Sunday, January 18, 2015

BREAKING NEWS: Where Are They Now?

Greetings, Ad Deum family!

It’s finally time to announce our big news! Trust us, it gets more exciting as you keep reading, so please do us the honor of reading until the end as we explain our upcoming plans. We think you’ll be just as excited as we are once you learn about our reunion planned for the end of the season. Whoops… let that part slip, but keep reading for all the details!

Where Are They Now?

As you know, Ad Deum Dance Company is celebrating 15 years as a full-time company and we thought this would be a great time to get back in touch with all of our family members. Would you help us as we launch our “Where Are They Now?” campaign?

As part of the campaign, we are gathering information in order to preserve Ad Deum’s rich history for years to come. We ask that you send us an email, letter or video telling us how you are affiliated with the company, during what years you danced with Ad Deum or ADII (if applicable) and as much contact information as you would like to provide (email, phone, address, etc.). Pictures are welcome! We would also love to hear your answers to any or all of the suggested questions below:
  • Where are you now?
  • During your time with Ad Deum, what do you feel were the main influences that helped to shape who you are and what you currently do?
  • What is one thing you would like to say to Ad Deum now?
We plan to compile the information to update our databases and to create and publish an archive of stories, quotes, photos, videos, etc. as we reflect on how God has used Ad Deum and its influence to reach people around the world!
Letters and photos can be sent to:
Ad Deum Dance Company
Attn: Where Are They Now Campaign
P.O Box 271481
Houston, TX 77277
Emails, digital photos and videos can be sent to:
Subject: Where Are They Now?
Many of you have already sent emails and Facebook posts in honor of our 15th anniversary. Thank you! We have enjoyed reading your stories and encouragement. Please don’t feel obligated to re-send information unless you feel led to do so.
15th Anniversary Tribute Performance and Reunion Banquet
In addition to gathering this information, the “Where Are They Now?” campaign will provide us with an excuse to reunite at the end of the season.
Mark your calendars for May 31st – June 5th. During this year’s summer dance intensive, we will have a 15th Anniversary Tribute Performance and Reunion Banquet! The performance will be held on June 4th, while the banquet will take place on June 5th. It will be a sweet weekend of communion and worship as we thank God for His good gifts.
Speaking of the tribute performance, if you are interested in dancing as one of our alumni performers, please let us know!
There will be more details to come; but for now, we can’t wait to hear from you as we look back on 15 plus years of God’s blessings and look forward to what He has in store for the next 15!
Love and blessings,
Your Ad Deum family
P.S. It's never too late to join our dance family! Register to attend one of our Spring or Summer Dance Intensives today at danceaddeum.com.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Art of Making New Year's Resolutions


If you are like us, your list of New Year’s resolutions may look something like the following: go to the gym more often, eat healthier, spend more time doing this, take less time doing that. If you are really detailed, you might have even divided your resolutions into categories – physical, financial, relational, spiritual, etc. While it’s great to set these goals and resolutions, how much room are we leaving for God to have His say in the matter? And are we trusting Him to help us reach our goals?

As we embark on the second half of our journey for the 2014-2015 season here at Ad Deum, we’ve made plans; there are events to look forward to and goals to stretch toward both as individuals and as a community. Welcome guests and new members with open hearts and homes, grow as a unified community, explore new territory as artists and just dance! are a few of the items on our list of resolutions for the New Year.

While those are all well and good, we want to be available to see what other lessons, events and plans interrupted the Lord may have in store for us this year. More than anything, we want to be flexible in yielding to the ways in which He chooses to help us achieve our resolutions.

Maybe the same is with you. Maybe this is the year to resolve to let God write your list of New Year’s resolutions.

Here’s to 2015. May it be filled to overflowing with all that God has in store. Happy New Year from your Ad Deum family!

Will you do us the honor of praying with us for the remainder of this season? We would greatly appreciate the support as we resolve to continue following God’s heart as displayed in the arts. If there is any way we can be praying for you as well, please let us know in the comments below.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Welcome Back! Ad Deum Celebrates 15 Seasons

Here at Ad Deum Dance Company, we are back and in full swing as we celebrate our 15th season of doing what we do best: laying our gift of dance down at God’s throne of grace.

We’ve already had the opportunity to perform at several unique venues – Bailando Dance Festival, Project Dance Atlanta, Houston Kidney Action Day – and are busy preparing for a couple more before Thanksgiving.

This weekend is the Ad Deum & Ad Deum II Dance Company Fall Concert in which both companies will be sharing the stage for an evening of diverse works from the company’s repertoire.

At the same time we are preparing for the Fall Concert, the main company is four weeks deep in a collaboration with Dr. Paulo Gomes of the Houston Camerata  and Durell Comedy of The Limón Dance Company for Mozart’s Waisenhaus Mass. Both the conductor and choreographer have long waited for an opportunity to work with this masterful piece of music, and we couldn’t be happier getting caught in the middle of the creativity flowing between the two!

Fun Fact: We are learning all the choreography from videos, which are sent to us after Comedy choreographs the pieces on a cast of dance majors at George Mason University.


Well, it’s time for us to head back to studio. As you can probably imagine, we're in the middle of a busy week; but we certainly hope to see you at one of our upcoming concerts. Don’t forget to say hello after the show!

If You’re Going:

Ad Deum & Ad Deum II Dance Company Fall Concert
Saturday, November 1 at 7:30pm
Houston Community College – Spring Branch Campus
1010 Sam Houston Pkwy
Houston, TX 77043

Tickets: $10 (cash or check only)

Mozart’s Waisenhaus Mass – Too Many Notes… And So Many Toes!

Friday, November 7 at 7:30pm
Gloria Dei Lutheran Church
18220 Upper Bay Road
Houston, TX 77058

Saturday, November 8 at 7:30pm
Grace Presbyterian Church
10221 Ella Lee Lane
Houston, TX 77042

Tickets: $15 – general admission; $10 – seniors/students with valid ID
Advance sales at www.houstoncamerata.com

Monday, November 11, 2013

Dancer Profile: Whitney Dufrene

"Therefore, since we have been made righteous through his faithfulness combined with our faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have access by faith into this grace in which we stand through him, and we boast in the hope of God's glory. But not only that! We even take pride in our problems, because we know that trouble produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope. This hope does not put us to shame, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. While we were still weak, at the right moment, Christ died for ungodly people." (Rom. 5: 1-6)

Whitney Dufrene

Whitney Dufrene, from Louisiana, received her B.F.A. in Dance from Belhaven University. She trained with Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre and Point Park University, and attended intensives with Doug Varone and Dancers, Juilliard, Nashville Ballet, Houston Ballet, and CPYB. Whitney began working with Ad Deum Dance Company in January of 2013, and is honored to be here. Soli Deo Gloria.





Fun Facts:
1. Do you have a nick name? Whit, Whittle

2. Where are you from? Baton Rouge, Louisiana

3. How many years have you been dancing? I have been dancing for twenty one years! For as long as I can remember, I have passionately loved to dance:)

4. Favorite style or styles of dance?

There is something to appreciate from all styles, but I am most deeply moved by contemporary/modern movement. I really love musical theater jazz as well--particularly work by Bob Fosse, Gene Kelly, and Jerome Robbins. I am also a big Donald O'Connor fan! Make 'em laugh!

5. What made you want to start dancing?

For as long as I can remember, movement has always been my deepest joy! I didn't know it at the age of three--but God called me to worship Him through dance! Let my lifesong sing to you, Jesus! I feel the most who-I-was-created-to-be when I am moving. I feel closest to the Lord when I am communing with Him through the beautiful gift of dance. What an amazing way to express the human heart--crying out to God and praising Him through movement!

6. What dance companies or dancers inspire you?

DOUG VARONE AND DANCERS! Doug Varone, Eddie Taketa, Julia Burrer, Xan Burley, Alex Springer, Erin Owen, Hsiao Jou Tang, Hollis Bartlett, Colin Stilwell, Ryan Corriston, Natalie Desch, Netta Yerushalmy, and Daniel Charon. I am also completely inspired by the Ririe-Woodbury company, the Limon Company, Lar Lubovitch, Hubbard Street, Batsheva Dance Company, Spencer and Andrea from iMEE, Stephen Wynne, Steve Rooks, Karen Castleman, Vincent Hardy, Pina Bausch, Jason Mcdole, all of my amazing faculty and peers at Belhaven University, and so many more!

7. Favorite work of Ad Deum?

I can't choose one! haha! I can narrow it down to four: Rwanda Cry, Joyful Noise, Exodus, and Corpus Instrumental. Whoah man...so much that I could say here. Rwanda Cry--oh dear goodness! This piece captivates and ruins my heart completely! What a powerful work created by God through Steve Rooks! Joyful Noise--a brilliant work choreographed by God through Durrell Comedy. I have never experienced a piece that pierced directly through the heart of my personal testimony. Every time on stage is a beautiful moment with the Lord, reflecting back on His faithfulness and sovereignty! Exodus...I am slightly partial to this work:). A beautiful piece choreographed by God through Ryan Corriston--in my favorite style of moving. So powerful, so rich, so full--so HOPEFUL! It dives into the promise God has made to set the captives free--He WILL do this! Amen! And finally, Corpus Instrumental: a breathtaking offering choreographed by God through Randall Flinn surrounding the beautiful verses in Romans 12 that state: "Because of God's mercies, I encourage you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice that is holy and pleasing to God. This is your appropriate priestly service. Don't be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you can discern what God's will is--his good and perfect will."

8. Favorite performance or outreach?

Ahhhhh! So hard to choose just one! I have been blessed by them all! I would have to say Project Dance Houston, our visits to Amazing Place, and also the Veteran's Hospital--as well as the children's school for the hearing impaired. Oh my heart!

9. Favorite Ad Deum memory?

Morning devotional/worship gathering time! To sit in the circle each morning with this amazing group of people is an honor and a privilege. I learn so much about Christ from each and every one of the Ad Deum members every single day. I am very blessed!

Also--Project Dance Houston weekend this year. It was my first Project Dance--whoah baby yeah! A-MAZING!.

10. Favorite food?

Mango! Partially because it's awesome! But mostly because it reminds me of Haiti! Mwen sonje ti moun yo anpil--Le Bondye di mwen, map retourne la!

11. What would you do if you were not a dancer?

So many desires! Wahhhhhhh!!!! I would either be a Child Life Specialist, or work in orphan care somehow. Perhaps a Fair Trade advocate, human trafficking victim defender, social worker, working full-time with Joni and Friends, listener.....not sure! These are all on my heart! We shall see how the Lord weaves this life together perfectly for His glory!

12. What type of music do you listen to?

Worship! (Bethel, IHOP, Jesus Culture, Hillsong, etc), Classical (I LOVE strings!), and Musicals! (particularly Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, West Side Story, Parade, Singin in the Rain, Top Hat, etc.)

13. Random fact?

I love babies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Like.....severely.


"Dance through me O Holy Breath, move my being to bring you honor. Guard and guide my steps, as my soul delights to follow you. Let my ears be in tune with your music and the rhythm of my heart beat with your desires. Grant the grace that I ...so need to keep me dancing freely through this life. Deliver me from the weight of darkness that longs to shackle my feet. Precious Holy Breath, if and when I might stumble, be quick to raise me again, revive and restore me to the dance that brings you honor. Liberate the true dancer in me, formed by the wind of your Image. Sacred Breath, bid me to dance with you, everlasting, eternal, dance with you." --Randall Flinn

Monday, October 14, 2013

Dancer Profile: Ann Sterling Dale

 "The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing."

 Zephaniah 3:17



Ann Sterling Dale   

Ann Sterling Dale received a B.F.A. in Dance and Choreography from Elon University. She trained at the Ailey School, Steps on Broadway, Parsons Dance, the Jennifer Muller The Works scholarship program, and Arrows International. She has performed in NYC with Bala Sole Dance Company, The Next Stage Project, and Flexicurve. She has a passion for choreography and has shown work in the NYC Young Choreographer’s Festival. She is currently teaching dance in  the Houston area, and she desires to use dance as worship. Ann Sterling is excited to return for her second season with Ad Deum.





Fun Facts:
1. Where are you from? Statesville, NC

2. How many years have you been dancing? Twenty years! 
    
3. Favorite style or styles of dance? JAZZ is my favorite style because I love athletic, strong, fast movement, jumps and turns! I also absolutely love Hip-Hop and African because they have so much rhythm and soul at the core of the styles!! : ) 

4. What made you want to start dancing? Jesus..: ) But really! My mom was a dancer, so she most likely signed me up for dance classes because I was dancing around the house to music. Or why did you start dancing?

5. What dancers or dance companies inspire you? Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, and Parsons Dance

6. Favorite work of Ad Deum? Innocence Not Lost because it is such a powerful and relevant work to the culture today in American and all over the world, and it is a form of intercession for the girls who are being trafficked. 

7. Favorite Performance or Outreach? It was Project Dance Houston last year because I love dancing outside, and my parents were there, and the GLORY of the LORD fell upon that place as we danced and worshipped!

8. Favorite Ad Deum Memory? The day we all dressed up as random characters and did an epic improv dance for Stella's birthday at 8:30 am, and Dan dressed up as Spider Man (full costume), and Andreas was dancing around with a vacuum and a broom, and I was jumping, leaping and bouncing non-stop without warming up and wearing sunglasses of course! 

9. Favorite Food? Raspberries!! They are the perfect mixture of tartness and sweetness!

10. What would you do if you were not a dancer? I would be a fitness instructor and a writer

11. What type of music do you listen to? Worship

12. Random Fact? I play the harp and I like to mimic people : ) AND smiling's my favorite!


"To dance is to live!", "Dance is the hidden language of the soul, of the body", "Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion"
- Martha Graham


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Dancer Profile: Tiffany Schrepferman

Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.
                                                                                               Psalm 37:3-7


Tiffany Schrepferman

Tiffany is currently serving as the Technical Director of Ad Deum Dance Company in addition to performing with the company. After graduating from Belhaven University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance, she worked for three summers as the Production Stage Manager of the Reynolds Theater at the American Dance Festival held at Duke University. Tiffany is excited to be a part of the Ad Deum community for her fourth season.











Fun Facts:
1. Nick name? T. Schrep or Schrep

2. Where are you from? Columbus, MS

3. How many years have you been dancing? I've been dancing for as long as I can remember! There are home videos of me at 2-3 years old twirling around in the living room to praise music, but I have officially been training since I was 7.

4. Favorite style or styles of dance? Ballet was my first love because that is what I started with and how I first found my passion for dance, but I love contemporary and modern dance because I feel like it is so real and expressive; very much based in emotion and story that is relevant to the viewer, as well as experiemential for the performer. I also love flamenco and Irish dancing and enjoy performing both.

5. What made you want to start dancing? I have been dancing for as long as I can remember. I feel like that is a very natural part of who I am - I was born for this, and I feel closest to God when I dance. When I saw my first ballet performance by Ballet Magnificat when I was 8 years old, that is when I decided 'I really want to do this, that is who I want to be.' They performed the work "Savior" and even at that young age I remember being struck by the power of the story through movement, and wanting to be a part of it.

6. What dancers or dance companies inspire you? Spencer and Andrea of iMee Dance Company, Dawn Dipple of Revolve Dance Company, NobleMotion Dance Company, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Ceder Lake Contemporary Ballet, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, RUBBERBANDance Group, Eiko & Koma, Vertigo Dance Company, Doug Varone and Dancers, Batsheva Dance Company, Scottish Dance Theatre... I have a long list. = )

7. Favorite work of Ad Deum? Topping the list would be "Propphets" the first piece that I ever saw Ad Deum perform. The Lord used this piece to speak to me very personally and deeply. Then "Innocence Not Lost"- even though it is extremely hard on the body to perform, this piece is a cry and a prayer on behalf of those who have no voice, and I am honored to dance it for them.

8. Favorite Performance or Outreach of the year? Anytime we get to do a Human trafficking benefit concert, or perform in an awareness event. I also really enjoy our Spring Break Intensive/Project Dance Performances.

9. Favorite Ad Deum Memory? Performing "Innocence Not Lost" at a human trafficking benefit concert on my birthday 2 years ago. We were sitting backstage getting ready to go on and we could hear the speaker telling her story before us. She had been a victim of human trafficking and had been rescued. Her story was so moving and I'm pretty sure that all of us were crying backstage, then we went out to dance and I felt like we all connected so much with what we were dancing about, and really interceded on behalf of those girls. After that day, I feel like we really bonded as a group and in mutual purpose, and it shifted the way we connected to each other and danced together from then on in a good way.

10. Favorite Food? AVOCADOS!!! They are just so good! But I also have a weakness for Whole Foods pizza.

11. What would you do if you were not a dancer? I would be a Lighting Designer/Stage Manager, and possibly a Dance Festival Director... things I already do/hope to be someday.

12. What type of music do you listen to? Soundtracks! I just love epic orchestral music... anything from IHOP (International House of Prayer)

13. Random Interesting Fact? I am actually quite good at archery and used to teach it. I can also do a mean turkey call and have been known to hold my own in a conversation with said birds.



"Dance is the Voice of the Soul." - Unknown

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Dancer's Summer Activities:

Have you ever wondered what Ad Deum dancers do on their summer breaks? Wonder no longer. This blog post will give you a glimpse of some of your favorite dancers' activities during their breaks.

Emily Runyeon

I had the privilege of going on an Arrows International mission trip to Costa Rica and Nicaragua this summer. Arrows International is an organization that takes a group of dancers to other countries to spread the gospel through dance!  We trained for 10 days, learned 8 dances, and then flew to Costa Rica and Nicaragua to perform in schools, churches, markets, and even on a Nicaraguan TV station.  We also taught numerous dance workshops to the community.  I believe many lives were touched and changed (including my own!), and 63 students gave their lives to Christ! I highly recommend taking an Arrows International mission trip to any dancer out there!  I can definitely view this trip as a pivotal point in my life!




Tiffany Schrepferman

This summer I was a bridesmaid in my best friend's wedding, and had lots of fun reconnecting with many friends from college at the wedding. Then I was off to the American Dance Festival for my 5th summer where I work as the Production Stage Manager of the Reynolds Theater at Duke University. Every summer at ADF is incredibly diverse, and this summer, in addition to working with many amazing companies from around the world and seeing the hand of God move in this secular arena, I also got to discover and invent many different ways to clean almost any substance off of Marley, including but not limited to: baby powder, colored hairspray, orange juice, squashed grapes and figs, paint, feathers, sequins, massive amounts of hot glue, fresh flowers, coffee, raw meat, blood, and of course sweat and tears. All for the love of dance. :)



Sarah Yarbrough

This August I spent a week in Wisconsin at Christian Disciple Farm, a bible school day camp for children and young adults with special needs. The theme for the week was Everywhere Funfare/Carnival and my group was called the Amazing Animal Trainers. I was paired up with a buddy, an awesome ten year old who taught me a lot about friendship and playtime. We got to know each other throughout the week as we climbed the giant rock wall, tried our hand at arts and crafts, rocked out in the music garden, acted out bible stories, and ate lunch together. In the evening there were activities for the volunteers; hiking, kayaking, trap shooting, bible study, worship, and ice breaker activities. My time on the farm with my buddy and the other volunteers was an incredible, full, life-giving experience that I am still learning from and am grateful for.


Tiffany Strickland

This summer I was a pastoral intern at Deer Park United Methodist Church. If you had asked me last year if I wanted to go to seminary, I might of looked at you like you were crazy. Last year, I woke up one day and thought, "You should go to seminary!" Strange, I thought. That thought had never crossed my mind before so I prayed about what that mean't and eventually it led me to this internship. It gave me the full pastor experience from hospital visits, daily church management, leading Bible studies, to even preaching. Preaching was the part I was most nervous about but after I said my opening line, I didn't want it to end. I loved every minute of it.
I also got to go with my mom and aunt to the Mary Kay 50th Anniversary Seminar and you will never guess who I got to see performing there! No other than Ad Deum's Dani Stinger. She was amazing and you could tell she was having a blast. I finished out my summer break by visiting friends and family in Dallas, Georgia, and South Carolina. It was a wonderful summer break.



Rebecca Pillow

This summer I was able to travel to visit friends and family from my home in Florida and Georgia. I was also able assist at a few dance intensives and participate in a performance honoring our country called "We the People." However, my number one job this summer was being a supportive wife. My husband Bob graduated from University of Houston's Law School (magna cum laude!!!) in May and spent June and July studying for the bar exam. While I was teaching/rehearsing/dancing at our Ad Deum summer dance intensive Bob was spending three days taking the hardest test of his life. The next day he flew to Uganda to spend a week with International Justice Mission. Their goal was to organize and file in court rooms so that their projects may run more smoothly. After that we took a well needed vacation. We went a cruise to Isla Rotan, Belize, and Mexico which was incredible. We were able to relax and enjoy God's beautiful creation. It was a wonderful, restful time to have before I started my fourth season at Ad Deum and before he started his job as an attorney at Hogan Lovells. Praise be to God for all He has blessed us with this year.



Stay tuned to see who is dancer of the week next week!