Game-Changers: Coach BeanWritten by Anna Catherine Bradley
- Published: September 05, 2018
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Often known for its high demands, rigorous training, and intense discipline, the dance world today raises many questions for the Christian dancer.
How can I strive to be an excellent dancer and honor the Lord?
What role does modesty play?
How do I reconcile a very self-centered sport with the reality and implications of the Gospel?
Patriettes Head Coach, Brittni Bean, seeks to help her dancers answer these questions, all while growing and strengthening their skills.
Entering into her third year as Head Coach, Bean is a life-long dancer and a former Patriette herself. But, many of those earlier years of dancing were marked by self-centered striving.
“I grew up being taught that my dancing was about me,” shared Bean. “The goal was to draw eyes to myself. After becoming a Patriette, the Lord convicted me of this mindset, and after four years of dancing in this environment, He showed me that dance can actually be used to glorify Him. It was an incredibly countercultural realization, but I came to understand that the position of my heart does not have to be selfish when I perform in order to grow and succeed as a dancer.”
Her own time spent as a Patriette dramatically shaped how she seeks to invest in her dancers now as she is reinventing the sport of collegiate dance one season at a time. In the spring of 2018, Bean led her team to a 3rd place finish at the National Dance Association National Championships, the highest achievement in program history to date.
While the team has seen great growth and victories on the mat, some of their greatest successes have taken place in Coach Bean’s living room.
A scripture Bean has impressed upon her team is Philippians 2, where we are reminded to do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, rather value others as more important than ourselves.
“If a dancer performs for herself, or to solely attract the attention of those in the audience, then I do not believe that the Lord is being glorified,” said Bean. “While we always strive for modesty in our choreography and wardrobe, it seems to be less about changes on the outside, but rather the heart position of the dancer.”
This spiritual maturity has proven effective physically, spiritually, and socially. The team has walked home with many victories including winning the American Dance National Competition in Texas, and also coming into third place at the National competition in Florida, both during their 2017-2018 season.
Spiritually, the team has grown close through team Bible studies, accountability, and many moments of prayers. Ask any member of the group and their sentiments all align – being a part of the Patriettes is being a part of a group of dancers who are seeking Christ.
In addition to athletic achievements and spiritual growth, the Patriettes are also making an impact in the community. Bean has encouraged her team to develop Kingdom mindsets, specifically by partnering with South Grand Prairie High School’s dance team.
“It has been so sweet to watch our athletes partner with and care for these high school dancers,” explained Bean. “Each Patriette has a 'little' on the SGP Chey-Annes team and we have been able to encourage them through support at football games, one-on-one time with their littles, and simply bonding with younger dancers over a sport we all love dearly. The relationships our girls have built have opened doors to Gospel conversations as these students have gotten to watch our team dance for the Lord.”
Over the course of her years thus far as Head Coach, Bean has, both intentionally and sometimes unintentionally, allowed her relationship with Christ and her mindset toward dance to deeply impact the Patriettes. Be it physically, spiritually, or socially, Bean’s desire to make Christ known has permeated every aspect of this team, and her Gospel-centered leadership has made a mark both on the Patriettes as well as on the world of dance.