Project Dance® is a movement of dancers seeking to positively impact culture through artistic integrity. They offer training, education, and performance opportunities for dancers worldwide who desire to dance with integrity to inspire.
A group of 17 dancers, three instructors and five brave parents gathered at MSP airport before sunrise on Thursday, April 24th, eager to head to NYC. Although expecting a memorable weekend, the group could not have anticipated the impact of what was to come!
The itinerary included private classes at Broadway Dance Center, DANY Studios and the world-famous Alvin Ailey studio. PSOD Program Director, Sarah Steichen, appreciated the wisdom imparted by the Brazillian Alvin Ailey instructor, “I believe in possibilities. Ladies, are you dancing like you believe in them?” He encouraged everyone to “dance larger than they ever had before” and it was really incredible to see our girls rise to the occasion!
EP Junior Sara Bergen said, “It was amazing to take Master classes that pushed me out of my comfort zone. I also loved the integration of faith and dance our teachers included.”
Saturday morning’s performance on Times Square was the highlight for most; they performed “Oceans” by Hillsong United, choreographed by PSOD Instructor, Mallory Dykema. A man in the audience was overheard as saying “Never before has watching a dance made me cry, but today it has.”
Dykema said, “The first moment our PSOD dancers took the open-air stage was very moving. There they were expressing beauty and truth amid the hustle and bustle of NYC. With commitment and conviction, they bravely took the stage and gave such an incredible gift to the viewers. However, the impact was bigger than my choreography and their dancing. The dance was being used by our great God to express beauty and truth to his beloved people. He gave the dance life beyond the stage and in turn gave their dancing significant purpose. I was reminded that when we offer anything up to God, he breathes life and power into it and it is life-giving to experience Him at work.”
Chaperone Susanne Hoy said, “It was such a beautiful thing to watch the girls stop thinking about the steps and just dance from their hearts!”
Junior Maddie Klein won’t ever forget this experience, “Project Dance gave me the opportunity to combine my love for God with my passion for dance, while spending time with my friends and taking in the amazing city of New York.”
When they weren’t dancing, the group enjoyed a bus tour of NYC, lunch in Central Park as well as a night on Broadway seeing, The Lion King.
— PSOD Director Sarah L. Quie strongly supports the mission of Project Dance®. She led a group of PSOD dancers to Washington D.C. to perform on the National Mall four years ago and plans to take part in Project Dance® NYC again in 2016. “While very few dancers actually make it to Broadway, our girls had the opportunity to perform on Times Square and they’ll always cherish this incredible experience!”