By: Sister Cadence Choo (9 years old)
Since young, I have always admired the beautiful and gracious dance of a ballerina on stage. Their poise, gentleness and elegance left an unforgettable impression in my mind. In an instance, I fell in love with ballet and dream of becoming a ballerina. According to my parents, my love for dance is not a recent thing. It started way back when I was a two-year old toddler dancing with a streamer for the Lord in the Holy Spirit Retreat in 2012. On many occasions my parents saw me dancing, be it at home, in retail shops, restaurants, at church or any places when my instinct just present itself. Whenever there is music, my feet will send me twirling and swirling around the place. That was when they felt the calling for dance in my life.
Like any supportive parents, upon my request, they enrolled me for ballet class when I was four years old. Since then, I enjoyed my dance classes and was always looking forward to our annual dance performance at the University Cultural Centre. My last performance before the onset of Covid-19 pandemic was in 2019.
My parents took every opportunity to groom me. I was given a chance to attend Masterclass with the Singapore Ballet Academy in 2019. What an honour! However, an invisible struggle stroked me while I was preparing for my grade 1 exam. I was 7 years old then and have never taken such exams before. Naively, I thought dance was easy and I do not need to practise in order to do well. The belief has led me to take the gift of dance that I have for granted. Never for once did I put in any effort or heart into practice nor took ballet seriously. I recall practicing my grade 1 exam only a day prior to my exam. Things have come to a standstill for me. I no longer feel the joy that I used to have for ballet. I no longer display enthusiasm to dance to the music. I no longer look forward to ballet classes anymore. I started giving excuses and even vent my anger when my mom reminded me that it was time to prepare for the class. Where has my passion gone?
My parents noticed a change in my attitude and contemplated about stopping my ballet enrichment. However, they did not do so immediately hoping that I would change my attitude and to take responsibility for what I have once requested and be committed to it.
The ultimatum came in August 2020 when daddy broke the news that he will stop my ballet class with immediate effect. I was sad but there was nothing I could do to make him change his mind. Daddy said ‘Talent without passion will not lead me anywhere.” His decision is not based on the results I got for my exams but rather my attitude. He said even if I got a B or C despite working hard, he would still be proud of my achievements as long as I do my best. Though I manage to obtain high merit for both my grade 1 & 2 exams, my ballet enrichment was formally stopped in September 2020.
In my sadness, I watched videos of accomplished ballet dancers and slowly picked up dance again at home. I miss the times that I danced with my friends in the studio. I miss learning from my teacher. This goes on for about two months. After some time, Daddy saw a change in my attitude and re-enrolled me back to the ballet school in November! Praise be to God!
Though it was only a two-month ordeal, it seems like a lifetime. Ballet used to be something that I was good at and passionate about but changed to something that I lose interest and avoid overnight. Through this experience, I learnt that ballet is not just about looking pretty or putting up a performance to impress. Rather, it is an art that builds up my resilience and character. I have to learn to count my blessings and cherish everything that I have.
I began to ponder over Daddy’s word and had a better understanding. It is true that when we don’t have passion for something, there is no motivation factor to push towards success. We will always be happy in our comfort zone and have no desire to improve ourselves. A life that leads to complacency which is not pleasing to God. It is only by upholding faith and perseverance that we will be able to shine as we taste the sweetness of our labour.
I would like to encourage those who are currently undergoing difficult times with Philippians 1:6 “And I am certain that God who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ returns.” God is a faithful God. He will never start something and not finish it. We are all destined to be God’s finished work. So, no matter which stage of life you are in, be assured that He is with you and will see you through. Amen. Thank you everyone for reading this testimony which I hope will encourage you and your family. I give God all the glory!