Since we have started doing dance for outreach, the perspective on dance has developed for the girls. Shifting their focus from ‘performing’ to 'reaching out’ has made such a difference, well helped by the recent dance workshops they attended. Inspired by the testimonies of fellow christians, they themselves have had a wish to shed light into other people’s lives through their own testimony, and this is a great opportunity to do just that.
Before even starting on the choreographies, Allison sat down to talk with the girls about what they wanted to share through the dances and outreach. They talked about the situations they themselves come from and what they would like to give to people in the same conditions. Unifying topics for the talk were shame and hope, and they all agreed that wanting to bring hope and eliminate shame was core for their message. That is where their dances come from and that is what they want to share through their entire outreach.
It takes an effort to keep remembering any perspective all the while focusing on getting every step and position exactly right, but when they are fully focused on God and the message they want to bring to their audience, their presentation is captivating.
We have been so blessed this semester with having our very own ballet teacher volunteer with us. She has been able to work with the girls all afternoon three days a week and even more when needed. While some girls are more dedicated dancers and workers than others, they have all had their struggles and frustrations during the dance journey over the past 4 months, and they have all learned immensely!
Realizing that everything they have been given is from God, a gift to share and serve others with, these dance outreaches have been some of the best outreaches we have had. The performance part might be the least of it. After their show, they do a group lesson on the basic ballet positions and a few steps. That transitions into splitting up the group with each girl relating to one or a few kids, teaching ballet to those interested and witnessing to, laughing with, and just loving every kid present.
With music blasting out of the speakers the dance space turns into an outpour of kids, cartwheels, laughs, splits, chatter, bridges, dance steps and moves. It is incredible seeing how much both groups of kids enjoy and gain from the interaction.
We have great hopes of acquiring a dance teacher for next semester who can build on this firm foundation and take them to the next level. Let us know if you are interested.