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Dance ministry shows new dynamic of worship

Have you ever seen a group of ladies dancing at chapel and wondered who they were? With their main focus on worshipping God through dance, the group refers to themselves as the Eastern Dance Ministry.

“One of our goals is bringing freedom to worship,” senior Amy Zeak said. “I think so often worship is put in a box. We want to break out of that box and show how you can use your body.”

“And of course giving all the glory to God, it’s easy with something like dance to get caught up in the performance, but that’s not our goal,” Zeak said.

The dance ministry is a student-led group that was started in 2000 and has been performing and worshipping ever since. The team is comprised of five female students: seniors Amy Zeak, Ariel Nothaft and Haylee Garner, junior Alyssa Carmy and sophomore Vanessa Hart.

Currently, the team dances exclusively at Eastern’s chapel, although in the future they hope to use their ministry in other venues, according to Zeak. Working toward fulfilling that vision, this year they performed at Eastern’s Conquer the Night, an overnight worship event.

All of their dances are personally choreographed by the team, and each year they tape their performances so they can be passed down through the years.

“We have videos from past dances so we can watch and recreate those. We try and choreograph at least one new dance each semester,” Zeak said.

Along with creating their own dances, the team works alongside the chapel worship teams to coordinate the music with their dances.

“We meet a week before [chapel] and practice our dance with the music, which is sometimes difficult, but its amazing how we can come together and use our different gifts,” Zeak said.

Not only does the team minister to the audiences as they dance in praise, they have also grown closer together, making their ministry seem more like a family than a team.

“We are really like sisters, and if a guy were to come in, he would be like a brother,” sophomore Vanessa Hart said. “We are always praying for each other. Whenever we see each other on campus we stop and hug each other – it has been really great.”

The group will soon be looking for new members for next year. Auditions will be held on April 28th at 10 a.m. in the dance studio, and anyone, not just dance majors and minors, is encouraged to try out.

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