Penny in the center with her dance team performing on stage

How a Dance Performance Gave Me a Glimpse of a World Made Right

She wanted it to be a surprise.

So when we showed up to watch Penny on stage for her annual Spring Dance Fest, we were expecting the usual. Penny would dance. We would feel proud of her and grateful for the studio that has built into her day after day and week after week and year after year for over a decade now. We would give her flowers and cheer for her and her classmates.

But then her first dance began, and she was doing something different than everyone else. And then the other dancers moved to the side. Penny wasn’t in the back row, a little hard to see. She was performing a solo. Confident. Beautiful.

Her second dance started, and there she was again, front and center. Confident and beautiful. 

It took years of hard work on Penny’s part to build the mental and physical strength to perform like this in front of hundreds of people. It also took a decision on the part of her teachers to feature her. 

Peter and I both sat there, astonished and teary and not even believing what was in front of us. Our daughter. Performing a solo. Lifted up for all to see.

It drew my mind to the passages in the Bible that talk about how God “lifts up the lowly.” One aspect of justice is toppling the mighty, those who use and abuse power for their own glory. But another aspect of justice is lifting up the lowly. 

We don’t all need to be humbled. Some of us need to be exalted.

And when the ones who are usually overlooked and sidelined become the ones who are honored and lifted up, we get a glimpse of more than a dance performance. We get a glimpse of the beauty and goodness of a world being made right. We had a glimpse of that world on Sunday afternoon, when a young woman with Down syndrome took center stage.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Paulette Beurrier

    Love Penny’s dances! I’m happy you have found a studio that values everyone. We have also been blessed by such a studio and wonderful teachers for over 15 years. Faith is 25 and still dancing, they always include her. Often in a solo role, it is less obvious than when she gets out of step. But she can dance beautifully by herself, and her theatrics are spot on!
    One dance that brought me to tears several years ago was with a musical theater/jazz class. The teacher choreographed the Chicago jailhouse number and cast Faith as Mama, the jail matron! It was perfect for her bossy little self!
    This year’s ballet cast her as the queen. First on stage she danced her solo. Then she was seated on stage as the other acts presented their dances for her. Her reactions and timing were perfect. She loved being on stage the entire time!
    It’s a lot of time, Mom, but keep her dancing!
    Love, Paulette

    1. Amy Julia Becker

      I love that there are more stories like ours! Thanks so much for sharing about Faith–we will have to find a way for Penny to keep dancing as well!

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