Last weekend, my hubby and I volunteered to chaperone at the Bandathon, which is a dance held every year for the members of the high school marching band. I’ll have to admit that I was not looking forward to it. It was on a Friday night and I was tired from a long week.
But, band dances are different from other school dances and I was in for a treat.
First of all, there’s always a theme at those dances. This year was simply music and anything that had to do with it.
There was a girl who simply showed up with musical notes on her shirt. John Lennon was represented. There were rappers present and so were the Village People. The children’s group, the Wiggles, was there. We saw a disco era John Travolta and the more recent group, One Direction. Weird Al was there too.
It was a never-ending parade of different genres and musical styles and that was before the first song was played.
The DJ played music almost exclusively requested by the teens. It certainly wasn’t what I expected to hear at a school dance in 2016. There were line dances like the Electric Slide and the Cha Cha Slide. There was disco music by the Bee Gees. There was a ton of 80’s music and some newer tunes as well.
As I looked out across the dance floor at the eclectic group of teens, I was amazed at how they all danced together in big groups to whatever music they heard. Nobody sat out and no one got left out. From time to time, the parents jumped in and danced too and what did the kids do? They just danced along side us.
I have thought about that dance all through the past week. I have thought about how those band kids weren’t afraid to use their creativity. In fact, they were encouraged to be creative and no one was afraid of feeling stupid. They laughed and clapped for each other as they entered the room.
They cheered each other on. When the DJ played a song from the children’s television show, the Wiggles, the group dressed as the Wiggles, danced together and the other kids danced with them and clapped.
Can you imagine the average teenager, being willing to express themselves like that?
High school can be a rough place and so often, fitting in, is every kid’s mantra. Grown up life can be very similar, can’t it? Things from saying the right thing, to wearing the right clothes, to having the right job, to living in the right neighborhood, to having the perfect kids, can wear us out emotionally, physically and spiritually.
We can get so focused on being just like everyone else that we forget that God made each of us wonderfully unique for a purpose, His purpose.
We weren’t meant to all look alike, or act alike, or think alike. We are different and different is good, because when people of all different ideas, colors, styles, shapes and sizes, come together to let our light shine and build the Kingdom of God, the world takes notice.
And this world is in desperate need of all of our individual gifts and graces. A high school band dance reminded me. Perhaps you needed reminding too.
Have an awesome day!