Dancing for the Lord

Some people praise the Lord through singing or by attending a worship service at their church, but there are a variety of ways to show your praise and adoration of God. One such way that a local group of young people are praising God is through dance.

The Praise His Name! Dance Company of Minot will present a performance of ballet-interpretive worship and Hebraic dance focused on God’s loving mercies. The performance is Sunday at 6 p.m. at the Open Gate Church, 234-14th Ave. SE in Minot. Admission is free and open to the public, although seating is limited and on a first come, first serve basis.

The concept of the dance ministry is to teach and train people to celebrate and worship God wholeheartedly and nurture passionate worshipers who will influence the world for their heavenly father. Worship dance classes include devotional time, basic ballet, Hebraic dance, interpretive dance, free expressive dance and choreographed lyrical dance. Additionally, the ministry does outreach performances throughout the community at churches, Christian events and nursing homes.

At Sunday’s performance, the dancers in Praise His Name! Dance Company will do a number of beautifully modest lyrical, ballet-interpretive and Hebraic Davidic dances to a Christian theme, according to Kristie Martin, co-director and teacher of the company. The theme of this dance semester and of the finale presentation is “God’s Mercies.” “It will be a tremendous line-up of dances presented by the classes as well as heart-moving dances by the advanced dancers and the Praise His Name! Dance Company dancers,” Martin said.

There are approximately 25 students performing in Sunday’s presentation. Three classes were offered this past dance semester at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels for both boys and girls ranging from ages 5 to adult. The classes are taught by Martin and her daughters, Alexa and Abby Eslick, who are also students with the company. Praise His Name! Dance Company currently practices at Faith United Methodist Church, at 6000 Highway 83 North, in Minot. For the first time this summer, there will be a five-day summer dance camp in Minot in August.

Previous training in ballet is not required for the beginner or intermediate levels, Martin said, but the advanced students are required to have regular ballet or dance training. Most of the advanced students train regularly year-round with Rinat Mouzafarov at the Institute of Dance and Ballet, she added.

Praise His Name! Dance Company is fairly new to the area, though not particularly new to Martin and her family. The dance company originally formed in Colorado in 2011, Martin said, and in the fall of 2012 when she and her family moved to Minot, they introduced the ministry here in November 2013 with the offer of winter semester dance classes.

Martin said the finale presentation is meant to be a culmination of the 16 weeks of classes that students just completed. “But more importantly, and in line with the vision of the ministry, it is to be an expression of worship to God through dance,” she continued. “We teach not only dance as a form of worship but, more importantly, worship as a lifestyle.” The vision of Praise His Name! Dance Company is for people to worship God in spirit and in truth with ballet-interpretive and Hebraic dance, Martin said. “This finale presentation expresses beautiful dance in the form of worship in a captivating arrangement of songs from Christian genre centered around the theme.”

The kids love to express their creative abilities as dancers, Martin said. “We encourage their gifts and talents as we help them to grow in their relationship with the Lord through dance.”

People interested in enrolling in the next semester of worship dance classes or who have questions can email Eslick at