Praise group dances to different beat


Josh Saxton

Tamara Swanson, a senior health studies major and acting director of the IC4C praise dance group practices the dance “Press in your Presence” on Tuesday in the racquetball court inside Lantz Arena. IC4C stands for “In Christ 4 Christ.”

T'Nerra Butler, Multicultural Editor

Many dance groups on Eastern’s campus deliver different messages to various crowds, but “In Christ for Christ” moves to a different beat.

IC4C Praise Dancing and Mime ministry dance through their spirituality. These individuals have infused two elements of praise dancing which are miming, and traditional inspirational dance, to form a group, which praises through sound and movement.

Praise dancing is typically done in the church and is another form of worship for Christians.

The group is under the Unity Gospel choir on campus and minister around campus as well.

Tamara Swanson, the director of IC4C, said the group praises God through a song of which they feel a connection with.

“It’s our way to connect with God, it’s our way to give praise to him,” Swanson said. “We try to perform, and minister at least two times a year at concerts.”

Swanson said when dancing, she is telling a story through her movements. The praise dancers in the group do lyrical and ballet style dances.  Swanson said their movements can be described as smooth and graceful.

“I was brought up dancing knowing that you can’t give God mess so the way you move is supposed to be your all, you’re not supposed to just throw the dance at God,” Swanson said. “When dancing I feel a breakthrough.”

A spiritual release is felt while dancing, Swanson said. She said it is her form of meditating.

Aigner Nash, a senior health administration major, is a mime dancer for IC4C and said a vital part of miming is the facial expressions.

“Miming is multiple faces based on your emotions and what the song is saying,” Nash said. “It’s a strong connection to a song, I can’t minister a song if I’m not connected to it.”

Nash said while dancing she can be going through something in her life and she will leave those emotions on stage. She said her miming speaks through whatever pain she is feeling.

“Whether it’s speaking, singing, crying, dancing, that’s a prayer to God. Its simply prayer through movement,” Nash said.

Nash said many times students go to college and lose their sense of religion. She said miming constantly reminds her of her faith in God.

RonNesha Harris, a senior communication studies major said, said she has been miming since she was 14. She said miming for her is an adrenaline rush. She said her purpose is to convey a message while she is on the stage.

The mimes paint their entire face white, and wear all black.

“I feel like when I put that makeup on I’m one with my mime, like I’m one with everything when I put the entire outfit together,” Harris said.

Harris said miming is a gift she possesses and she tries to embrace her talent whenever she can. Often times, dancers use improvisation if they make a mistake.

Nash said she goes on her own accord is if a song hits an emotional nerve.

Harris said if she actually makes a mistake on stage she feels bad, not for the audience but for herself.

“If I do bad, it feels like I didn’t leave it all on stage, all the pain, the hurt, or just letting stuff go,” Harris said.

Both mime dancers agreed their technique is similar to how writers express feelings, they said they dance what they preach.

The praise and mime dancers perform sometimes as a mixed group and often times with the separate dance styles.


T’Nerra Butler can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]