It has always been a part of me.
So I wasn't surprised in the least when it became a part of her as well.
My daughter loves to dance, and she has a real gift.
It started when she was a baby. We would do "Jesus time" at home or at the House of Prayer when we lived overseas in Central Asia. It took about 30-45 minutes to get across town to the House of Prayer our teammates had set up. Sometimes we would take the underground metro and walk the rest of the way, or sometimes we would take a taxi. A passerby would most likely not even notice the small alleyway that led to the old building which housed the prayer room we so dearly loved. Taking our shoes off as we entered, we walked up a flight of stairs and plopped down in the room filled with a simple CD player, a few inspiring posters, decorations, and craft supplies. Sometimes I would meet a friend there with her child and sometimes we would go alone, but no matter what, we adored the prayer room. With music playing, I would watch Sitora dance for Jesus and learn from an early age what it meant to spend time lavishing her love and devotion to Him. Sometimes we would make crafts (I called it "Baby Praise") and other times we would just pray and dance.
Fast forward to age 8, and Sitora has now been a part of two different dance companies after moving back to America. The first one we tried a few years ago was a typical dance studio. She enjoyed it but I wasn't impressed by the atmosphere. What I heard being said it the waiting room by staff members and dancers broke my heart and made me question if Sitora should continue dancing there at her young impressionable age.
Through the various homeschool groups we were a part of I finally heard about First Position Dance Company in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Never before in my life had I heard of a dance studio that focused on worshiping the Lord like I had done with my children during our Jesus time at home. My boys love Jesus time just as much as their sister, although sometimes they modify the dance portion to "jump on the pillows to keep from burning up in the hot lava floor" time ;)
The company focuses on the dancers' character and relationship with Jesus through mentoring and Bible studies, as well as teaching dance with excellence. Sitora has absolutely adored every minute of dance this past year and not only have I seen her grow in her dance skills, but she has also shown a desire to start her own Bible study for girls! The company has a beautiful and God fearing atmosphere and their performances share the gospel with power and creativity. There was drama, acting, testimonies, videos, rap, glow in the dark props, glitter, confetti, and of course dancing!
I was asked to photograph the dress rehearsal, and on the day of the performance I snapped a few photos as well. It is no exaggeration when I say that I was crying nonstop while taking these photos. Watching these students (boys and girls!) glorify the Lord with their talents and abilities while uplifting praise and worship music played just wrecked me... in a good way. I was continually wiping my eyes in between each click of my camera button.
May my daughter and sons always long to worship the Lord with all of their mind, soul, and strength.
Here is a short clip of Sitora doing her worship dance before the performance. The dancers all prayed together for the show and anyone coming who might not know Jesus as their Savior. The gospel is clearly presented in many forms during the show and our prayer as a company is that everyone coming will be touched in their relationship with God! After the prayer time each dancer took a turn doing worship dance for the Lord. Cue the waterworks.