This was a couple of years ago when I was with a small but Spirit filled church in Pune and she (the pastor’s wife that is), after watching me dance at a church family camp decided that I had the required credentials to teach the Sunday school kids choreography for the upcoming Christmas Program. I, being a novice then, gladly agreed. If I only knew what was coming...... but the Lord being the Wise One that He is, chooses to unfold things in his own way ....
I hate to say it, but I started on the wrong foot (no pun intended !) . After, choreographing a song, I went on to the humongous assignment of selecting the dance participants. Shaving a roaring lion with a rusty razor would have been easier, but finally I zeroed in on a list. Heavens could not have prepared me for what came next. As soon as the list was out , I was ghaeroed by annoyed mothers demanding to know why I had not selected their child. All my pathetic efforts at explaining they were to be put in the drama and the choir and that the dance required only 8 participants fell on deaf ears. Choreo is what they wanted, and choreo is what they will have ! Sigh ! Hell hath no fury like a mommy whose darling is scorned ! Finally we hit upon a brilliant idea of setting up 2 choreos that accommodated everyone’s desire to shake a limb.
With the mommies pacified, I embarked on the task of teaching the choreo steps to the eager and not so eager dancers in the making. The older kids were relatively easy to manage, but the younger ones had me reaching for my panic aids – my bible & my water bottle more than once. Now, I had no idea that a creature that is about 3 feet tall can have the combined energy of a dozen frisky puppies and 6 ponies. Seriously, there ought to be more awareness campaigns on things like these for unsuspecting inexperienced sunday school teachers! They were either running helter-skelter or bickering with one another or doing their own thing without paying the slightest attention to me. One tiny boy in particular used to run across the room flagging his arms like a football player who has scored the winning goal and return back to his original position, which was kind of cute to watch. Pity, he had this urge every 5 minutes. And the rule of co-ordination does not apply to individuals below 7 years. Each one has his predefined timing which he has randomly but firmly established and any attempts to modify this is futile if not highly offensive to that individual.
While, the seniors were moderately tame initially, when it came to the dance costume, everybody had an opinion. And the opinions of 13 & 14 year olds are not to be taken rightly, so I have learnt. After debating and discussing and exploring options from the mundane to the bizarre we finally decided on something that was both manageable as well as attractive. After all “The Look” is supremely important to today’s teenager!
Finally in spite of the million changes and the zillion encumbrances we faced, both the groups were steadily groomed and were eventually ready to perform. And how they performed! My heart swelled with pride and joy as I saw them on stage, dancing for the Lord. It was then I realised, it is such a privilege to be with young minds and to watch them grow spiritually. It’s like being a part of a wonderful transformation process that is much larger than you ever could be.
I have learnt , it’s not just about a choreo, it’s about how you handle these precious people the Lord made you responsible for in a small but significant way and how are you helping them to know Him better.
Yes, during my stint as a choreo teacher , I have been bothered more than once, but when I see a tiny little thing run across the room just to say ‘hellow teacher’ , or when a 13 year old puts her hand around your shoulder and tells you how she has been kind to someone at school, I know I wouldn’t trade this for anything !
And I would like to think that, at the end of a performance, the Lord looks down from heaven smiles and says “Yeah , that was cool . I liked it ! “
Copyright(c) Neha Shinde 2008