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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Interesting dance

A while back I went to a stake women's conference with Hilary. There was a performance by a BYU dance group, which was introduced as a modern dance piece. That was enough to make me groan inside and nearly tune out. No offense to any modern dancers, but I personally don't enjoy it at all. Usually I watch it and go, "Yeah? So?"

So, I prepared to be bored. Then the dance instructor came out and explained that they wanted to do something different, so they worked together to come up with the dialogue (yes TALKING) they would include in the dance piece. They were going to talk? Okay, this ought to be interesting ...

Turns out it was incredible. I was touched. I was moved. And I was shocked at how good it really was. Their statements were short quips, mostly beginning with I am. In the introduction they mentioned the power of those two words. I wrote down a few of the sentences I found powerful during the dance:

Can you see me?
Can you see who I am?
See me for who I am, not for who you want me to be.
See me for what I can become.
My body is NOT an object.
My body is a gift.
My body is wonderfully flawed.
My body is different -- find beauty in it.
My husband is not my identity.
My job is not my identity.
My children are not my identity.
My social life is not my identity.
My identity is who I am inside.
My life has meaning.
My life has purpose.
My life has direction.
I am beautiful just as I am.
I am happy just as I am.
I am enough just as I am.
Listen to me.
I speak softly -- don't you hear me?

It was incredible. I don't know that I can even convey here how really awesome it was to have these college students saying these statements. All of the girls were not your typical dancers -- one or two were heavier, and there was a little person in the dance -- and yet their dance was more moving than accomplished dancers I have seen in the past. Their statements made me feel like I can be powerful and enough just as I am.

The woman introducing the dance said that often women feel invisible -- even women of faith. We somehow think that if we're not perfect we don't have value. She said even soft voices can change nations, and that power is inherent in every woman's voice.

She also mentioned a great analogy of our work. She said that of the great cathedrals in Europe, nobody really knows who built them. However, God knows. And just like nobody really may know what we're doing with our lives and our children, God knows. He appreciates and loves us and knows the power we possess -- just as we are.

I'm sure this isn't coming through as powerful as I felt it, but hopefully it can inspire you other moms to know that we are changing the world, one child at a time!


Hilary said...

Amen, Denise! The dance was really quite amazing -- something every teenage girl should have to chance to see. I didn't realize you had written down what they said, Denise. Thanks!

Dashley said...

Oh, Denise thank you for that! I did feel it powerfully. That was what I needed even though I didn't know it at the time if that makes sense. I am going to copy and paste that and put it on our Relief Society bulletin this week because I think that is something more people need to hear!