Well hello there, my dear friends. It has been a while, hasn’t it? Good gracious me, it’s already February, and I’ve not really written since the beginning of the semester. I feel bad about that – I do. I love blogging. It’s one of the best things I do. And being too busy this semester (and last semester too) to keep up with it makes me unhappy – both because I’m not letting you know what’s going on in my life and because the act of writing is cathartic to me and helps me figure things out.
I don’t have much free time, and what little I do have is consumed with homework, cooking and eating, and doing laundry. I don’t like being this busy. I’ve been making steps to change this, for next semester, in some small capacity. I won’t be leading a bible study, for one thing. And for another…
I am currently on Sacred Dance Ministry’s Leadership team. I’m the Treasurer. But I plan to step down from Leadership next semester, and without that obligation, I don’t plan on coming back to Sacred on Saturday mornings either.
Sacred Dance has been changing over the past few semesters. It’s very different now from what it was my Freshman year. I was rather unhappy in Leadership last semester and found even Sacred’s Saturday morning meetings to be tiring and stressful, but I attributed that to the fact that being on Leadership made me feel a greater sense of responsibility, which took away some of the fun. I blamed myself for that – how could I say I enjoyed, loved, needed Sacred Dance if it being a responsibility rather than just something I did for fun was enough to make it…not fun? I struggled all last semester to fix this – to make myself better. The only progress I made was backwards.
With the start of this semester, however, I realized that the increase of responsibility that being on Leadership gave me was not the reason I was unhappy there. Sacred Dance lost many of its members between last year and this. We lost even more members between last semester and this. We have not been able to attract new members to replace those who have left. there are six of us on Leadership, and on Saturday mornings, we make up nearly half of the group. If we left, there would be between five and seven dancers coming. In years past, Sacred had upwards of fifty committed members.
I don’t agree with the way Sacred Dance Ministry is being run and the direction it is heading in. We are falling apart, and being in Leadership meetings where I watch our ministry being directed in unhealthy ways or pulled into situations that do not build it up is not something I want to continue doing. So I am stepping down. I don’t know who will replace me as Treasurer – we have almost no one. But I need to step down. It hurts to say that – it hurts a lot. My experiences in the Dance world previous to coming to Hope were not very great. After my last two years of high school especially, I felt incredibly burned out, and very unhappy with the way dance works – the competition, the judgment, the constant comparisons, the feelings of inadequacy, the negative messages unconsciously sent from teacher to student about what I needed to do in order to be worth their notice.
Coming from this background, Sacred Dance was proof to me that there was still hope. It showed me that dance could be good, could be positive, could be redeemed. It was living proof that I really could partner my faith with something I used to love so much, and in doing so, I could find that love again. Sacred gave me something in the dance world that I could hold onto without feeling like I wasn’t good enough. It taught me to worship through movement, and the other young women I met and got to know proved to me again and again that even dancers could love, even dancers could show support, and yes, even dancers cared about me.
Which was great, because the only people I knew for my first year and a half of education here were dancers.
It breaks my heart now to watch the Ministry floundering. I wish with all my soul that I could fix it. Step in, pick up the pieces, hold them together until they bond and heal again. But I can’t do that – I haven’t the time, energy, or strength. I can’t fight the other members of Leadership for control. I am not a skilled enough leader, a strong enough personality, to take charge – such a responsibility would do more harm to me and Sacred than it would do good. And I can’t compete with the more dominant personalities of some others of the Leadership team when I feel they are leading us astray.
Sacred is falling back into some of the very things I hated most about dance in high school, some of the things I was so relieved to find, my freshman year, that Sacred Dance did not do. I watch Sacred falling apart, and it makes me wonder if maybe I was wrong, and maybe dance can’t be positive, and maybe movement was never meant to be something that builds up rather than tears down, and maybe dance cannot be redeemed.
I hope fervently that that is not the case. And I am praying, and will continue to pray, for healing, for a change of direction, for brave new leaders to step up within Sacred and turn it around. I want Sacred to be for other people what it was for me freshman year. I wish fervently that I could make it all okay again, put all the pieces back where they belong, and make Sacred Dance welcome back the people we pushed away and cut off. Because they need a place like Sacred. They desperately need an environment of worship and fellowship and quiet love. I do too.
I’m not sure what I’ll do with myself on Saturday mornings, next year. I’m not sure what I’ll do without Sacred Dance. But I think it’s best that I step down, step back, and move on. I will find other ways to worship.