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“Right!” yelled Miss Phillips over the chatter of students.“That’s the last dance class of the year! I’ll see you after the summer holidays. Make sure you keep practising. I don’t want to have to do a load of fitness and conditioning work come September!”
The dance studio began to empty.
“You going on holiday this summer?” asked Tia, shoving her jazz shoes into her bag.
“Not sure,” replied Kelvin. “We were going to see my gran in Jamaica, but my mum doesn’t have too much money.”
“Oh, I’d love to go to Jamaica,” said Nadia. “We only ever make it as far as Dorset.”
Miss Phillips sashayed up to the three friends. “Come on, you three, get a move on. And don’t forget to practise over the summer. You’ve all got talent, don’t let it go to waste.”
Tia threw her bag over her shoulder. “Of course not, Miss!” she said, walking out of the door, followed by Kelvin and Nadia.
“Again! Step, turn, pivot. Step, kick, point! Again!”
Kelvin and Nadia kicked and turned and pivoted as Miss Phillips shouted out the steps. But Tia was at least three steps behind.
Kelvin turned to look at his friend. “What are you doing? Keep up!”
“I…can’t…I…oh, my legs…” Tia puffed and groaned as she struggled to follow the routine.
“Tia! What on earth’s going on?” shouted Miss Phillips as she marched up to her.
“Why can’t you keep up? Did you do any practice at all over the holidays?”
Tia bent over with her hands on her knees, trying to get her breath back.
“I didn’t…want to…to get injured,” she wheezed.
“What did I say in July? You have to practise! That’s it. Get your things. You’re going to have to go down to the basic class until you get your fitness back. It’s unacceptable!”
“But nothing. Go on,” said Miss Phillips. “Nadia, take Tia’s place
” Tia grabbed her bag and ran out of the room, down the corridor to where the kids half her age were practising ballet positions. Miss Phillips returned to the front of the class.
“I won’t have people wasting their talent. Right, again! Step, turn, pivot. Step, kick, point! Again!”
- What do you think of the way Miss Phillips treated Tia?
- What do you make of Tia’s excuse for not practising?
- What skills and talents do you have? (Or what gifts has God given you?) How do you make use of them?
- Is it enough just to be good at something (or to have a lot of something, like money or possessions)? Why? Why not?
This story is based on Matthew 25:14–30. Read the passage with the group and compare it with this one. Discuss what Jesus might have been saying through this story, encouraging the young people to think about the parable in a new way.
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