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Friday, March 15, 2013

Learning To Be OK With Shy and Less Than First Place


I'm learning to be OK with shy and less than First Place.  I'm not doing it very graciously, but I'm trying to excel at this new concept.

Let me explain:

Last summer, the dance teacher who has taught my oldest daughter from the time my daughter was two years old, retired.

That statement may sound like no big deal when you read it.  However, when you live it the emotions are quite overwhelming.

Let me explain:

This teacher was amazing!


  • She always had a smile on her face
  • She always took care when expressing anything negative at all, though she worked hard so that the negatives just didn't come up very often
  • She encouraged my girls
  • She made the parents feel important
  • She made me feel as though she actually enjoyed teaching my girls, often pointing out places where each girl excelled and even creating individual dances that spotlighted their talents
Oh how I miss this teacher!

We took all of September and most of October testing out other dance facilities and different dance instructors till we decided on one.  With cautious hope we officially began dance lessons with a new instructor in November.  Now, we're heading into showtime and recital season.

If you've ever been around dance studios, you know that the closer recital is, the more nervous most dance instructors become.  This, however, is not something we are used to.  Our former dance instructor was always so happy even when under pressure.

. . . And now to the point of the blog post . . .

Even though we are well aware that the studio we finally decided upon is our best option for our family, and the new instructor has gone out of her way to make us feel welcome, I still don't feel that connection we had with our former teacher.

Upon meeting my girls at the first trial class, the instructor commented as to how she had no idea how shy my girls were.

SHY?

She said the "S" word.  See, the label "shy" doesn't sit well with me!
Why?  Because growing up, I was - and still am really - a quiet person.  QUIET.....NOT SHY!  Please don't confuse the two!

It has been a contentious point all of my life when people confuse the term "quiet" with the term "shy".  They really are two quite different labels.  A person who is shy is most likely quiet.  However, a person who is quiet is not necessarily shy.  We are just people who put our words and actions through a rigorous thought process before allowing them to come out of our mouths.

As a quiet person, I am:

Thoughtful
Cautious
And, even the Bible says that if you keep your mouth shut that even a fool appears to be wise.

I take issue with boisterous people who think that a person who is shy, or quiet, is less than a human being as if we have some sort of confidence issue.  Just because I am not wearing Flamboyant colors and announcing loudly that I have entered a room does not mean I have less to offer the world.

So, when she called my girls "shy", mama bear came out in this otherwise quiet mother.  I let her know how this insulted me, and something else happened to me that day:

I made a mental note that she does not see my girls like the former dance teacher saw them.  I realized we will always be less than First Place in her view.

This became glaringly obvious during last week's dance lessons as she began coming down hard on her classes with showtimes right around the corner.

She really cracked the whip on my older daughter's class.  My girl took it in stride, but I didn't feel as if it was warranted as my daughter is really the only girl in the class who has memorized the dances and has only missed one class due to snowy streets.

Then, came my younger daughter's class.  This is where it really hit home.

My younger daughter cut her teeth on watching her older sis in dance class.  I enjoyed it when other mothers would comment about what a natural she was while they watched her dance in the corner as big sis took her lesson.  As soon as she was of age - 2 years old - I signed her up, and our former dance instructor asked my older daughter to be a teacher assistant at her class.  I still remember having to explain to my youngest that she was not the teacher as she would join the teacher and my oldest in front of the class to show the others how it was done.

At the age of 3 or 4, she was doing a tour jete and then a really fast time step.  It was adorable and quite impressive - And, our former dance teacher took note always encouraging her progress!

Our new dance teacher, however, doesn't see this side.  So far, all we are to her is "SHY"!

Which leads me to the reason for the blog post.

I'm learning to be OK with shy and less than First Place!!!  Is it an easy road?  Not at all.  And, so far continuing dance in the fall is being held in limbo until I see how recital season turns out.

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