Praising God through dance
There’s a new dance school opening soon with a different sort of twist for people in the Minot community, one that will teach youth and adults how to worship God through dance.
Praise His Name! Worship Dance Ministry aims to teach people to worship the Lord in spirit and truth with ballet-interpretive and Davidic Hebraic dance. The concept is to teach and train people to celebrate and worship Jesus Christ whole-heartedly and nurture passionate worshipers who will influence the world for God.
Kristie Martin and Alexa Eslick are the directors of the ministry as well as mother and daughter. Martin grew up as a preacher’s kid and worked extensively as a speaker and leader in a variety of drama, arts and educational programs in churches and the community as a young adult. Eslick devoted her life to God at a young age and began dancing at age 4 at the Westin Arts Academy in Fort Collins, Colo. Several years later, Eslick and Martin began training with Celebration Ministry of Arts, a worship dance ministry based out of Denver, which was a seemingly perfect match for their collective passions.
Seeing the difference in how dance was taught and where and to whom the focus was on, inspired them to multiply this idea when they moved to Minot. Also working with Martin and Eslick is the rest of their family including Martin’s husband Mike, and Eslick’s siblings Chase and Abby, who share in the teaching, leading and outreach of the ministry.
Before moving to Minot, the Martin family formed an inter-denominational dance ministry, a branch of their family ministry Kingdom To Come. That ministry and this new dance ministry in Minot seek to know God’s word and develop a deeper relationship with him and help others to do the same.
There will be two classes each on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons starting on Dec. 3 through April 3, held at Faith United Methodist Church, 5900 U.S. Highway 83 N., Minot. At the end of the 16-week class semester, all of the students will present a performance for the community.
“This is a test run to see how the community responds,” Martin said. She would love to see the numbers grow and be able to rent their own studio, offering classes several days a week, she added. The classes are not just for girls, either, Martin said, as boys are also welcomed and encouraged to join.
Worship dance classes will include time for a devotional study when students will discuss inspirational stories of devoted Christians and look at godly character qualities, warm up, learning the basic foundation steps of ballet, learning traditional Davidic praise dances, learning to express lyrics through interpretive dance, a time for free dance where students can apply what they have learned and personally express their love for God through dance and learning a choreographed dance for the presentation.
Hebraic dance classes will include time for a devotional study, warm up, learning Hebraic dance that includes Davidic praise dances as well as line and partner dances, and learning a choreographed dance for the presentation.
Martin said she wants to help develop the idea of worshipping God through dance and develop a creative side of worship. “We have the desire to see God redeem the art of dance and sanctify it for use in the body,” she added.
“What makes this ministry so unique is that we work to have the classes taught by outstanding youth in the community, young adults who have remarkable talent and training along with a passionate heart for God. It is inspirational to see the youths’ vitality and desire to reach out to others through the dance ministry.” The younger kids look up to the older ones, Martin said, and the older ones set an example of a commendable lifestyle while also making use of their talents. She hopes to find other young adults in the community who have the aptitude along with a heart for God in order to grow the dance ministry.
There has been a lot of positive response toward the idea of this dance school, Martin said. “People are really happy to see it being offered and they feel like Minot needs it,” she added.
For more information on registering for worship dance classes, contact Eslick at alexa@KingdomToCome.com or call Martin at 970-589-5804. Classes start Dec. 3.