Serenity Valdes | PR/VI Divison

“I never knew how much I needed MOVE Dance Company until I joined.”

This Company has been such a blessing to me.

As a new member, joining a Company where everyone knew each other seemed nerve wracking.  But the team accepted the new members immediately.  I have not only gained new friendships but a family.  Within the group, we share a lot of trust and openness without judgement. MOVE is a safe space where we build each other and keep it real with one another.  In my lowest moments, this family has comforted me, prayed for me, and simply loved on me without any questions asked.  It has been a privilege to learn from and grow with talented leaders in our Territory. It has been an even bigger honor to minister with them through dance.

Sometimes worship can be intimidating; it can be scary to allow others to see you worship or be vulnerable.  One of my favorite parts of being part of MOVE is freedom in worship.  This concept has no rules except to be intentional and permit the Lord to lead you. On my first rehearsal weekend we practiced this by closing our eyes and allowing the Holy Spirit to direct our movement as we listened to worship songs.  We praised and moved.  Some people prayed aloud, some people sang, some shared Bible verses, some people danced in a small space while others took up the whole room. It was true freedom in worship. It was a beautiful experience for me and reminded me that it doesn’t matter how I look during worship; that it’s empowering and freeing to allow the Lord to direct my worship.  When at events, we are able to move during worship and I have seen how it frees up the room and encourages others to enter this state of adoration! I am grateful to have experienced this since joining MOVE and am now able to teach this concept in my own division!

I knew MOVE was really making a difference when we went to Empire Youth Councils.  We really tried to meet and get to know some of Empire youth.  We met teens from abusive pasts, teens who lost loved ones in recent shootings, and teens constantly exposed to drugs and gangs.  The first night we were able to dance our crowd warm up with the teens and then partake in their late night activities like roller skating and basketball.  Saturday morning we woke them up with a hip hop piece titled Baptized in Fire! The youth were so impressed and it set the tone for the rest of the day! They were able to enjoy a dance workshop with us Saturday afternoon and then invited us to play basketball with them again at night! On Sunday morning teens invited us to eat breakfast with them and watch the team dance one last time. They were able to watch us be vulnerable while we worship, allowing them to do the same.  Every one of the team members were able to feel the Spirit in that place.  To this day, the teens from Empire remember us and find us at events like Star Search, Commissioning, OOB, and TAM.  They talk about that weekend at Long Point Camp where they met the dancers from MOVE and praised alongside us.  I felt humbled and proud to be part of that experience where I was able to dance with them, hear their testimonies, and speak to them what the Lord had put in my heart.

Concluding my first season with MOVE, I have been able to see my growth as a person, dancer, and follower of Christ.  I have seen myself open up, grow in faith, improve in my craft, and be used by the Lord.  MOVE has given me more energy and passion to use dance as ministry in my division and my personal life.  I will always be grateful to all the company members but especially Erin Morgan for creating an ambience of love, trust, growth, and respect in the group.  I can’t wait to continue to preach the love of Jesus through dance this next season!