Sunday, August 24, 2008
I have been teaching children's dance, again, at a church in Pasadena. So far, we've had three performances of "Praise Dance" in Sunday morning services. Morgan is one of the younger and more enthusiastic dancers.
The first two songs that the children danced to were well known worship songs, beautiful ballads that were perfect for elementary ballet and basic arm movements. They were also kind of boring. The young dancers and I asked the Children's Director if we couldn't dance to something a little more uptempo. She agreed.
The song chosen for the third performance was "Shackles," performed by Mary Mary. It has a kid-friendly beat and a specific gospel message. Morgan, very excited, took her CD copy home to practice. However, once her guardian grandparents learned that it was a "hip hop" number, they pulled her from rehearsals.
It was a little heartbreaking to see Morgan's obvious disappointment every time I walked into the Sunday School class, before rehearsal. I told the Children's Director that Morgan's grandparents were welcome to talk to me if they had any concerns about the movement or the lyrics of the song.
I really felt for Morgan. Although it's been many years, I know what it's like to want to dance and not be allowed to, particularly for religious reasons. This restriction is even worse when an actual opportunity to dance becomes available.
I also remember what it's like, as a kid, to feel left out of things.
Maybe I should dig out my old VHS copy of "Footloose" and loan it to Morgan's grandparents.