"I love being a counselor at Ballet Magnificat!'s Summer Dance Intensive Workshops, even though I often feel inadequate. It is an awesome joy and privilege to serve the dancers, in whatever manner is needed, showing love, acceptance and grace daily. I view the position of counselor as a combination of many roles: counselor, teacher, second mom, nurse, artist, activity director, intercessor, courier, and friend. Every dancer's needs are unique, and every day brings a different challenge and adventure. I have to rely totally on the Holy Spirit for wisdom, discernment, and strength. God does amazing things with the dancers, as well as with the counselors. I often think I learn (and receive) more than the students! Ministering at Summer Workshop is the ultimate in multi-tasking -- and I wouldn't miss the opportunity for anything!"
Jayne Kier, Acworth, GA
I first came as a counselor because I didn’t want to send my then 14-year old daughter to Jackson MS by herself. As a counselor, I could keep an eye on things; what I found was unexpected. I found the Lord not only works in the hearts of dancers, He also works in the counselors’ hearts, too. He has brought healing in many areas of my life while at each workshop. Here I thought I would be teaching and ministering to dancers, but many times I was the one ministered to. Another unexpected surprise is the life-long friendships I have made with other counselors. God has brought many deep relationships due to the experience of being a counselor together – and we’ve had LOTS of fun! Every year I look forward to spending July in Jackson – as long as the Lord is willing!
Lori Plyler, Santa Clarita, CA
At age 13, our daughter wanted to attend 2002 Summer Intensive, but she had never been away from home. So I decided to accompany her as a counselor. I must admit that I had dual motives in coming because I wanted to "check out" Ballet Magnificat for myself. I wanted to see if they were "real!"
We would need almost double the funds for both of us to go. But as usual, God showed us His cattle on 1,000 hills! He ALWAYS enables those He calls! A friend encouraged our daughter to write support letters explaining the ministry of dance to family & close friends and then He started sending in the needed funds for us both.
I truthfully came blindly and then fear flooded my heart as the time got closer. What had I committed to? My inadequacies haunted me, but God helped me to put one foot in front of the other. She and I planned, listed, shopped, and packed and through it all, we bonded even stronger as mother/daughter.
Upon arrival, my girls welcomed ME and made ME feel comfortable! What a blessing! (We're still friends today!) On the very first day, I heard God say "next year...a month!" I loved every easy AND difficult moment of it all! There's time for sillyness and trips to Super Walmart. There's time for serious spiritual talks with tears on your shoulder and trips to Super Walmart. There are cafeteria lines and lots of walking to and from dorms and trips to Super Walmart. There are rules to follow and rules to enforce and trips to Super Walmart. Did I mention that we shop at Super Walmart?
At the end of the 2 weeks, I probably wept harder than they did because I did NOT want to leave my new girlfriends! (Who wouldn't want to feel about 20 years younger AND befriend 12 girls who think whatever you said or did was cool with them??)
Personally, God dealt with my hidden feelings of inadequacy and used the girls to affirm ME!
Spiritually, digging into God's Word with others was JUST what I yearned for and I grew!
Relationally, I met countless friends from all over the world!
Where else can you experience escape from the routines of life and see GOD imparting HIS wisdom, love and acceptance to young people all around me?
This ministry is MORE THAN REAL and VERY TRANSPARENT! (I have tested it and found it to be true!) Jesus IS the desire of their hearts as He is mine! My life has been changed through the ministry of The Word, dance, worship, singing, friends, and trips to Super Walmart. Having been a counselor for 4 years now, I have been able to see God prove His Word (Eph 3:20) to me as He does exceedingly abundantly beyond all that I could ever ask, think, dream, or hope!
Do prayerfully consider joining me as a counselor whether you bring a dancer with you or not! Just email me and I'll give you my packing list!
Linda Hurstell (Atlanta, GA)