Creative Process

The artist, like the God of creation, remains within or behind or beyond or above his handiwork, invisible, refined out of existence, indifferent, paring his fingernails.        –James Joyce

Let’s spend a couple minutes thinking more about this…

What is Heaven going look like for us?

We have heard some crazy stuff…

Kum-by-ya…on repeat…

Harps…tambourines…given to all

Think about it…

How terrible would that sound?

Halos…wings…

Surely we all get a set

Clouds that have all the characteristics of a trampoline

I am not sure where those ideas originated…

But they did not originate in the consistent application of scripture…

Songs come and they go. An idea is just a flicker of something beyond you, and then it’s gone. The game is catching it – very similar to a child catching a lightning bug…it’s not impressive that you write something in an instant, that you produce a work in a very short amount of time; it’s necessary. The idea presents itself like a deer in your headlights, but instead of avoiding it, recoiling yourself, you pursue it, you throw yourself into it…you catch it, you have something. If you don’t, you don’t. The great composer Hector Berlioz articulated it so well – “Every composer knows the anguish and despair occasioned by forgetting ideas which one had no time to write down.” Writing songs, composing, it’s really just a kid catching lightning bugs, a kid digging in a sandbox. Then comes craft.        –John Coker

To be honest we don’t hear a lot in scripture…

But what we do hear…is absolutely amazing…

The picture pointed to…both here and elsewhere…

Is back to the original creation

And the original purpose of man…

Creation, including man…

Displays the glory of God.

I do not have a consistent set-in-stone method or procedure. Some days I just get overwhelmed from deep inside me to draw or paint.  Sometimes it’s just for a few minutes, an hour or two; in my younger years I’ve even been known to paint around the clock. I did so without true awareness of the time. I just had to get it out on the canvas or paper. It just was inside me and I had to try and express what I saw in my “mind’s eye” or felt deep in my soul, my memory.

Man was

Created for fellowship with God

Created to reign with God

Created to rule with God

Created to work…tend…care for…God’s creation

Created to create…

I would and still do see something that so moves the artistic bend in me that I have to do some sketches or a watercolor and catch what I see, what I feel. Sometimes I can only take a photo of it or sketch it out on any available paper even on receipts with a ballpoint pen. But the real process starts when I wander and look and see, really see the shapes, hues, value tones. I feel the energy of a wave coming onto shore, the wind rustling the aspen leaves, the alertness of the cow lifting her head with a watchful eye; I observe and soak in the view. I become part of that scene.  With pencil I will quickly sketch out the scene trying hard to catch the energy, the life, or in some cases the quietness.  I will do more than one sketch; some for value tones, some for composition, and some with detail of a certain object or area where I really like what’s going on. I will have more than one study of what I feel will make a good focal point of my future finished drawing or painting. I also jot notes about the hues, specific colors to use, the light direction, and any thoughts, inspirations that have popped into my mind at the time in a sketch. If I had planned this paint trip as a plein air I will have watercolors and pad and do quick watercolor.  If I have a camera I will take photos. But I mostly like to rely upon my sketches and visual memory.

All art constantly aspires toward the condition of music                                          –Walter Pater

In my studio I like to get my mind off everything else. I start by getting out the media I plan to use, whether it is drawing with pencils, pen and ink, watercolors or oils.  I make sure I have more than one canvas, stretched watercolor paper or type of surface to work on; usually it’s at least three. I put out brushes, easels, media I will use; if paint, I lay out the tubes where I can easily get to them. I set up my palettes like paper or canvas always more than one. Why? Just in case I suddenly get inspired to do something different or also if things aren’t going well I can move to another painting surface for later. Sometimes a later look changes my view of it. Next I try to get my mental and emotional state in a creative mood if it’s not already.  I lean toward Vivaldi, Grieg, Schubert, and Mendelssohn. It’s 90% of the time classical music. As I listen I pull out both pencil and watercolor sketches, also photos if I have then. I take a sheet of paper and will make a value tone composition of what I want to paint.

These inform us to the nature and purpose

Of the this final creation

And final purpose of man

Created for fellowship with God

Created to reign with God

Created to rule with God

Created to work…tend…care for…God’s creation

Created to create…

When painting, I decide on my focal point and where it is to be placed on the surface. I decide the mood and values I want. I lay in my undertones in large brush strokes. If watercolors, I decide what areas to do wet in wet, dry brush, etc. I always work on two watercolor paintings at a time so that I don’t, in my impetuousness, ruin the painting.  I lay in the areas of hues, using washes, then as areas dry on one surface I start the finishing process with details. I step back at least three feet from my easel during the painting process to get a better perspective of what I am doing. Many times I will even put the painting across the room or under different lighting to see if it’s progressing how I want it. I often turn it upside down to help me see if my composition and value balance is what I consider correct. I try to be a part of the work. When I come to the point where it’s finished or I know I need to quit as I might overwork it, I clean up brushes, palettes, etc. then sit down to study the picture. Once more I critique the ones I left partially finished and just consider what I did and what I could do different. I am usually exhausted but have that good peaceful feeling.          –Linda Krumel

Working as God intended…

Without the “futility” brought by sin

The curse will be reversed!

The first place we get stuck is identification with the body. The dancer is really “playing” the body as a musical instrument by manipulating energies to express ideas. For the most part, the body is usually a disappointing tool for the limitless realms that are going on in the dancer’s mind. When the vessel is empty, the Spirit enters. Most of us are double- or even triple- minded, looking in one direction with the mind and really meaning something else. When you witness someone who is single-minded, it is very powerful. The dancer has to be single-focused in action.

At the dance studio, there is a daily examination of what the purpose of being there is, the understanding of the body in its relation to the mind and the soul, the origins of form and their meaning, and what uniqueness we are bringing to art.         –Alonzo King

Adam and Eve were placed in the garden not only to enjoy it

They were to take care of it as their service to God.

This was an act of worship…

Would not our role in the new creation be similar?

Enjoying the gift of God…

To fly, that’s one of the greatest dreams of all…  I’ve always been a builder, even when I was young.  And I’ve always enjoyed airplanes.  I took ground school as a high school elective.  As a young man I remember sitting at a friend’s house saying to build an airplane – that would be the ultimate project.  A little later I learned that there were people who actually did that and they were part of what’s called experimental aviation, and that it’s legitimately advocated by the FAA.  I even helped make some parts for a friend who was building a Thorp T-18 before I knew what it was. But after some careful searching and comparison of all sorts of plans I decided that’s the one I’d choose if I’d ever build one.  My criteria: sporty, all metal, two-place, low wing, good performance, and no dependence on factory supplied parts.  From a safety standpoint it had to be a well proven design and have a helpful group of fellow builders.

And taking care of it…

A major difference being that

All of our lives will be oriented toward God

Not distracted with the orientation toward self…

John Thorp offered me time in his shop where guys would work and share tools and get advice.  By the time I came along that was all history, but that’s the start of my ‘project’.  I had a fuselage skin that came from the template used in the Thorp shop.  By this time I was totally hooked.  The typical recommendation is to try something small, like ailerons, and get a feel for how you like it.  But I didn’t have to; I worked around machine shop all my life.  Although I had no clue on the time commitment, I jumped in head-first and started with the biggest part.

Having the joy of using our talents and gifts eternally…

The T-18 set of plans is exceptional: well drawn, clear to read, very accurate.  Only a few errors exist and they’ve been documented.  Materials are clearly specified and drawings show both preceding and succeeding parts and assemblies.  Finishes, tolerances, and heat treatments are also specified where necessary.  Most important beyond that is the help provided by the ‘Mutual Aid Society’, a group of Thorp builders who support each other and contribute to a quarterly newsletter.  Every topic has been covered more than once.  There have been many how-to’s, suggestions, and lessons learned shared in the group.  To date, there have been over 144 newsletters, and an estimated 700 aircraft have been built over a period of many years.  John Thorp is a legendary figure in aircraft design.  The T-18 has a proven track record, with a permanent place in the history of the experimental aircraft movement.  I’m confident that this project, when complete, encompasses a very safe, well understood design.         –Les Krumel

I really like building stuff…and I am good at it…

What about you…now imagine that…

Without futility

Without pain

Without money and the concerns of it

Not worrying about job security

And having a perfect boss…God

In writing lyrics, occasionally I’m inspired by ideas I hear from conversation. Either ones I overhear or ones I’m actively engaged in. Sometimes there’s a certain phrasing of the idea that seems to stand out from the rest of the conversation. And if it’s a phrasing that really strikes my fancy, I’ll steal it outright. But more often than not it needs a little modification. That phrasing, that becomes a lyric, won’t fit in the rhythm unless its syllables fall on the right accent.      –Matthew Greco

In our labor…God will be worshipped!

What if heaven for most of us follows a similar pattern as earth.

We work for 6 days

We get together on the 7th

For worship and rest and a huge party

Christmas and Easter all rolled up into one eternal joy.

In a sense, my method for writing is a constant relay between creativity and calculation. Creativity, for me, often has to begin at the climax—at the point where everything must move toward—and spread outward from that point. I frequently get the initial concept for this heart of the story via a spark of imagery. This grows into a concept, which then becomes a theme. That theme dictates the plot while simultaneously molding the essential characters. Then, once these concepts are gathered, creativity gives way to structure, the deliberation of intricate details. Once this framing is in place, creativity is free to take over again, to give the now three-dimensional story color and life, though calculation will undoubtedly come into play again and again throughout the project.   –Meagan Briggs

N.T. Wright puts it this way:

“the redeemed people of God in the new world will be the agents of his love going out in new ways, to accomplish new creative tasks, to celebrate and extend the glory of his love.”

–Adam Mihm

compiled by Rebecca Krumel

Psalm 147b

Friday I had the pleasure of watching eight Performers girls dance my choreography to the Sons of Korah’s Psalm 147b. It felt so normal being back in the studio at Alwin’s – although it’s been years since I danced in that same studio as one of them. In 2009 I watched the 25th anniversary production of Christmas Joy, which was my sister’s last year in the production. It has been seven years since I was a Performer and trained at Alwin School of the Dance. That makes me feel so old! It makes me wonder what I have accomplished in those seven years?! I am not doing what I planned to be when I left to train with Boston Ballet seven years ago. But looking back I cannot regret the way life led me. I wouldn’t have matured in ways I have and learned the things I did if I did not have the experiences I did. It took me this long to heed God’s call on my life to use my gifts to give Him glory.  Watching them perform the piece was a good reminder that it’s not about me. It’s not about them, either, not even the girls I chose for solo work. It’s all about the Lord.

He has been so merciful and faithful to chase after me and draw me to Him. He has given my dancing back to me when I wanted to run away from it because of painful experiences. He has been so good. I must repeat these things over and over to remind myself this is why I create dance – in gratitude and amazement of God’s goodness and majesty. His faithfulness and immeasurable beauty I see in the consistencies and magnificence of nature, in the sunset, in the stars at night, in the high mountain peaks covered with snow and the massive ocean foaming and whipping with waves, in the human form in graceful dance or powerful movement. I agree with the Psalmist who attempts to proclaim the Lord’s magnificence and our insufficient, futile efforts to impress him. The God of the universe! What do we have to offer him?!

“His delight is not in the strength of the horse,
   nor his pleasure in the legs of a man,
but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him,
   in those who hope in his steadfast love.” (Psalm 147:10-11)

I was reading one of Joshua Harris’ books recently that I found on the shelf at home, and he was talking about God’s gift of freedom from past sexual sin, or sin of any sort, really, by getting perspective of the cross. It’s relevant to Psalm 147 when trying to understand what it meant to Jesus Christ to die for us, and why he deserves out praise. The Lord over the universe, the part of the Trinity that helped God the Father to design creation and people in his own image, (Colossians 1:17) came not only to live a perfect life among sinners, but to die a sinner’s death as a perfect, blameless man, experiencing all the weight of the sins of all the peoples of the world while in agony on the cross, and being rejected not only by those he loved and was dying for, but by his own father in heaven. That baffles me – to have such great love to lay down your life for people who revile you, while your all-powerful father hides his face from you. Left alone in the world to bear the sins of the world.

“He feels dirty. Human wickedness has starts to crawl upon his spotless being – the living excrement from our souls. The apple of the Father’s eye turns brown with rot. His father!

He must face his father like this!

From heaven the father now rouses himself like a lion disturbed, shakes his mane, and roars against the shriveling remnant of a man hanging on a cross.” (When Boy Meets Girl. Harris, J. p. 177)

The story doesn’t end there though. Christ conquered death: he died and was buried, rose on the third day and ascended into heaven,  to the glory of his Father in heaven. The Father was well-pleased with his Son’s sacrifice, and considers his son’s sacrifice rather than our sins. He is in heaven sitting at the right hand of God the Father ruling over the earth. At the throne of his heavenly father he makes intercession for us. (Isaiah 53:12) That is cause to praise him!

Psalm 147b talks about the God’s might and power as reasons we should extol him; it says the Lord delights in those who fear his name. (vs. 11) Our hope is in his steadfast love – that has saved us. We cannot gain his favor or approval – it is already paid for, done and approved. The Psalmist urges Zion to “extol the Lord” and praise God Jerusalem.”(vs. 12) He goes on to talk about how he strengthens the fortress (gates) of the city, and blesses your children within you (vs. 13) He grants us peace and “satisfies us with the finest of wheat.”(vs. 14) His Word commands the universe. He speaks his word and the ice melts. He keeps all his promises.

Christ boldly endured the cross. We can boldly praise him. That is why I felt the need to express boldness and confidence in the movement for this Psalm, not  interpretive dance. While Latin dances are typically associated with being macho or flirtatious, I think adding a little of the flamenco style movement accentuated the piece because of its boldness and power. The music also had Latin/Spanish guitar influence, and I let the music inspire the movement. I seldom pull movement out of thin air – the music becomes the blood in my veins that create the dance. For so long I stifled it because I wanted to pursue my dream, not God’s dream for me. I will not let regret and frustration rule me. I look forward to the ways God is shaping and changing me. In His goodness He is showing me that I please Him with my gift even when it is not me performing. I am doubly blessed, to transfer this gift to so many wonderful young girls and multiply the praises to God in their worshipful bodies and hearts.

Thank you to Wendy Miner and the Performers for allowing me this opportunity. I am looking forward to our next creation!

Scroll to 9:35 for the last run-through of the dance.

Looking forward to working with the girls again to clean it up and see it performed in its finished product next spring!

P.S. They’ll be wearing all black or a dark shade flamenco-type skirts for the performance.

Fundraising Gala, Flamenco, Future Prospects

Our annual fundraiser was on April 30, and this was the first time I was involved in putting it on- more than I ever intended to be. The first USC Dance gala I experienced was when the program was 3 years old, in 2008 when I performed as a guest shortly after leaving Columbia City Ballet – we had the third annual fund-raising gala on the Koger Center stage after the NYCB performance. The next year, 2009, I was actually enrolled in the university, and the gala and performance were in celebration of opening a new building, a huge accomplishment for the program and Susan Anderson.  In 2010 I missed the gala and the NYCB performance because I was studying abroad, which was well-worth it.  I had become tired of the program and frustrated by my seemingly futile persistence to keep dancing in college.  This year I was ready to be back in the throng of things, yet was not expecting to be one of the organizers of the whole shebang – my work study job in dance department director’s office had already proved to be a far bigger job than the title entailed.

Nonetheless, I was glad to have work. I will refrain from all the details, but putting on a gala to impress and draw wealthy donors is one hell-of- a-lot of work! And exhausting! It would have helped if we were a bit more organized… After seeing all the background, I really learned to appreciate all that Susan has done for the program. In the end, Come Dance With US(C) turned out better than I expected, and we raised a lot of scholarship money for the department.

Unfortunately working at the Dance Department does not necessarily equal dancing more, although I am always “present” and in their view. But that is no one’s fault but my own either…I just can’t do everything! I still would rather be dancing than working in the office…but I have to pay the rent somehow, and at least I am surrounded by it all… I take that back. I’d rather not be surrounded by it all. Detachment from all the drama and stress surrounding the dance world has always been my safe haven. Thaddeus told me in evaluations I distance myself too much from the other dancers and need be more a part of the “group”  – although that context is in technique class, where I try to escape from the monotony of the day. It’s nice to have something familiar I can return to and ground myself in, and take ballet or modern class with respected staff while getting my degree – I don’t know if I’ll be able to do that after I graduate.  I need to not force myself into a desk job or something I think would be a “good decision” after college, because I will hate it if I cannot be dancing. Again, I would rather be dancing…

The best part of the night was the flamenco dancers, Jose de Guadalupe and Rina Menosky. Jose has formed his own flamenco dance performing company, Flamenco Arts, consisting of himself and his partner. His pianist, Richard A. Smith, came with them from Greenville, SC.  As part of my job with Susan, I was responsible for getting many of the guest performers and musicians to come, and I was already excited about seeing real flamenco dancers after my research project on Flamenco dance.

I stood gripping poor Lauren’s arm during their performance.  Both of them were stunning, captivating, fierce, sexy, thrilling, shocking, seductive and powerful artists on that stage.  Their performance fueled the fire in me to learn this newly discovered dance passion. I regret not learning flamenco from my ballet instructors and contacts in Albuquerque growing up, but it’s never to late. And if  I want to find a new challenge in a dance form other than ballet for the future of my dancing life, flamenco holds that challenge.

I have been rolling this over in my head for a few weeks now, and from both the project on flamenco in Dr. Parrish’s class, to watching and talking to Jose and Rina, to my research into Spanish guitar and interviews with guitar professor Christopher Berg, my visit to Spain, background in New Mexican culture, and inclination to use my analytical skills in combination with writing and the physicality of movement, I have decided to gear my Fulbright proposal for grad school in Dance Anthropology. At University Roehampton London in the UK, I could study Flamenco and Spanish cultural dance specifically, as just one branch of my degree. I find various cultures fascinating, but mostly what role dance plays in that. I would love find a job that allows me to dig up culturally rich dance forms, learn to dance it, master to the art form, travel, and write about dance in my adventures. I think I am slowly coming closer to my ideal job… all hypothetical. I wonder who I could find to pay me to write a dancing version of the Lonely Planet? When you see it on bookshelves (or in Kindle websites or whatever) you better believe it was me!

Psalm 117: nearly finished

Praise the Lord, all you nations!

Extol Him, all you peoples!

For great is His steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.

Praise the Lord!

~Psalm 117, written by the sons of Korah

This is what I am left with after the hustle and bustle of putting together a piece based on the Psalm and giving it over to my dancers to light up the stage. The music and the words inspired the dance – the WORD inspired the dance; it is a living word and is “more powerful than a two edged sword”.

I started this post 2 weeks ago, just as I was finishing the choreography, and I already knew that this journey had become meaningful in more ways than I anticipated. Through obeying what I felt God called me to do (finally, after years of resisting, and I am just beginning to break through the barriers), I gained experiences that taught me a lot about the dance world that I could not have learned without stepping into the role of choreographer: what goes through the choreographer’s or dance master/mistress’ head, why they choose the dancers they do, why it shouldn’t be taken personally if you’re not chosen, etc etc…

The creative part is the easiest for me – put on the music, and the movement flows – so much that I often forget what I just did, which can be a problem for trying to teach it to dancers… the difficult part is the intention behind it, because this is no recital.  What I stressed most to my dancers as the performance aspect came closer to conception was just that – INTENTION, and CONFIDENCE.  To put a dance on stage that has a powerful message – a purely scriptural message – you cannot take it lightly. It has to be intentional and it takes a level of confidence to perform the message you’re willing to portray and to let it speak for you. I did it knowing that afterward, every person in the dance department may see at me and think, “oh she’s the religious girl” from now on. I had to be ok with that. And I can tell you, as a dancer and as an artist, that has not always the image I have sought after. I by no means intend to toot my own horn; I am no upright saintly worshipper – but I am a worshipper nonetheless, because my God has redeemed this mess called Rebecca and made something beautiful out of it. Just like Laura Story’s words – “take all of my life, all of my mind… and make something beautiful…so all will see your work in me…”

I wonder, sometimes, if I had a successful ballet career the way I imagined it, if I would have been able to take a stance in the dance world like this yet…maybe he was gracious in that by breaking me of my pride in my talent and abilities before my twenties, I was able to begin to see his purpose for my dancing earlier…. who knows. But I know that God can make something beautiful even out of the mess ups of our lives, and even when things don’t go as planned.

Although “Psalm 117” seems a trifle achievement in the light of the other pieces in the showcase, it was a huge step for me – the risk of putting a piece onstage that for the first time, to put a religious message onstage, set myself up for exposure and criticism, and to do it with other undergraduates. There were a lot of questions running through my mind. What will the other dancers think of me? the faculty? Is my choreography good enough? Should I really aim to work with style different from what I am comfortable with? It was a big risk, and it was finally time to take that risk. I want to give all credit to the Lord, yet I seldom stopped over the course of the last five weeks to ask Him what He wanted to do with this piece… still I am certain He can and will use it for His good. I stressed “intent” and “confidence” in the words the dancers were portraying through their movements. What was the journey for them? Did it have any significant spiritual meaning? That is theirs to keep. I wish I had been less busy and more spiritually in tune with the Holy Spirit so that He could guide me through the process; yet He was guiding me whether I was always aware of it or not.

I just touched the brink of the experience, both in my spiritual and physical talents the Lord has given me. I am thankful more than anything else for the opportunity to put my creation on stage, and for the patient dancers who bore with my often fragmented process.  While I wish I had more rehearsal and more time to pull it together, I am satisfied with my progress and the consummation of the ideas I was able to formulate and project on my dancers in a short amount of time. Thanks also go to Cindy Flach for putting together; it would not have been possible without her, and to my friend Dana Voravudhi for help with the sign language. I hope it was a positive experience for my dancers and that they enjoy dancing it tonight. More than anything, may God be glorified through our dancing and may at least one person’s heart be touched who sees it. I don’t care what happens to my dance career or lack thereof. I want to continue creating dances for my God. He’s the only one whose pleasure I seek. Praise the Lord!

Project: Dancing the Psalms

Over Christmas break I listened to a lot of classical, instrumental and folk music to find some pieces of music to choreograph to. It has been on my heart to choreograph for a while now, and I don’t want to miss the opportunity to showcase and stage  my choreography while I am still in the university setting.  For years people who know me and my passion for dancing and my heart for God have suggested that I choreograph “worship dance” . My Dad always gives me ideas and worship music, but I have been reluctant because my heart has not been at the place where I could worship God un-abandoned and not care what other people thought (and I am still in the process of coming to it) and then the idea of “interpretive dance” in worship services or dances to 90’s contemporary Christian music just made me cringe. As a classically trained dancer, I have a lot of pride in my work and don’t want to be included in the mediocre Christian artists scene. God forgive me for being judgmental of them; I am by no means the best in my field either, but I aim to only perform and give my best. So here I am at the turn of the year and I realized that I can combine my desire to choreograph and dance for myself more with my desire to worship God and praise Him with my gifts. It doesn’t need to be in church yet – maybe God will bring me to that place, or on stage; I will simply begin in the dark, in the secret place, in the studio alone, with my music, notebook, and Bible… My inspiration came from reading the Psalms and the Sons of Korah…I discovered them online in my search for music of the Psalms. I would love to meet them one day. Their music is so uplifting and just what I needed to get started on this project.

The idea to make dances to the Psalms suddenly hit me just the other day as I was going to bed and reached for my Bible. Unfortunately I often leave God till last in my day, something I am ready to change. Instead of it being open to Habukkuk where I thought I had left it, it was open to the Psalms. Psalm  34 stared back up at me, and as I read it the words began to take flight in my heart and come to live in my mind. I could imagine movement, dance to these words…I could imagine them to music…and expressive movement at that, not jsut sign language. I could pray these words back to God through my movemnt – because that is the purest, most natural thing for me to do. That is how he made me, and I can’t explain it, but where my words fail, I can express through dancing, and God who made me must understand my language of movement better than I. It is the least I can do to praise Him and express my gratitude, my joy, my sorrow, my desires, my hurts – and give them to Him. Like the Psalmist, when I start singing or dancing my prayers turn to praise and soon I am filled with joy.

Here is my favorite Sons of Korah song so far and probably will be my first piece because the music is awesome and the words few:

Psalm 117 (English Standard Version)

The LORD’s Faithfulness Endures Forever

1Praise the LORD, all nations!
Extol him, all peoples!
2For great is his steadfast love toward us,
and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever.
Praise the LORD!

This project has been a long time coming, and may be a long process yet. I am looking forward to it growing and seeing what God will do with it. While my choreography is of a personal nature at this point, I will share some of my journey through thoughts and words and links to the songs I use. Maybe one day soon I will have a camera to record and post dances on here, or a video of my choreography on other dancers…until then, pray for me and expect great things from our Lord Jesus Christ. Be encouraged to worship God in your own way as well – it is between you and Him, and who knows what He may do with that in the future! Be blessed my friends.

Becca

Pink Tights Success!

Last week on Wednesday I had to put on the pink tights for the first time in, um, YEARS. But we were already at the theater so my self-consciousness didn’t have much of an effect on my ability to perform. The performances Thursday and Friday went extremely well, I thought, for myself as well as the rest of the company. I was just pleased with myself to be performing onstage again. Being backstage of the Koger Center felt completely familiar and normal, as if not a month had passed since I last performed in it. The last time I performed was spring 2009. It goes to show I feel at home onstage dancing. Every time I stood in the wings before I went onstage this weekend though, I was reminded of God’s goodness to me and thanked Him for the opportunity to be performing again. He truly knows the desires of my heart and saw that they were a good thing and was pleased to give it back to me. I would love to continue performing for as long as God will allow me to, but I think I can say now that it no longer has such a grip on me that it is what I live for, and my primary goal in lie. My primary passion is for the Lord, and in Him I can order my other passions. That is the difference between me and the other dancers. I know that I was made to worship God, and that is what I am doing in my heart whenever I dance or perform. It’s an attitude of the heart, and it’s taken me a long time to figure that out. God willing, it is not too late to get back into performing. I don’t think it is. He has been gracious to me, so gracious and so good!

pink tutu

 

Oh, need I mention I was so worried about my weight before the performance ans how I hadn’t lost any before the performance? I let it go as est I could, and surprise surprise! I had dropped 5lb over the weekend. I guess I just need to repeat that weekend more often: eating mostly just chocolate, coffee and performing!

As if it weren’t enough to have to wear pink tights for my first performance back after a couple years, I had to wear a very PINK romantic tutu for Raymonda variations and a pink and nude unitard/pants suit with attached skirt for Great Galloping Gottschalk. The latter, choreographed by Lynn Taylor-Corbett, was my favorite of the two because it was so much fun to dance. I was one of the four souvenir girls. It was a treat to have Lynn come set the piece on us at the beginning and just before the performances as well. But the best part of this weekend was that my Mom came to see me!She hadn’t seen me perform in 3 years, and that time was in Koger Center with Columbia City Ballet. It was a special treat to spend time with her all weekend, especially since I will not be home again for Thanksgiving. Someday I would like to be home again for Thanksgiving. The last time was 6 years ago.

Well, next I will look forward to performing in our student choreography showcase Nov. 29-Dec. 3 at Drayton Hall, then finishing up all my work (quite a bit of catch up work and papers to write. ugh) the semester and going home for Christmas.  Happy holidays!

Pink Tights Count Down, Day 5

My efforts are futile. I am frustrated by my failures. I don’t have the good things to report I wished I did; and somehow this doesn’t surprise me… In my consideration why I tend to fall back on bad behavior patterns rather than persevere and utilize self-discipline, I like to pretend I don’t know. But I do know. I can’t do it in my own strength, Never have been able to, and if I can, then it doesn’t last for long. I tell myself God wouldn’t care about this my problem or my goal, but He does, and He wants to hear about it from me. He wants to help me, but I have to give it to Him. When will I learn?!! God wouldn’t give me back my dancing if He didn’t want me to do my best and dance my fullest and discipline my  body in order to perform my best. But what is my motivation? People’s recognition or His? He gave me back my dancing so I can worship Him, not so that I can say, “look at me! I’m back! Look what I did!” God, forgive me. God, take the reins!