For the fifth time, dozens of Christian dancers in Southern California will gather and showcase their dancing talent at Rise Up, a Christian dance showcase.
This year’s showcase will take place on May 27 at the Marsee Auditorium in El Camino College.
The showcase started in 2013 initially as a platform for youth students at Kumran United Methodist Church who loved to dance – a platform which eventually grew to showcase the talent of over a dozen Christian dance groups. This year, the event will serve as a platform for 16 groups/individuals, including God’s Image, Seeds of Worship, Sodium Project, V3, Sarah Hong, and others.
This fifth event is a year of many firsts for the showcase, according to Einston Han, the youth pastor at Kumran who has been the lead organizer of the showcase each year. For the first time, the event will be taking place at a location other than the church – the Marsee Auditorium. Organizers even launched a Kickstarter page and raised over $3,500 to fund the auditorium.
Rise Up will also, for the first time, be highlighting a non-profit organization at the event. Humans of Planet Earth (HOPE), a non-profit which aims to provide education and share the gospel to children living in poverty in Peru, will be featured during the event.
“The heart of Rise Up is not just for dancers to use their gifts to glorify God, but it’s also to challenge this generation to rise up in all facets of their lives to glorify God and make an impact in this world,” said Han regarding the decision to feature representatives from HOPE for the first time.
Han added that having an annual Christian dance showcase like Rise Up is significant because of a comparative lack of opportunity for Christians who have talents in the arts to be able to use it to contribute to the church.
Most churches incorporate dance in children’s ministries and mission work, Han said, because “dance can communicate things we cannot verbally and in a sense crosses the boundary of culture and language.”
“However, other than these moments, I rarely see the church emphasizing the art of dance in their churches,” he continued.
Though Han hopes to see a growth in dance ministries in local churches, he said the ultimate hope he has behind this event in particular is that Christians with all types of talents would be encouraged to continue using those talents to glorify God.
“How awesome would it be if we saw in the next decade the top music artists, dancers, and others being unashamed Christians? What if Christians were setting the standard in terms of all of the arts in this generation?”
“That is a huge hope that I have for this event,” Han said, “that it starts a larger movement in our generation.”
Tickets can be purchased at the El Camino College Center for the Arts website. For more information, visit facebook.com/riseupshowcase.