They are quick to say their dancing serves a higher purpose, which will be self evident when they are their young colleagues perform a Christmas favorite titled, "The Promise."
Focus is on Who dancing is for
"We do it for the One Who made us," said Hannah, 15, a sophomore who is home schooled. "It's great to be a part of a dance family that has a single focus. We work together as a team and not just as individuals."
"It's different dancing when it's faith centered," added Sarah, 16, a junior at Black River Public Schools in Holland. "Everything here is very focused on artistic excellence and being good at what we do and Who we're doing it for."
The "here" Sarah refers to is the Turning Pointe School of Dance, a Christian ministry that was founded in 1999 with 23 students in a room at the Vineyard Church in Holland. It was eventually expanded to rented space in the old Lincoln School in 2001.
In 2003, Turning Pointe moved its studio to its current location at 136th Street in Holland which houses three dance studios, a costume studio and its administrative offices. A satellite location in Hudsonville was opened in 2007. Its iCademy Global/Innocademy is based in Zeeland.
Includes dance missionaries
In 2013, Turning Pointe launched Soli Deo Gloria Contemporary Ballet (glory to God alone), a professional company that consists of six dance missionaries who share the love of Jesus Christ across the state of Michigan to at-risk youth, prison inmates, churches, the elderly and with the younger dancers in the school.
Wherever its location, Turning Pointe's mission is anchored to the same foundation: To prepare dancers in body and spirit to glorify God through artistic excellence.
Turning Pointe has three divisions: children's, elective and training with different dance styles taught: classical ballet, pointe, men's, contemporary, jazz, tap and Christian hip hop.
'The Promise' on the horizon
The school produces two large-scale, ticketed ballets (10 performances annually) and three year end showcases, including its visually stunning Christmas performance titled, "The Promise" that is performed with live and recorded music. It features around 60 dancers wearing 250 handmade costumes that thread the Christmas story together using Scripture and Christmas music with classical and contemporary ballet.
"It's such a great mixture, you don't ever get bored," said resident choreographer Tess Sinke. "Grandparents, dads, people of all ages can enjoy it. Scripture is threaded throughout to help narrate the story to show the promise. When you're watching dance, feelings are imparted at a deeper level that brings beauty to a broken world."
Unlike some dance studios where dancers compete for position, Turning Pointe instills a difference set of priorities in its students, said Sinke. Their artistic expression conveys worship.
"In here, we dance to glorify God," said Sinke. "We start our classes with devotions and have creative worship through dance. We see a lot of spiritual growth with the students who are learning to really show Christ in everything that they do."
IF YOU GO
What: "The Promise"
When: Dec. 11 and Dec. 18 at 7 p.m.; Dec. 12 and Dec. 19 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Where: Knickerbocker Theatre in downtown Holland.
Cost: $15/students; $19/adults; at the door: $17/students; $21/adults
Call: Hope College ticket office: (616) 395-7890 or hope.edu/tickets.
- Next Article: Best Selling List December
- Prev. Article: Object lessons brighten Christmas for Kids and Adults