Our physical activity of choice is dance. Each of my girls started in a combination ballet/tap class at the age of three. My 2 1/2 year old (3 in November) is the youngest to start. I wouldn’t normally start a child that young, but she has shown an unusual aptitude for dance. Entertainment should have been her middle name because she can really put on a show. Well, Grace is her middle name, so maybe I wasn’t too far off.
My oldest daughter starts her ninth year of dance this week. After several years of the combination classes, she took two years of ballet and now is on her third year of tap, her true love. She thinks she wants to be a dance teacher when she grows up. This is a reasonable goal since it could be family friendly and allow the flexibility to homeschool, if she so chooses. As a step towards that goal she wants to be on the dance team at the studio where we take lessons. That is a huge investment of time and money, neither of which we have an abundance. For now, it’s a non-issue since the studio director declined her and told her she needed a stronger ballet background.
She wasn’t terribly surprised and not to be deterred asked how she could get the extra ballet experience. We told her if she wanted to take a ballet class in addition to her tap class that she needed to find a way to pay for it. Obviously, if we can’t pay for an additional class, we can’t pay for the team fees. However, as I told her, God can do anything. Dance can be her dream, but it’s up to God if dance is her calling. If it’s her calling, then God can arrange for some way to provide the funds, such as a scholarship.
As I laid this out to her, I told her to pray for opportunities to make extra money. She’s too young for a job, but even at her age, she can work a few hours every so often to earn some money. I put the word out to some friends who might need help, and so far she’s earned two months of her tuition.. With school starting, her availability will be curtailed, but I told her to keep praying and saving. It’s hard for a 12 year old to have money and not spend it. Come to think of it, it’s hard for me, so it’s got to be extra hard for her.
If she cannot make enough to pay for the lessons or the opening on the team doesn’t work out, it’s not the end of the world. I see this as a faith exercise. Ask God and prepare as if He will provide. If He doesn’t provide or in some way changes the plan, then you have an answer. Maybe it’s a “no,” but I’ve learned that a “no” can be a great answer. It means there is a “yes” somewhere else. Alternatively, if God provides or presents an opportunity, and you are not prepared, then it’s a mistake that is hard to fix.
Honestly, this is her first “I wanna be” dream, and it could change 500 times in the next five years. My goal is to teach her how to work for her dreams and to trust God for direction and provision. She will not necessarily avoid all the failures I experienced, but certainly she will have a better handle on the faith thing than I ever did at her age.