'Project Dance' enlightens dancers of all levels

Contributed photoContributed photoI stood at the edge of the raised stage with my fellow dancers, waiting for our turn to perform. It was slightly chilly, and we were all just a little bit nervous. The piece before ours ended, we walked onto stage, and the music began. The gentle breeze played with our hair as we danced in Times Square. What an exhilarating feeling.

We were there with Project Dance, an organization which gathers professional, pre-professional and aspiring dancers for training and performances.

This program serves 800 dancers annually, utilizing more than 70 volunteer dance teachers throughout its events. Project Dance envisions the day when every dancer is nurtured to their fullest human potential for their own well being and their contribution to our world. Their mission is to bring hope and healing to culture through the universal language of dance.

From April 16-18 I attended this event, along with Noelle Partusch, our choreographer, and dance majors seniors Christopher Taddiken and Heather Gorres, juniors Christine Wilbur and Bridget Toms and freshman Joshua Muñoz.

On Friday, we visited an expo to gather information about professional Christian companies, learned a group dance and attended the kick-off dance and music concert.
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Saturday was devoted to ongoing performances in Times Square, the group dance performed on the hour and an audition for professional Christian companies. Our group performed it on Broadway.

On Sunday there was a service in the morning followed by a series of master classes taught by members of the Rockettes, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, the New York City Ballet, and the Broadway stage, just to name a few.

“For me, the whole weekend of Project Dance was a huge blessing! It was refreshing to be in the excitement and business of NYC and yet surrounded by fellow Christian dancers” Gorres said. “Seeing liturgical dance is always encouraging. It reminds me that God gave me the gift to dance and that I should be dancing for Him and sharing my hope, peace, and joy with others. The classes were wonderful as well; I especially enjoyed Steve Rooks’s modern class because it was fun, fast-paced and technically challenging. I look forward to attending many more Project Dance weekends in the future.”
For those of us who want to dance professionally in a Christian company, the experience was invaluable. To learn more about Project Dance and its upcoming events, visit www.projectdance.com.