Finding Our Rhythm
Author: Dustin Odham
October 10, 2022
Finding Our Rhythm
Many articles have been written about the top ten fears people have in life—the fear of spiders or snakes, the fear of death, or the fear of public speaking. These fears are real, but they are not at the top of my list.
My list basically begins and ends with dancing in public. The thought of being the center of attention in the middle of a dance floor terrifies me. I have nightmares about wedding receptions where I am pulled into the middle of a circle of people and expected to perform.
However, this all changed when my brave five-year-old son (now six, he asked that I include this update) brought down the house at a recent talent show.
Several weeks before this show, my wife, Ashley, and I received an email from our two oldest boys’ teachers, asking if they wanted to audition for the upcoming talent show.
Luke, our oldest, immediately said, “not a chance.”
Noah, on the other hand, said, “I’ll do it.”
“Do what?” we asked.
Noah said, “I’ll dance.”
We asked if he was planning to choreograph something, and he said, “No, I’ll put on my favorite song and just dance.”
Given my fear of dancing in public, I wanted to (and likely tried to) talk (likely begged) him out of it, but Noah wouldn’t budge.
The day came for him to perform, and he was as confident as ever. I, on the other hand, was a nervous wreck. What if he falls? What if no one cheers? Will this crush his confidence?
None of those things happened. Noah legitimately brought down the house.
What I didn’t know was that he had chosen a song that the second graders recently performed in a music class, so as soon as the first beat dropped, Noah had them and everyone else in the audience captivated.
I would love to say that his routine was amazing, but it wasn’t about the dancing. It was about the confidence of a kindergartner to walk up there. . .press play on his favorite song, and just let loose. Check out my Instagram for the video. I’ve been told his left leg was the real MVP.
What I learned that day was the power one kid can have to change the way an adult sees the world. Not only have I embraced the dance floor on my last two opportunities, but I stopped looking at my kids thinking, “What am I going to teach them?” Instead, I focus on what they can teach me.
The story within this story is that Noah and I aren’t always on the same page. I’ve lost plenty of sleep stressing about how I am going to connect with Noah because he and I seem so different at times. That was the magic of this event.
After witnessing Noah’s bravery, I told him how scared I am of dancing in public and how much his bravery inspired me. He responded by naming three other ways he thinks he could help me as a person, and I am not working on those just yet. We can work on those later.
As educators, we are called to find the genius in every kid, but I would challenge each of us to not only find each kid’s genius, but to let them know how that genius has made us better people. I believe our children seeing and feeling the individual impact of their genius is what will light the fire for their future.