Most people do not know this, but The Salt Mine started serving the Lincoln community as a youth center. While we became known for feeding and providing for Lincoln’s families in need, we still love youth and we serve them as we are able. Today we want to introduce you to a youth program for young ladies run out of Rocklin’s Conservatory of Dance, and with whom The Salt Mine has a special opportunity to partner later this month—Ballet Rejoice.
Ballet Rejoice’s mission is “to worship Christ while leading others in worship before his throne, and encouraging them to use their unique gifts and talents for the glory of Jesus Christ. We also hope to encourage and exhort our audience while we portray truth.” But what does this look like for the dancers? I spoke with Suzanne and Naomi Hogan for a parent’s (Suzanne) and dancer’s (Naomi) perspective on Ballet Rejoice.
Both Naomi and Suzanne value the team mentality and Jesus-focused approach towards dance. As Suzanne succinctly said, “It’s all about worship, it’s all about the Lord.” And this focus gives Ballet Rejoice another unique characteristic—a focus on mentorship both in terms of dance and living out biblical principles. Senior girls not only take an interest in the younger girls’ development as dancers, but they lead bible studies and encourage praying for one another.
Dance as selfless act is rarer than one might think. Several former competitive dancers participate in Ballet Rejoice, and Ballet Rejoice’s unique focus has tempered their desires to dance competitively. Naomi and Suzanne Naomi and Suzanne shared some of these competitive dancers experiences, and the picture is a sad one. Money drives the competitive dance machine. One must purchase expensive costumes and travel extensively. Solo performances are not merit, but monetarily based. Naomi shared her initial reaction to this piece of information, and it is priceless, “So, you are telling me that if you have enough money, you can purchase, say, five solos?” Her friend affirmed that scenario.
The Conservatory of Dance positions Ballet Rejoice to break this stereotype, for in addition to fostering a team mentality and mentorship, Ballet Rejoice dancers do not pay to participate in Ballet Rejoice specific classes or events. I assume Suzanne’s statement echoes that of other parents, “It’s great that they do not charge you to go and serve the Lord through dance!” Removing money from the process frees parents to participate in building community among the dancers by manning doors, selling tickets, and offering rides to the group at large. No one needs to be, nor can be, that one parent in every sports movie that only looks out for their own child because they want that child’s (or their own) greatness to be recognized by the entire community, for nothing exists which such a parent could use to “grease the skids” of the organization.
Ballet Rejoice’s philosophy of dance also pulls creativity onto center stage. This freedom to create is Naomi’s other favorite aspect about the program. The girls are invited into the creative process for every show. And some shows are completely crafted by the groups. For such shows, the girls not only design their own uniforms, but the dancers craft their routines and solos. Whether the dancer creates via collaboration or choreographs their whole routine, no one is put in the position where a dance would violate her core principles. This system also avoids churning out dancing robots; the goal becomes developing creative dancers. These creative dancers are free to experiment, melding different styles of dance, and the fusion of ballet and modern dance strikes a chord with Naomi, who is a jazz dancer at heart.
Ballet Rejoice usually performs in May and at Christmas, but The Salt Mine is proud to host a special presentation of Ballet Rejoice this October 23rd, 07:30 P.M., at The Salt Mine. For those who are unsure of our location, The Salt Mine is located on 590 Lincoln Blvd, in Lincoln. Everyone is welcome. Admission is free, but we will collect an offering, for those inclined to support Ballet Rejoice. Dancers crafted every facet of this program. Freedom is their theme for the 23rd, and as Suzanne put it, “There is nothing more freeihng than realizing worship goes beyond singing and playing instruments. It incorporates movement, it encompasses everything we do.” Which means anyone can worship. Come on down and enjoy fantastic dancing and support these young ladies as they use dance to build up others and express their creativity.
Our goal is to introduces The Salt Mine readers to Ballet Rejoice. If you want more info, please check out The Rocklin Conservatory of Dance’s and Performing Arts’ website. Though we also hope to introduce The Salt Mine to those who may not know us. Feel free to look around our website! Find out what we do! Volunteer! Or, if you are so inclined, after reading about us, and meeting us, donate! We cannot do what we do for the community of Lincoln, whether its via connecting people with other people, or people with food, without your support. Support via social networking, food donations, and yes, money, are necessary to keep serving our community. We hope that you all would consider partnering with us in one, or all, of these areas. Thanks for your time!