David's brother Michael graduated with his bachelor's this past weekend. So, David's dad had brought his fabulous camera and took some great shots of our family while he was here. These are my favorites!
Monday, May 3, 2010
Here is our dancer, Katie. For those of you who know me, when you read this blog, you're going to say, "Shayla, not this again!" But yes, this again, because ever since I had girls, this has been a huge dilemma for David and I to resolve. Dancing classes. I have several points.
1. Modesty. Swimming has a uniform, a needed uniform. But honestly, that is the only sport where I believe you need to wear those clothes. Dancing costumes are always a huge problem. Sure, I can be the mom who is always complaining about the sleeves, the length, the tightness. I can always put Katie in a position where she has to choose to dance or choose to be modest. Should I make her face these issues while she is so young and impressionable? Modesty is an issue right now with just regular clothes. Dancing is the art of moving your body, but it should not jeopardize revealing your body.
2. Dancing moves. About four years ago, I saw a young girl, just a couple years older than Katie, and she had just learned the shimmy. Go ahead and laugh. But when a child is learning provocative moves, it makes me sick. I don't want to deal with it. Sure, the children are so innocent, its okay, and funny. Nope. Dancing is not thrusting and wiggling. Dancing is exciting and challenging. It can be graceful, fun, entertaining, complicated, or simple. It should be uplifting. But what I see on the football stadium, is not what I want the final product of my child to be. There is more talent in Katie's free style at home, than in the years of instruction those youth have had.
3. The atmosphere. The music needs help. I know I sound old when I say this, but for heaven's sake, turn that crap off! There is such fun music out there to dance to, use it. Also, I have had friends who were talented as dancers and gymnasts of being introduced to eating disorders, peer pressures, and modesty issues. But, you face those everywhere, right? You bet, but in a dancing environment your body can be so exposed and receive so much negative feedback, that the challenges are suffocating. Girls take things to heart, and are influenced more than they should be by what people think. If they are not sufficiently prepared with truth, the atmosphere they have grown up in will teach them that their outward appearance is their value. Our worth is in the atonement of our Savior. We are as the dust of the earth, we would have no hope without the saving grace of His atonement. That is truth. That is what our girls need to know. That is the atmosphere they should grow up in.
So, Shayla, let your children discover, don't keep them locked up until they are ready for college! Well, I don't intend to. I let Katie in a little dance class two years ago, and right off there was a sleeveless costume. So, there I go, heart pounding, feeling sick, and asking the teacher to please give Katie's costume some sleeves. Sure, no problem. If it was so easy, why couldn't we have put them in all of them, why wasn't that the obvious first choice. I had mothers of the other children come up and ask me why Katie was able to have sleeves, and my answer was, that I ask.
The world our children are growing up in is different than the one we grew up in. I think they need more. I feel like I was blessed with talented children, who are capable of so much. They have personality, but more than that, I am praying my heart out that they will grow up with a true sense of what is right and what is wrong. They should not learn that because dancing is a sport, they should be able to wear anything, hear anything, and move anything. That is just not true.
Katie will eventually go into a dance class, and with the way Sarah dances, I know she has that same interest. But when they go, and it will probably be later, they will have a firm conviction that they can be wonderful dancers, beautiful dancers, the best of the best...and they will naturally stand out from the others, because of what they know and what they choose.