We love hearing other women's stories of how they live out their faith in their body, soul, and spirit. We asked Krista Rigsbee, a competitive dancer, to share with us some of her brilliant insight into how she lives out holistic faith through dance.
Krista has trained in over 30 styles of dance, competes year round, and makes the most delicious chocolate truffles :) She has a generous heart, hospitable spirit and vibrant energy. I wrote parts of her responses down in my prayer journal so I could process through their depth and meaning. We very easily can feel our body is a nuisance, a cross, an obstacle to sanctity, but this couldn't be farther from the truth... and Krista explains why so beautifully...
What brought you to dance?
As a child I loved dancing but growing up I found myself unable to overcome the fear of humiliation that came with dancing in public. In college, I was invited to a fusion dancing event by a friend from church. I was inspired, but greatly out of my comfort zone in many ways. I knew I had to keep showing up every Tuesday night. Looking back, I can see how God was calling me back to dancing, back to myself, back to Him.
Six years later, I have trained in over 30 styles of partner dance and am pursuing International Ballroom competitively.
How does your faith play a role in dance?
God loves to teach us in ways that intimately speak to us. Through partner dance I am constantly learning more about who I am and who I need to become as an individual and in relationship.
Every dance, but especially my competitive dance partnership, is a tangible and living parable that opens my eyes and my heart to God’s vision of life and love and His relentless grace.
How do you incorporate body, soul, and spirit in what you do?
When you really dance, you use your body to make visible your soul.
I think this is why it can be so frightening and so freeing at the same time.
Dancing does not just express the music it is danced to, it reveals you. It reveals your deepest feelings about the music, your partner, yourself, and the Spirit that lives and loves through you.
I still fear that when I reveal more of myself I won’t like what I see or worse, I will have nothing to share. But time and time again I see there is always something to reveal because even on the worst days God moves through me...
Sharing yourself in this way (body, soul, and spirit) with your partner and community is vulnerable, beautiful, and sacramental.
Who or what inspires you?
Many people inspire me. I have been blessed with the opportunity to see some of the best ballroom dancers in the world perform. I have also been greatly inspired by the local fusion, argentine tango, and west coast swing communities. Above all I think my greatest inspiration has been my coach. As one of the best dancers and best people that I know, she is a wonderful role model and mentor in dance but even more importantly in life and in faith.
If you could say a word of encouragement to other women who are hesitant to venture into any sort of creative expression, what would you say to them?
If you have a body, you ARE a dancer.
Creative expression, especially dance, is not about technique and it's not about experience.
It is about being brave enough to share the invisible reality of who you are with another person and more importantly with yourself.
This is what we were created to do, we were given a body to make visible who we are and who created us.
If we can do that, there is no way it cannot be beautiful...