Thursday, August 16, 2007

What If...I taught them to dance?

This morning I received a phone call from a colleague from long ago. (For those of you who don't know, I am a retired ballroom dancer.) Alfie and I go back 17 years. Wow, I can't believe it even as I write it!

I was a 19 year old kid who walked into the studio with all pomp and fluff. I knew nothing about ballroom dance but I was practically born in a traditional dance studio. I was on a mission...to get the audition and a place in this dance company.

The studio was bustling; dancers everwhere rehearsing, teaching, coaching. It was magnificent! My eye turned to the main ballroom and there he was...the most beautiful male dancer I had ever laid eyes on...Alfie. Grace and strength exuded. I was mesmorized.

I got the audition (and ultimately a place in the company) but very rarely was Alfie to be my trainer. He was far too booked to have time for the likes of a "trainee" like myself. But...when I did get him, it was incredible. His knowledge was unsurmountable. His quiet South African accent soothed my soul. There was (is) something about Alfie.

Alfie left the company a year after I began my ballroom dance career. But, years later, he and I would reunite and work together for a time. Once again, years have passed and today he called me with a prosition:

"Randee, I have highly recommended you to an organization that educates children with behavioral, developmental, and learning disabilities. Last year, I spent every Friday morning with these wonderful students through a grant. The grant was not renewed so I made other commitments for my Friday mornings. I got a call from the school. A wealthy woman is funding the program for this school year. Are you interested in teaching these students? It was a wonderful experience for me. I want you to know that you are the only one I recommended."

He gave me the contact information of the woman in charge and I called her. We had a lovely discussion and set an appointment to meet next Friday. I explained that I was home-schooling my oldest child this year and she welcomed him to join in the instruction. As the matter of fact, the students are his age!

What If...I taught them to dance? These students are (supposedly) entering life with the strikes against them. But I know from experience how often it is individuals like these that impact my life so greatly. I also know how "beauty" in whatever form touches the soul. I don't know what will happen in the interview but something tells me...

Teach them to dance.

9 comments:

Kimberly said...

Randee... That's fantabulous. God knows what He's doing.

I've never been any such an influence that people seek me out like that. However, I do love it when an opportunity arises that allows me to minister to people.

This opportunity for you seems like such a splendid opportunity.

"Teach them to dance".

Lori Arriaga said...

It is so nice to be able to keep in touch with friends and colleagues over the years. It says a lot about a person that comes highly recommended for a task such as that. Not everyone can and I am sure if this turns out to be the direction God would have you take, I know you are going to "teach them to dance" beautifully as you are a beautiful woman of God.

Assistive technology said...

How flattering and exciting! You should absolutely do it. It would be such a great experience for you, and your son, and the children that you would be teaching.

Randee said...

Ladies, thank you for your loveliness. How blessed I am to be among you.

Kimberly, it wouldn't surprise me a bit if upon your journey to heaven, God reveals all the "influence" you had while on earth.

Lori, your kind words fill me up...as usual. How very important you have become in my life. I love you much, sister. Sorry, I havn't returned your call. It's been a full day. Talk soon.

And, Assistive Technology...welcome to The What If...? Women blog. Thank you for your words of encouragement and I agree...it would be a great opportunity; for myself, for my son, for the students.

I'll keep you all posted!

Anne said...

Oh Randee, I just laughed out loud and got tears in my eyes when I read your post. I think it could be such a huge blessing for those students. You never know what kind of influence it may have on those young people to learn something that requires skill, beauty and grace, and what effect it may have on their self-esteem and self-confidence. And Tristan will get to see his mother not just as his teacher, but a teacher of others as well. No doubt that God will touch your heart through your dance ministry to these children who need so much. How amazing. How beautiful that you were the only one that Alfie recommended!

NYCindividual said...

I worked at a camp for the disables a few years ago and we preferred to call them the differently abled. I'm sure you'll do a wonderful job!

Shari Thomas said...

Randee, I worked as a volunteer for about 17 years before becoming employed by a faith-based organization working with developmentally challenged individuals.

Two things had the MOST POSITIVE effect on these folks. Faith, expressed directly and simply as a love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and music... the universal language.

Even individuals who were both non-verbal, and non-ambulatory were moved by both.

You've got dance in your bones, and Jesus in your heart. You'll do an awesome job!

Shalene said...

Yeah for Randee! I've been gone awhile, so does this change your outside work dynamic? I'm sorry if I'm a bit out of the loop, now. I miss you ladies. :) Love you all and pray God's blessings on all of your lives.

Randee said...

Ladies, you are such a blessing to me. Your encouragement just overwhelms me. Thank you.

NYC Individual...love your positive label and I agree. We have a gentleman who goes to our church with Down's Syndrome. He is so precious. When he worships God, my heart melts. Sheer bliss. We could really learn alot, couldn't we? Total abandon. Total beauty.

Shari, thank you for sharing with me a little piece of your life. What a testimony...17 years! I'd love to hear your stories.

Shalene, God hasn't chosen to relieve me of my current "outside" work situation but He has done a work on my heart. All is well. Thank you for asking.