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Moved by the music: Performance to demonstrate faith, community

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Stories from the Heartland

By Amber Coulter

Alexandra Stewart of Radcliff was only held in her chair by gravity when a praise song spilled from the nearby CD player.

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She rolled her shoulders and pumped her hands in front of her as the pointed toe of one of her dance shoes raised delicately off the ground.

Before her, Kristie McLaurine and Patricia Stevens, both of Radcliff, performed a dance exercise in which they took turns following each other’s movements.

They slowly swept their arms in wide arcs in front of them and stepped forward in time to the music.

McLaurine felt like crying as she stared fixedly into the distance and rocked to the rhythm.

“It’s so real,” she said.

The members of All Nations Worship Ministries on Wiselyn Drive in Radcliff meet Mondays after 7 p.m. at the church to practice a dance and acting performance meant to glorify God.

The performance is expected to be ready in the fall and available for churches across the county to request it be performed in their buildings.

Organizers are reaching out to volunteers from all churches to participate as actors, dancers and stage crew members. Anyone interested can volunteer by stopping by during a practice.

The performance will depict scenes from everyday spiritual life and show how God can help, said Jennifer Jones, who leads the dance ministry at All Nations.

Jones, of Elizabethtown, hopes the performance draws volunteers from churches throughout the county and creates a stronger sense of community and cooperation between them.

More than that, she hopes the skits and dances show audience members how good God is.

“Most people, you can hear something, but when you see something, it brings it to life,” she said.

Stewart shows her faith with her face when she dances as much as she does with her body.

She parted her teeth in an exuberant smile as she lifted her arms, palms up, to the sky.

Her brow furrowed and her lips squeezed closed as she crossed her wrists over her chest and rotated at the waist.

She closed her eyes and let her face muscles slacken serenely as she leaned forward and swept an arm toward the empty audience chairs.

She bounced on her toes after the improvised exercise, laying a fluttering hand on the arm of whoever she spoke to.

“We don’t need no script,” she said. “We just need music. We just have to move.”

One of the things that excites Stewart the most about the performance is that it is so far made up of women who have never been part of such a performance.

“They’re women who have never been in the limelight,” she said.

McLaurine has never participated in anything like the performance she is part of.

“I always knew I had a dancer inside me,” she said with a laugh. “It’s a really freeing experience. I love the free expression of it all because it’s praising with your whole self.”

Stevens used to dance when she was younger, and it’s nice for her to move and worship while she’s at it.

She said God gives her the ability to do things she otherwise couldn’t, such as worshiping through dance in front of other people.

“It’s like giving your whole self to the Lord,” she said.

Even Stewart, who leads much of the practice sessions, isn’t classically trained.

She took a smattering of dance classes, a common practice among women in her native Germany.

Stewart began dancing in praise after seeing it at a Texas church and being moved.

“It’s an intimate relationship with God,” she said. “Your focus is on him, and you have to pour your heart out. That requires a lot of the person standing there.”

Stories from the Heartland appears each Monday in The News-Enterprise. Amber Coulter can be reached at
(270) 505-1746 or acoulter@thenewsenterprise.com.