One of my great joys has been watching my daughter grow into a beautiful person and a beautiful dancer as well. She started dancing when she was very young and is now a ballerina in college. Along the way, I’ve learned about the pain and the sacrifice and the courage it takes for her to get on stage and dance in front of people.
I’ve also learned about audiences.
At some performances, the audience shows its appreciation frequently and loudly. At others, the crowd is subdued and reserved. The dancers know that each audience will react differently.They go on stage and do what they do as best they can, unsure of the response they’ll get at the end.
Polite applause? A standing ovation? Whoops and whistles?
They don’t know. They just dance.
And they inspire each of us to follow their example and do the same.
Life is a process and a performance. Each of us is born onto a universal stage. We get to decide whether we will dance to the music that we hear.
Each of us hears it a bit differently. We interpret it in our own way. We have our own style. And I’m guessing we all feel those occasional moments of fear.
Is my dance good enough? Can I perform it well enough? What if I stumble on a step? How will the audience react? Will anyone applaud?
We doubt ourselves. We have moments of stage fright.
We hesitate to do something because we worry about the reaction. We hide feelings because we’re unsure how they’ll be received. We shy away from being fully ourselves because we worry that we won’t measure up.
The audience may not love it as much as we do.
Often, we’re tempted to hide in the darkness behind the curtain instead of stepping out into the bright lights on stage. But then we hear the music playing and realize the curtain is parting.
What will we do?
Maybe this: Remember that the dance doesn’t depend upon the reaction of the audience. It’s glorious no matter how it is received. And it’s worthwhile regardless whether it’s performed for an audience of one or an audience of a thousand and one.
The beauty of the dance can’t be measured by tickets sold or curtain calls received.
So dance. Dance to the music you love. Dance the way you’re inspired to move. Don’t worry about whether there’s an audience and how it will respond.
Someone is always watching and applauding. The dance is always beautiful in its own way. And the world needs more beautiful dancing.