The music beckons the timid crowd to the barren dance floor.

You can almost hear the heartbeats of all the eager dancers as they await permission from the brave soul daring to be first.

And then the moment that seemed to hang forever in the air was shattered by the uninhibited, joyful twirling of the youngest dancer in the room .

Bravery wasn’t the catalyst for her quick response to fill the room with her spirited “choreography”.

The truth was, with less than five years experience, she hadn’t learned to be fearful and intimidated,


Unfortunately, I was in the crowd of hesitant dancers-to-be glued to my chair until someone else responded to the music that called to us all.


Why couldn’t I be like my four year old self, not caring what the world around me thought?

So many times in life we are invited to “dance” with our gifts and talents, or whatever our contribution to the world is.

Yet, we hold back hesitantly, glued to our seat – waiting.

What about you? Why won’t you dare to dance?

I’ve found three recognizable barriers that keep us from following the pull to “dance” in life.

~ The first is Shame

At a recent recital, I enjoyed the spirited (if not accurate) dance routines of girls just starting out on this journey. Towards the end of the number one of the novice dancers spinning a little over zealously ended up stunned,  in a heap on the stage. She stood just in time to exit through the curtain with the rest of her class. As they scurried off my heart ached for her. I prayed that this experience would not hinder her from dancing again.

Too many times in life, we take a chance, try something new only to be met with ridicule when we look foolish or make a mistake. I’ve had numerous conversations with “tried it one-timers” that let the shame (real or imagined) inflicted by the crowd define what they would never do again. Oftentimes it had a residual affect on activities they had yet to try.

~The second is Pain

Whether internal or external, an injury leaves lasting memories that can hinder us from fulfilling the unique purpose for our lives.

I remember a time I was growing as a dancer, constantly trying new choreography. There was no limit to what I would try and my dancing reflected my unhindered emotions. One day, enthusiastically responding to a song on the radio I launched myself into an axel – in my living room! My limited space forced my back leg into a collision with a piece of furniture. Not great planning on my part. I fell in excruciating pain. The long and painful recovery time developed an unhealthy “caution”. I struggled between using wisdom in my dance moves (and locations) and fear of trying new steps at all. I’ve seen the same theory mirrored throughout my adult life in numerous circumstances.

It is hard to get hurt and remain vulnerable in relationships and life experiences.

~ The third is Distraction

I truly believe Ephesians 2:10 which states, that “we are all God’s workmanship, recreated in Christ Jesus, to do the good works which God planned beforehand for us, that we should walk in them.”

We all have gifts, talents, abilities and contributions that the world is waiting for us to bring to the dance floor. Unfortunately, we often get distracted by things pulling at us from every direction. Jobs, family, entertainment, the media – even those closest to us can be that distraction.

I once taught an extremely talented young woman. Her dancing seemed to transport her to another place far from the small town she longed to leave, and it did the same for whoever watched or danced alongside her. A sense of hope exuded from her movements. One day she just didn’t show up for practice. After several attempts to contact her, she finally confessed her boyfriend was jealous of her practice time and “forced” her to quit. My arguments fell on deaf ears and I never saw her again. I mourned over what the world was missing. Even more so, I mourn over all of the people who are deceived by believing they are truly loved by someone who doesn’t support their dream.

For weeks a childhood hymn has been echoing in my mind

“Dance, dance wherever you may be…”

We CAN do this!

Don’t let anything hold you back, the world is waiting.

Will you answer the call to dance?