A recent dance workshop reminded participants at Nelson Avenue Community Christian Reformed Church in Burnaby, British Columbia, that dance is an integral part of worship and communion with God. The workshop and a performance were hosted by the Soli Deo Gloria Ballet group.
Dancers learned new choreography at the workshop.
The events were organized by Stephanie Asselstine, a member of Nelson Avenue CRC who recently spent a year studying dance at Hillsong International Leadership College in Sydney, Australia. It was there that she developed a love of dance as a form of worship.
“Often when we think of the word ‘worship’ we think of songs and music, but the arts, and dance in particular, does not jump to the front of our minds,” she explained.
The workshop explored the scriptural basis for the arts and the role of the arts in the church today, with an emphasis on dance. It also included a practical component in which participants learned a special dance to a piece of contemporary Christian music.
“It was really nice to see how all the participants were able to get something out of this dance and find their own part in it. Even though we didn’t always have the right step on the right note or forgot a step here or there, it’s really all about giving the glory back to God! No matter where we mess up or how off the music we are, he still finds our dancing beautiful and pleasing!” said Asselstine.
An evening performance of Soli Deo Gloria Ballet’s “Ode to the Broken” featured dramatic dance choreography and a testimony by speaker Mercy Hope. A member of the ballet company also danced with some of the praise songs during the Sunday morning service. “Some people came up to me after and said they were just in tears the whole time because it brought a new level to their worship,” Asselstine said.