel if you do not know what sounds the letters make and you can not be a successful ballet dancer if you do not know these steps.

Every dancer from the beginner to the professional begins their class at the barre. It is the foundation of ballet. This is where you begin to warm up your muscles. Each combination helps you work on your technique. Are you turning out enough from the hip, are you working through every part of your foot, and is your tailbone dropped, shoulders down and rib cage in? Everything done at the barre is meant to prepare you for the second portion of class where you dance in the center (I am laying a foundation here people – stick with me)

It is amazing how the same combination that you did at the barre can be twice as hard in the center. You have to apply all that you learned there in order to succeed the second portion of class. Even when you are doing your best, there are going to be times when you may fall (I know I do somewhat frequently…just ask my teachers). New challenges arise as you travel across the floor and you have to go back to the ABCs in order to push to the next level.

Now that I have given you a quick peek into a ballet class let me get to my point. Our walk as a Christian is very similar to the scenario I just painted for you of a ballet class. The barre is the time that you set aside to spend with God (reading the Word, prayer, going to church, etc.), the center is life, and the teacher is God. So many of my younger ballet students would love to skip the barre all together and get right into the center combinations. Who wants to do tedious combinations in one spot when you could be waltzing across the floor? Or better yet, they just want to dance on stage. They love the pretty costumes and the feel of the warm lights on their face. Who doesn’t love applause? But they do not want to put in the foundational work that it takes to get there. So many Christians feel the same way. We do not want to take the time out of out busy schedules to spend time with the Lord. When your life is going 90 miles per hour and the bills need to be paid and the kids need to be fed and you are already running late for work – we tend to forgo the barre and dive headfirst into life. But when the challenges come we find ourselves unequipped to handle them. Just like a good ballet teacher knows that her students must follow the progression of a class, God knows that we must spend time with him if we want to mature in our faith. In those quiet times with Him, he is speaking to us, preparing us, stretching us so that when we are walking out our lives we have a foundation. There will be times when you fall – but He is always there to help you up, just like the teacher is there to help you correct your mistakes.

When we do not put in the time with God that we should we are only causing ourselves pain and setbacks in our walk with the Lord. You may be like my overly zealous students who do not know how to stand correctly yet are already picking out their tutu for the big show. You may have the best intentions in mind of all the wonderful things that you want to do for the Lord – go on the mission field, start a new ministry, be a leader in your church. All wonderful and important things, but you have to ask yourself if you are taking the time to lay your foundation? Like the dancer that returns to the barre EVERY class, we have to make spending time with the Lord a constant thing. Not a once in a while, or if you have time.

I have struggled with this very thing over the course of my life but I have also discovered how vital it is walking out the destiny that God has for me. Take the time out for God; He has all the time in the world for you. Build your foundation and sharpen your skills. It will make the dance of your life a beautiful piece of choreography!

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  1. Carolyn says:

    This is cool!

    • Fran says:

      AAAAH! If I could do anything, it would be to be a brenlaila, too! I loooove ballet. I took it when I was 5 years old and then my family moved to a small town that had no dance studio. I would go to the library and check out every single book on ballet that I could find and just teach myself the moves. I did that for years! When we finally moved to a bigger town that had a dance studio, I felt like I was too old to start. I didn’t want to be the 12 year old looming over a bunch of little kids, ya know? But, there is a place where I live now that offers beginning ballet classes to adults which I have seriously contemplated signing up for.Julie recently posted..

      • Amabinsg says:

        I’ve never danced psfoersionally, but I danced through out college and performed a good bit during that time. I can’t afford studio classes anymore not until I’m working at least! I don’t foresee any performances, other than rocking the dance floor at a club (maybe) once a month, but the itch never seems to go away! I make up my own classes and follow some Finis Jhung DVD’s at home these days. Earlier this year I had to deal with pilodonal disease (If you don’t know what it is, you might not want to it’s pretty horrid). I’m just now getting back to a normal range of motion. Of course, as a dancer, the range of motion you strive for is FAR beyond what’s natural. I’ve definitely lost a lot of strength and flexibility, but that just encourages me to keep going (Shhh, don’t tell my body it’s 30, lol).This has been a pretty slow and painful process. However, I find that NOT dancing leads to even more little aches and pains. My body just craves the movement! And it keeps me in a much better place emotionally as well. What a beautiful way to work off any stress that life brings!Keep dancing regardless of what else is going on in your life!

    • Gert says:

      Great hammer of Thor, that is powerfully hlefpul!

  2. Nurdiansyah says:

    Being an professional baellrina would be soo much fun! I start imagining myself as one when I see movies like Fame and Center Stage! Though I don’t have any kids yet, I’m planning on it and I would like to have a job where I can do what I love and be there for them. I think it’s so important.Loved your answers! MJ recently posted..

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