The Arts Conservatory at Camp NEOSA (Salvation Army) is a fundamental time in super-charging leaders and students alike. The group annually hosts a Star Search Competition allowing all the students in regional arts ministries to be adjudicated. The Arts Conservatory is a week for students and group leaders to come to the beautiful camp center set beside Leesville Lake close to Atwood Lake. Over the past decade it has been a pleasure to join the camp and give instruction on sacred dance.
Dance has a way of blessing God’s heart and showing it to the world. There are moments when everything that the Lord wants to say about a moment come down to beauty. This week was no different. It was beautiful to train the dancers this week. It was beautiful also to see God’s kids praising Him with trimbrel, horns, songs, and dramas.
“Out of this forgotten, bleak place, an incredible tradition was born,” Marvette Perez said.
I’ve always felt a draw to Hip-Hop dance. It was obvious to me as a youth that there were roots in this form of expression. I can remember connecting the dots of tap dancing when I learned that the historical roots were to African Slaves who’s drums were taken away. Hip-Hop is an expression of freedom. It is not good or bad – it is free.
When you notice loud expressions and strong movements allow yourself to contemplate: Are there movements that you need to do? When you choose to express yourself in a dark and bleak place there will be energy connecting you to your root system. Does the energy inspire you or does the energy hold you back. Which do you need? To be held back and practice stability or break free and try something new.
“Hip-hop is the most important contribution to the American cultural landscape since blues and jazz,” said hip-hop artist and promoter, filmmaker and producer Fab 5 Freddy, born Fred Brathwaite. “It is dominant in every youth culture in every country.” According to statistics gathered in 2009 by Russell Simmons and Accel Partners, today’s global hip-hop community comprises 24 million people between the ages of 19 and 34, including a range of nationalities, ethnic groups and religions.
If you desire to experience the freedom of dancing – it might be time to take a class or enjoy a lesson online. Your roots may not go as deep as a Native American’s moving in prayer for rain or an African American’s hunt for an animal. Perhaps your obstinate Irish will emerge and you will find yourself dancing in protest. Let it emerge. These dances of personal expression bring healing. Enjoy some hip-hop culture today.