A diverse line-up of almost 20 Christian dance performances were featured at a showcase that took place on May 27 at the Marsee Auditorium, located inside El Camino College.
The annual ‘Rise Up’ Christian dance showcase saw some 1,100 in attendance this year, the largest turnout that it has seen in its five-year history. It’s a significant jump from the turnout of some 500 that the event saw in 2016.
Einston Han, the youth pastor of Kumran United Methodist Church and the main organizer of the event, said that the event has grown in more ways than the simple numbers.
“Physically, it’s definitely grown, but on a performance and spiritual level, I think the event elevated tremendously,” said Han.
“There seems to be a huge interest among more believers and churches in worshipping God through dancing. I’ve had a couple of students tell me how they want to join Christian dance teams or how they want their dance team to perform next year,” he added.
The event has also seen a growing number of participants, and this year’s line-up featured six teams who were first-timers to the event, as well as a diverse range in both age and genre.
In fact, the organizers don’t have a “set standard” in terms of deciding which performers can be included in the event – just that they are Christian dance teams. The lack of a strict standard, per se, helped to bring in that diversity of performers.
For instance, dance teams such as Seeds of Worship or God’s Image generally feature lively body worship styles of dance and are comprised of younger dancers, even as young as elementary school-age. Meanwhile, Sodium Project or V3 Dance are comprised of young adults whose choreographies feature a mixture of hip hop and contemporary dance.
With this platform, Han said he and the other organizers hope to not only bring greater visibility to Christian dancers and the art as a form of worship, but also to make a gospel impact in the dance community.
“I believe this is something that is necessary, and there really isn’t anything like it,” said Han.
“Right now, dance is growing, and there is a community of dancers that’s hungry for the Gospel.”