I couldn't have been older than 10. I attended what was, at the time, the largest Black church in the Chicago area. I'm a bonafide church kid so there isn't a ministry you could name that I haven't served. This particular one was praise dancing. I loved to dance. Praise dancing opened so many doors for me as a child. It taught me discipline and dedication. It cultivated an appreciation for art and culture. It was my love language to Jesus.
Victory in Praise*, our ministry's name, was preparing to dance during a children's service one Sunday. Here were 20 little women running around like cats with excitement to have our friends and family worship with us through dance. Our hair was on point, our uniforms was poppin, and our dance was choreographed perfection. We were too ready. Our leaders were very overwhelmed trying to bring order to this rambunctious group of young ladies. I, too busy trying to play with my friends before service, wouldn't sit still long enough to secure my uniform's skirt. The skirt was a wrap with this very colorful, tribal print that matched the theme of the music we were to dance to. So after much struggle, I was finally released to enjoy the time before we entered the pulpit.
The song was "Blood and Fire" by Christafari. From the top of the song we heard the screams of the entire room filled with 500 children and adults. The stars were in our eyes and it was go time. I, being the daughter of one of the leaders, and an amazing dancer (at least in my opinion) was front and center, dancing my little heart out. Baaaaaby! When that vamp came I was too ready! We choreographed this lil-baby-AfroChristian-twerk-pop on the beat that would surely have everyone go crazy for reasons I did not imagine earlier.
One lil pop and my budding hips snapped out that skirt so fast. I was beyond embarrassed, but my mother taught me well. She always taught me that no matter what, I should keep going. I Jesus-twerk-popped all the way to the corner of the stage with a smile, let a leader retie my skirt, and pranced back to center stage without missing a beat to the applause of my peers. We finished that dance and I think God was pleased with His children.
I look back on adolescent me with adoration. She teaches me important lessons. I hope to regain the focus and faith that allows me to dance, sing, write, wife, mom, and so much more as unto the Lord, no matter what my current situation is. I pray the same for you. Live like no one is watching, when everyone is watching. Live unapologetically.
*edited. My mother reminded me that the team was still under her leadership during the time and had not transitioned to Expressions of Light.