Welcome to a Dance Year All About UNITY!

Welcome to a Dance Year All About UNITY!

I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. John 17:23 We are so excited about the 2016-17 Dance Year! We have had a great start already – getting to work with our classes for a month now. Thank you for joining us this year! We are thankful for each of our students and families! We want to also welcome Miss Amy to our Front Desk this year! She is joining Miss Angela & Miss Bridgette and is enjoying getting to know everyone. The Front Desk Staff is always available to help if you have any questions. The instructors and I spent a great deal of time this summer and into the start of the school year refreshing and updating curriculum. We will continue to work to make the content that is taught here at MKS top-notch, challenging and enjoyable too! We will also be sending out letters from your teachers. Please look for those in your email inbox very soon. UNITY is our theme this year, and we are focusing on sharing the love that God has given us. In doing so, we hope to encourage one another and get along well with each other. We are working on making sure that My King Studio is a positive atmosphere – in our classrooms, in our lobby and in our lives! Looking forward to a great year of dance and tumbling at MKS!...
Movement

Movement

I remember sitting there, and the girl was hardly moving. Her face, her heart – they said everything that needed to be said. It was clear that she did not have extensive, if any, formal dance training, but it was also clear that she loved to dance. This girl was using her body to truly worship – to say something to and about her God, the creator of the universe. This is a memory of mine from a dance ministry event I attended in Arkansas in August of 2004. I will never forget that moment in which God showed me so clearly the purpose He has for dance. It was a teachable moment that, in the ensuing years, would remind me that we do not have to be in competition with one another or with other studio dancers in order to be successful at dance. Dance is to be joyful, expressive, God-honoring. Our staff strives to offer the best possible technique and teaching methods to our students, and we are free to present dance differently than the world does. It is incredibly important to us to do everything with excellence, but not for the purpose of being able to pat ourselves on the back. It is so that we can honor God with the gifts He has given us, and we can be used to point to the God that we serve. That girl, the dancer in Arkansas – she danced with no reservation and no concern for what others thought about her technique. When she danced with abandon for her audience of one, I learned one of the...
Music

Music

My pastor attended the Dance Concert a couple years ago, and even as someone who loves music, was surprised at the variety of good Christian music that was sampled at the show.  In another instance earlier this school year, I talked with someone new to the faith about Hip Hop music by Christian artists, and her expectation was something akin to monks chanting.  It is curious to me how foreign faith-centered music can seem.  There is such a wide variety of rap, folk, jazz, pop, R&B, rock, punk (and pretty much any style you can imagine) available in addition to the praise and worship music that is played on Joy FM.  Some of these less known music styles can be heard on Boost, and all of these genres are on Pandora and iTunes. After all these years investing hours and days searching through iTunes looking for just the right music for each class for the Dance Concert, I still think it is fun.  The music is out there.  It may take a little extra work to find something that fits our theme just right, but it is satisfying to find something that also complements the dancers and the style of dance being performed. I am responsible for finding music that will be uplifting to our students – who hear the songs over and over and over – and also to each member of our audience in June.  I want to say something meaningful with the music (and dance) that will hopefully speak to our students and someone in the audience in a positive and encouraging way. When I questioned...
Responsibility

Responsibility

It is interesting to me is that, year after year, people are surprised at the appropriate, yet in-style costumes our students wear, the variety of good music, and the technical ability and talent that our dancers show at the dance concerts.  A large part of our mission is to teach dancers to share their gifts while using appropriate music, movement & costumes.  When I say that, I think many people imagine dancers wearing dresses as big as tablecloths and dancing to “Kum Ba Yah.”  Not that that would be terrible, but I feel like we do a good job of keeping everything God-honoring while still being fun and not out-dated. I also want to be sure to say something meaningful with each song and dance.  I have seen performances that show beautiful talent and athleticism but express nothing to my soul.  I feel like these can be missed opportunities for those artists to share something meaningful to their audience.  I have seen performances that express something negative or degrading.  These are sad moments.  I hope that our students learn that their dancing gives voice to their souls and that they use that voice with integrity & joy. Jesus is the living water, the ultimate refreshment – when we express ourselves within His will, the result is refreshing for us and for those who see it. So, express yourself – your hurts, your happiness, your anger, your silliness, your love, your prayers, your praise, your worries, your hopes.  God has created you to speak with your whole self, and we pray that you will use this voice with responsibility. It...
The Season of Consumerism

The Season of Consumerism

True or False?  “The things we consume (food, TV shows, music, etc.) affect us.” We often hear these types of responses – “False – I don’t listen to the lyrics.” “True – I would like to be in better shape.” “False – The violence doesn’t bother me.” I see apathy in my own life toward the things of God.  I consume too much sugar, and I would rather play a game on my phone with my spare moments than do something constructive. As a believer, many times I have to beg God for the desire to be in His Word and sit with Him in prayer – consuming nothing but Him in the silence, peace & rest.  Other times I am back to my apathy, and I blow off my idle consumption. As believers, we are all called to the mission field right here where God has us – in our families, at our jobs, at our schools.  Does what we consume affect us?  If so, then does it affect this ministry to which we have each been called? In the moments when I am seeking after Christ and being obedient, I consume guidance, joy, peace, strength, love.  This affects me.  And then surprisingly, just like the fishes and loaves, there is more to share with others. As we enter this season, I recently heard referred to as “consumerism,” I pray you will consume the Bread of Life (John 6:35 – “Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.’”) and the...
Scarlett the Scarecrow

Scarlett the Scarecrow

  Here at MKS, we aren’t real big on Halloween in general, but we jump at the chance to put a tutu on a scarecrow! O’Fallon is holding a scarecrow-making contest for businesses, and MKS has created an entry–we named her Scarlett. Now you might think that scarecrows are all about protecting crops from winged interlopers, but Scarlett has another thing on her mind–Dance! Scarlett has been busy dropping in on activities around the studio, trying out her legs in Ballet, testing her flexibility in Tumbling, even a bit of office work at the Front Desk. If you love Scarlett as much as we do, please like the page https://www.facebook.com/visitofallon and vote for her (#2) as the best Scarecrow in O’Fallon between 8am October 6th and noon October 8th. Share and vote! *See updates below       * Update – MKS has been working with Joy in Haiti to support an orphanage in Haiti and they recently mentioned that they have to move to a new facility and need significant support to accomplish that. MKS will be forwarding on any winnings from the scarecrow contest to support this endeavor. Frequent readers of this space may remember that we collected ballet shoes and leotards for the kids in May of last year.   **Update – Scarlett won! Blessed to donate the $300 prize to www.joyinhaiti.org! Thanks to everyone who voted and made that possible.  ...
Planning (& Practice) Makes Perfect

Planning (& Practice) Makes Perfect

IMPROVING THE OVERALL EXPERIENCE OF TEACHING AND LEARNING DANCE The longer I teach dance and run a dance studio, the more I have learned that not everyone is aware of what goes into the whole process, so I thought I would give an inside peek at what the staff has been working on lately…  It seems like a dance teacher might just walk in, teach a few classes, and go home.  It seems like it should be this simple!  It can be, and that is how I started teaching when I was in college.  But the more I taught, I learned I could be much more effective as a teacher if I planned ahead a bit more.  My students would get a better dance education and would be more well-rounded individuals. So, many years ago, I began writing lesson plans at the start of each month.  After the first year of monthly planning, I realized I could not only plan my classes monthly, but I could lay out the framework for the entire year for each of my classes ahead of time.  I could focus on certain skills each month that progressed in intensity as the year went on.  Then, month by month, I take those lists of skills and develop combinations and exercises that fit the students I have that year.  Also, I could know in August what skills my students would be able to accomplish in the next year’s dance concert.  This made choreographing much simpler and less stressful on me and my students!  Plus, now that I had a framework of skills around which to build...
Dance Students Criss-Cross County to Share Joy

Dance Students Criss-Cross County to Share Joy

The Kingdom Dancers–the outreach ministry of My King Studio of Dance have been working hard preparing to visit care facilities—they spent a week this summer learning dances, and have been practicing every Saturday to hone their craft. Their first performance is on October 10th at Garden View Care Center in O’Fallon. Throughout the year they will visit more facilities in O’Fallon, and also Wentzville, St Peters, & Dardenne Prairie. The Kingdom Dancers is a performing company started in 2004 whose mission is to go out into the world and dance in a way that presents the Gospel. Each year they perform in eight to ten senior centers, generally to large crowds who are happy to have a show come to them. Almost 30 kids participate, and they are blessed every bit as much as the seniors. “It’s not only an event for the residents, but the dancers get an opportunity to perform in public and hone their skills,” says studio owner Michelle Revelle. After the show, the kids and seniors mingle, and year after year as the kids return, connections are made. This school year the Kingdom Dancers are performing at Garden View Care Center, Delmar Gardens O’Fallon, Caregivers Inn, Barathaven Alzheimer’s Special Care Center, Parklane Care & Rehabilitation, Twin Oaks Estate, Hillman Place, Park Place, Chestnut Glen Assisted Living, & Assisted Living at the Meadowlands. Recently a director of another facility even called to try to get the dancers to come and perform there as well because of all the positive feedback she has heard from her peers at other centers. “Everybody can relate to dance in some way or another,” Revelle says, “sometimes we get seniors who are simply so delighted...
Sun, Sand & Prayers

Sun, Sand & Prayers

PREPARING FOR THE 2015-16 SEASON – WITH PRAYER Just as we ended the 2014-15 Dance Season, where we had focused on putting on God’s Armor, God had plans in the works to take what we had learned and get us ready for the 2015-16 theme of “Prayer.” My mom, sister, niece, my two daughters, and I headed to the beach for a week of fun, sun, and sand. For the last few years, we have taken a girls’ trip right after Dance Concert to decompress from the excitement of the performance weekend and to get re-fueled for the upcoming year. We had a beautiful start to the week for the most part. The weather was beautiful, we were a short walk from the beach and we were happy to be on vacation! My sister, unfortunately, was suffering from migraines all week. This was not abnormal for her to have headaches, but it really put a damper on the fun for her. She rested, and we all prayed she would be feeling better soon. On the last day, she slipped on some steps and had a fall. I sent an email to my church family asking for prayers, not really knowing how serious this was. After the trauma of the fall, she went to the ER in Florida. They released her, and the next day, we tried to make the trip home. We made it as far as Kentucky, and she stayed at a hospital there for 4 days, while they tried to determine what was going on. We continued to pray, to seek God’s wisdom, to trust Him when...
Dance Concert – Stress or Joy?

Dance Concert – Stress or Joy?

Dance Concert – Stress or Joy? Each year around this time, we enter a season of focused preparation for the Dance Concert.  Although we started planning well over a year ago, we kick things into high gear during the late Winter.  Winter sometimes brings with it a sense of drudgery – being cooped up inside, the cold, gloomy days, etc. But just as with the coming of Spring, the anticipation of the Concert brings excitement and the wonder about what God will do when He shows up for our worshipful concerts that busy weekend!  It is tempting to be stressed about all of the details… – Costumes, Hair & Make-up – Teaching, Learning, Cleaning Routines – Organizing Schedules – Volunteers for the Dancers and Backstage – Making arrangements with the venue …and the list goes on.  (and on.) And yet, when I work through all of the tiniest details, day by day, I am encouraged when I imagine what God can do through the work everyone is putting forth – Parents, Families, Dancers, Teachers, Front Desk Staff, Volunteers, Stage Crew, etc.  I am excited, not stressed.  For the last 12 years, God has shown up and made His name known at our concerts, sometimes in tangible ways and other times in ways that I am sure I will not even know about until I reach heaven. Every bit of work that is done in preparation is done with forethought, wisdom from experience (a lot of hard lessons, with more to come, I’m sure!), love, desire to serve all who will be there the weekend of June 6 & 7,...