The first BDH Summer Dance Intensive ever was AWESOME! The two week intensive was filled with hard work, limits being pushed, fun, friendship, and excitement about Jesus! We had guest choreographers (London Bruce, Rachael Arnwine, and Tamara Parrish) in the studio teaching and choreographing with our students as they explored West African, Jazz, and Contemporary styles. The conditioning sessions were in the form of yoga (led by Mrs. Shawandra) and pound (led by Mrs. Ginger). Conditioning was used to help improve technique and performance in all dance forms by strengthening the dancer's core while developing coordination, balance, and alignment and optimizing flexibility. The ladies worked their bodies physically, but also spiritually and mentally. We had daily bible study lessons which were designed to creatively teach values and character we want students to grasp in preparation for a fulfilling future. In addition, we held healthy habit sessions. The topics covered in those sessions were self-care, nutrition, fitness, mental & emotional health, and injury prevention.
We are thankful for the numerous individuals from Christ Church Memphis and other volunteers who helped lead bible studies, dropped off meals, and taught healthy habit sessions. We appreciate everyone for sharing their gifts, time, and wisdom with our students. It was great to see them be challenged, inspired, and encouraged. And a big THANK YOU, once again, to St. Mary’s Community Fund for sponsoring this opportunity. We’re so grateful to have such wonderful partners. We get overwhelmed as we think about how God has been so faithful in providing resources and people who are willing to help advance the work HE is doing through the Bing Dance House.
A Dancer's Experience:
I have been a part of the Bing Dance House for 6 years. The reason I enjoy going to the Bing Dance House is the inclusiveness, laughter shared, new friends made, and life skills & lessons taught. During the dance intensive this summer, I have learned that every style of dance is unique and requires different things. For example, in jazz you have to be cute and sassy and wear uncomfortable shoes. In West African, you have to be energetic, your knees are always bent, you are barefoot, and it is not cute. In contemporary, you must show emotion in your movements and face.
We also had healthy habit sessions in nutrition, self-care, fitness, injury prevention, and emotional/mental health. I learned that emotional health is how we think and feel. It is acknowledging our own emotions as well as others. This helps you to name and process them in healthy ways. For example, you might choose to compassionately confront someone who hurt or angered you rather than lashing out at them. Mental health is something you can’t control. Those are things like depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and addictive behaviors. I use to think emotional and mental health were the same thing.
We also built and strengthened our relationship with God by having Bible Study. One thing I learned is that you should have the same attitude Jesus Christ had. And Jesus’ attitude was forgiving, helpful, kind, loving, and selfless. It was overall virtuous. We had memory verses that went with each bible study. Mrs. RaSheema always says if you can’t repeat it, you don’t know it, and if you don’t know it then you can’t obey it. The memory verse to help us have an attitude like Jesus is Philippians 2:5 (NLT) which states, “you must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.” I also learned that people with integrity will not be misled throughout life and they won’t go down the wrong path because they choose to do what is right at all times, not just when certain people are around. However, people without integrity will be destroyed by their own duplicity; otherwise known as being two faced. The memory verse for that was Proverbs 11:3 (NIV), “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.” The last thing I learned in Bible Study is that you should be determined in everything you do. The verse for this was Philippians 4:13 (NKJV) which states, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” No matter what I face in life I can overcome it because Jesus is with me and He’s giving me strength to face my fears and other challenging situations. I'm glad I participated this summer.