July 3, 2017
Through this sequence of blog posts called “Dancer in YWAM” we want to share with you stories from your fellow dancers, dancers who have come through YWAM. Find out more about other dancers who come from all different backgrounds, what their time with YWAM has been like, and the journey they have been on with Jesus.
Dancer: Bgirl Emerge
When did you first start dancing & what was your dance background pre-ywam?
I started dancing when I was 17 years old. I had gone on a mission trip in California and realized I wanted to be a part of a hip-hop ministry. I was motivated to start despite not having any background in dance, but I used the tutorial videos from the movie, You Got Served. I started an all-girls ministry but it quickly fell apart due to conflicts.
Three years later, I saw people breaking on campus at a fall fair and I told God, “If you teach me how to break, I will dance for you.” A few weeks later I found out about a breaking battle and asked my youth pastor if I could join. Shortly after, I stumbled upon free breaking classes provided by a Christian ministry. That same semester I joined a hip-hop student organization on campus and ended up meeting all of the breakers who were dancing at the fall fair. I have been dancing since then.
What DTS did you do?
God lead me to do the Performing Arts DTS in 2011. It was a God thing because he provided everything I needed for that DTS. I am not a performer but I knew God was drawing me to this DTS.
Any other YWAM Courses? Or Staff with YWAM?
I have not completed any other or staffed any other YWAM courses, but I have joined the with the YWAM ministry GX Brazil and GX International in a few hip-hop tours. I would love to do YWAM/UofN’s Principles of Redeeming Cultures School and praying about doing a fashion school in Argentina.
What was a highlight from a ministry time while on outreach?
One highlight, especially on my DTS outreach, was when we danced for survivors of the Japan Tsunami. That blessed us so much because some of the people were dancing while we were dancing and they had so much joy.
Another time, during a GX Brazil tour, our team was attending a church service and a few of us were dancing during their worship service. It always surprises people to see people doing hip-hop and breaking during worship. So the pastor asked us to dance near the altar and he invited the breakers in their church to join us. It was pretty cool. That is one thing that stands out to me, the freedom to dance for God during worship and helping people to see that we can worship God through our street dance. It’s pretty cool!
What was an “Ah-ha” moment you had on God’s perspective of dance?
To be honest, I didn’t get that “Ah-ha” moment until after my DTS, when I went to the Word in Motion dance festival in 2012. It is a conference where Christian Hip-Hop dancers go to worship God and advance themselves in different styles. Before the conference had begun, I attended a church the staff of the conference preached at and I was blown away by all the street dancers I saw freely dancing during worship! That is when I realized that I could worship God with my breaking. It didn’t have to be contemporary or graceful movements. I can use raw moves and moves like the six step (from breaking) to worship God.
My DTS helped me learn and gain skills in performing for Jesus but that conference opened my eyes that I could worship Jesus through breaking, house, krumping, etc. Ever since then, whenever I visit a church with other dancers, I can’t help but dance away during worship. It feels so liberating!
Any thoughts on why God has called you to dance? or how dance effects people?
I think God has called me to dance to not only worship him but to also use it as a tool. A tool to shine the light of Jesus in me, to bring healing, breakthrough and restoration to others. At that Word In Motion conference, I heard a powerful story that God used a woman’s dance to set a witch free from witchcraft! That is when I realized that dance is powerful and it can be used to impact the supernatural realm.
Dance brings freedom and a lot of joy to people! Dance is also a release, it can be prayer/intercession on behalf of ourselves and others.
Are you currently dancing/performing?
I join GX teams for one tour each year or so. I sometimes perform with an all-female dance troupe, but I mostly practice on my own time and compete in local and national competitions. In the past I have taught dance classes with Denver Parks & Recreation department for the city. I have also had a Hip-Hop ministry out of my church.
How did dancing/training in YWAM influence what you’re currently doing?
My initial interest in doing the Performing Arts DTS was to do a GX tour. (I had mistakenly thought DTS was a pre-requisite before doing a GX tour). But my DTS was invaluable. It helped me get an international perspective of dance and God’s children. It gave me experience in performing for large crowds and being part of a professional production team. It has given me desire for dance in missions which is why I do GX tours. It helped me to see how far God can take you with dance. My DTS showed me how good God is and that anything is possible with God. It was the stepping stone of me fulfilling my promise to God that I would dance for him.
Would you and why would you encourage others to pursue joining YWAM as a dancer?
I would definitely encourage people to do YWAM as a dancer. We need more DTS’s and schools in the arts! My advice to anyone is to research YWAM schools they are interested in and seek God’s guidance on which DTS and UofN Courses to join.
Any final words?
God is such a creative God and we have that same creativity within us. We just need to let it out and stop pushing it down! We need more creative DTS/Courses in YWAM! 🙂
Bgirl Emerge is someone who has taken all her training and experience and been on an awesome journey of applying it anywhere and everywhere God takes her. She will also be spending some time in Kona, HI kicking it with a local Hip Hop ministry – Break Free Hawaii – out of a local church in downtown Kona.
Stay tuned for more from other dancers from in this Blog Series “Dancer in YWAM”.