Monday, July 20, 2015

Ad Deum Goes to Switzerland

It was just a week ago that we boarded the plane, waving our goodbyes to the beautiful country of Switzerland and the wonderful people we had met there. Though we were still groggy from our 4:30 am wake up call, all seven of us were very conscious of the fact that we were leaving Switzerland changed from when we had first come. God used this trip to encourage us, inspire us, challenge us, refresh us, and remind us what an awesome God we serve.
Our group -- Randy, Lysion, Emily, Whitney, Leah, Victoria and Shannon -- had the opportunity to travel to Switzerland, serving as staff for the 2015 Switzerland Summer Dance and Mime Intensive. We spent the week teaching classes, fellowshipping with the participants, and watching God work in our lives and the lives of those who attended. It was a truly blessed time and a great way to kick off the summer while preparing us for our next adventures.
Just arrived and reunited with Sara,
who spent the second half of Ad Deum's season with us in Houston!
Guätä Morgä -- “Good morning”
Each morning brought a round of moans and groans and the popular question, “How do you feel?”. We were all, us teachers included, taking care to roll out and stretch our aching muscles. However, mornings weren’t only filled with the sounds of nursing sore bodies. They were also filled with eager greetings for the new day and the intensive participants’ clear hunger to learn -- to learn more about God, to learn more about dance and to learn more about how well God and dance go together.
After Randy’s challenging devotions each morning, we all made our way through the streets of Biel, Switzerland to start the day. From the first class on Saturday to the last class the following Friday, we at Ad Deum were inspired by the talents and work ethics of our students.
This year’s intensive held three levels of dancers plus the mime track, and the growth from the first day to the last day was incredible to witness. Talk about your “proud mama” moment. We were all inspired by how well the participants’ soaked up the wealth of information they learned in ballet, modern, hip hop, jazz, floor work, conditioning and other classes throughout the intensive.
Dankeschön -- “Thank you”
While we were teaching dance throughout the week, we were also able to add to our Swiss German vocabulary, which was fairly limited for most of us. It’s too bad we don’t have recordings of those lessons.
But that’s not all we learned from our students. They encouraged and inspired us throughout the week, teaching us how to communicate through the language barrier and reminding us what it looks like to get back to our roots and simply worship the Lord through dance. The talent show on Thursday night was a testament to how the Lord uses willing people, whether they have years of dance experience or just a few days. We at Ad Deum would like to sincerely thank those who participated for inspiring us and reminding us why it is that we dance just before our performance on Friday night.
Tschüss -- “Goodbye”
All in all, the 2015 Summer Dance and Mime Intensive was a week of dancing, sweating, worshipping, laughing and enjoying life together. It was an invaluable experience. And though it seemed we were saying goodbye all too soon, we were already making plans to come again and see one another again in the near future.
When God sent the seven of us to Switzerland, only He knew what was in store for us and for all those involved in the intensive. Before the participants performed the dances they had learned throughout the week on Saturday afternoon in a closing Show and Tell, we learned some of what the Lord had done throughout the week in their lives. One girl even came to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ!
Though there were a few obstacles that threatened to thwart this trip, the experience was truly a blessing every step of the way. Hearing those stories made the week more than worth it. Needless to say, we are all excited to go again.

Our view from the YWAM Wiler base
where we stayed
Walking through the city of Biel to dance class

Our final pow wow, discussing our experiences throughout the week

Warming up for Show and Tell

Sightseeing during our last full day in Switzerland

Monday, May 18, 2015

What to Expect from Ad Deum’s Summer Dance Intensive

It is hard to believe today is May 18. We’ve had the dates for our spring concert, Mourning Has Broken, circled on our calendars for months; so the fact that May 15 and 16 have come and gone and Summer Dance Intensive 2015 is just two weeks away is hard to believe.
God truly blessed our performances this past weekend, and it was an honor to share the stage with Logan Kruger and Durell Comedy of The José Limón Dance Company. We are also incredibly grateful for everyone of you who attended!
As we now shift our attentions to preparing for the summer dance intensive, we thought we would share some thoughts with you from past participants. If you have already decided to come, get excited! We can’t wait for you to get here! If you’re still on the fence and weighing your options, these testimonials may help in the decision-making process:
“I look forward to the summer intensive every year because each year the Lord shows up in a big way that I never expected. The Houston Summer Dance Intensive 2013 was especially pivotal for me when I really understood my true identity in Christ that lead me to experiencing freedom and confidence that I had never experienced before. It was truly a life changing week for me!”
Emily R.
Palm Beach Atlantic University Summer Intensive 2011, 2012
Houston 2012, 2013, 2014
"As a citizen of Zion, it is our responsibility to uphold the greatest standard of excellence in every area of our life... including dance and creativity. I was both encouraged and challenged to pursue excellence and gained such a peace in my heart to continue dancing in Grace and purity, no matter the stage or audience! So thankful to find my home away from home in this way with Ad Deum at the summer program!"
Tabatha H.
“Summer intensive is literally my favorite part of Ad Deum!”
Lezlie C.
“My first year at Ad Deum's Summer Intensive I did not know what to expect or what to prepare for. I knew there would be dance classes, but that's about it. What I found when I got there were dance classes taught by master teachers, dancers who hungered for something more than good dance training, a beautiful morning worship time with the other dance participants, and a place that felt safe to be who you are. My perspective of faith and the arts was forever changed for the better! If you are considering attending Ad Deum's summer intensive, by all means do not let anything stop you! “
Sarah Y.
2009-2015 (seven years, whoa!)
“The Ad Deum summer intensive is a unique and anointed time for the Lord to affirm his calling to artists as servants of God. It is a wonderful time of reflection, revelation, and refueling as you dance unto him with passion and abandon. I was so ministered to by the teaching, the worship, and the dance!”
Tehillah H.
"At my first Ad Deum Summer Intensive, on the last morning after worship, I went down to the altar and truly surrendered my life and my dancing to the Lord. I wept at the feet of Jesus. He had begun to change my heart from a Martha to a Mary heart, and I realized how worthy He was of all of my worship, all of my heart, all of my life. It is His."
Ann Sterling D.
2013, 2014
“Ad Deum's Summer Dance Intensive is where I first felt affirmed in my passion for Jesus and dance as a life calling and pursuit. Dance Artists are a vital part of the body of Christ, and that week of July 2014 is when I first truly felt that value in the kingdom of God.”
Camille C.
"My first summer intensive with Ad Deum marked the beginning of a beautiful journey in discovering my identity as a believer artist. My eyes were opened to a whole new worldview in which dancing with artistic excellence is a powerful instrument for engaging in warfare on behalf of the kingdom of God and for serving others. The seeds that were planted in my life during this time by the tremendous faculty and beautiful community of believers have continued to blossom to this day. I dare say that the Lord used Ad Deum to change my life."
Bethany R.
2012, 2013, 2014
For more information on Ad Deum’s 2015 Summer Dance Intensive, check out our website or contact us at

Friday, May 8, 2015

Catching Up and Moving Forward

Well, hello there! Don’t know about you, but it’s been so busy around here that it’s been hard to find time to write. It feels similar to catching up with an old friend, except so much has happened you don’t know where to begin. Perhaps, we’ll start by a quick recap of Ad Deum’s adventures since Spring Intensive(s) and then give you the down low on what’s coming up next:
Catching Up: March - May
  • Both weeks of Spring Dance Intensives (along with Project Dance Houston sandwiched in between) went really well! We love having guests and were so blessed by how the Lord showed up during this special time.
  • Right after Spring Intensives, we jumped into a week of 80’s-inspired jazz and tap master classes taught by Kenny Jezek. Mr. Jezek is a triple threat and then some with an extensive performance background including CATS and television series Fame and Days of Our Lives. We are so grateful for the wealth of knowledge he graciously shared.
  • Easter Sunday found groups of us scattered throughout the Houston area as we performed in various church services. What better way to celebrate Resurrection Sunday than to dance before our Risen Savior?
  • Next, we were able to sit back and enjoy watching Ad Deum 2 perform in their spring concert. If you missed it, stay tuned for news of more performances next season because they were amazing!
  • Following AD2’s concert, it was our turn to take the stage as we enjoyed an annual tradition of performing with area dance schools and companies in East Meets West at Houston’s Miller Outdoor Theatre.
Ad Deum at Miller Outdoor Theatre.jpg

Ad Deum performs at Miller Outdoor Theatre

  • Last week, we took to the skies and headed on tour to Kansas. It was a special time as we were able to join with Störling Dance Theater for a weekend of collaborative performances. We felt so loved by the warm welcome from the folks at Störling and The Culture House and hope to work with them again soon!
Moving Forward:
We weren’t kidding about being busy! Now, we set our sights on our spring concert, a first-time collaboration with dancers of The José Limón Dance Company. This week features a workshop of master classes taught by our favorite Limón teachers, Logan Kruger and Durell Comedy, and ends with a bang as we together present a premiere performance, Mourning Has Broken.
If you are in or near the Houston area, you’ll definitely want to make it out to one of the two performances. Check out the details below, and we’ll see you there!
Mourning Has Broken
When: May 15 - 16; 8:00pm
Where: The Barn
             2201 Preston St.
             Houston, TX
Tickets: $20; available online or cash/check at the door

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Springing Forward into Spring Dance Intensives

It’s March. Can you believe it? In exactly one week, we will all bemoan the fact that we lost an hour of sleep on Saturday night when we weren’t going to get enough to begin with; but then we’ll remember that the next day is March 9 and all will be right with the world.
Okay, maybe that was a tad dramatic; but March 9 will be a great day. Why? Because it begins the first of two weeks of our spring dance intensives.
We are so very excited to meet new friends and hug older ones, to welcome our incredible guest faculty, and, most importantly, to wait expectantly for what God has in store. God created the universe, so He cares about His creation and the art they create. He cares about Ad Deum’s Spring Dance Intensives. And, yes! He cares about you being here.
Both weeks of intensives will take place Monday through Friday from 8:30 am until 3:00 pm. During the first week, March 9 - 13, we’ll have guest teachers Vincent Hardy (formerly with Complexions Contemporary Ballet) and Caleb Mitchell (formerly with Houston Ballet) along with Ad Deum faculty members Fara Sciulli Bowen and Steve Brule (both formerly with Houston Ballet) and Artistic Director Randall Flinn.
Get your contractions ready for week two, March 16 - 20, with classes taught by guest teachers Steve Rooks (former principal dancer with Martha Graham Dance Company) and Dani Stinger (currently with Martha Graham Dance Company, formerly with Ad Deum).
The cost for each week is just $175 or $300 for both weeks. You can also choose our $40/day option.
We are located at West University Dance Centre, 4007 Bellaire Blvd., Houston, TX 77025. Our website provides additional information about hotel recommendations and other details, but please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions at
If you haven’t made plans to be here for one or both of our 2015 Spring Dance Intensives, why not? Maybe this is exactly where you should be…

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine’s Day Special: Relationships, Marriage and Dance (Part 2)

We’ve talked a bit about how the married ladies are making it work in love, life, and dance. What about the single ladies?
On Dancing
Though many bemoan their single relationship status, being single as a dancer definitely has its advantages as well. Senior company member Emily moved to Houston specifically to dance with Ad Deum, and she is one of many company members who has done so.
She said, “I love the freedom I have as a single person to make my own decisions. Dance presents so many opportunities to work with different dance companies or travel the world and being single gives me the freedom to take advantage of each opportunity that comes my way without having the complication of factoring another person into decisions.”
For Shannon, who also moved to Houston to dance with the company, being single gives her a “sense of boldness” to pursue different opportunities like moving cross-country, explaining that “the challenge of coordinating another person’s life and goals could become a deterrent to exploring various opportunities.”
On Time and Busy Schedules
While being single as a dancer may seem easier and more natural -- since most start dancing as young kids who are, well, single -- the balance between the comfort found in being single and the desire to be in a relationship headed toward marriage can be a hard one. How do you find time to pursue a relationship with someone while maintaining a busy schedule? Does that relationship have to signify the beginning of the end of a dance career?
Neither Emily nor Shannon have definitive answers for this challenge. Shannon even admits that her busy schedule can actually become her comfort zone, saying:
“It has been great to watch other dancers prove that it’s actually possible to be married and continue dancing. Personally, however, I have not figured out how to prevent my schedule from getting in the way. Instead, I think I fall back on being busy as an excuse to keep myself off the “playing field” in dating and relationships because I am afraid that it will mess with my carefully laid schedule and my emotions. And my schedule doesn’t allow time for my emotions to go haywire. Haha”
On Contentment
While enjoying the freedom that often comes with dancing as a single person, there are also times when disappointment may try to creep in and spoil that phase of life. Emily has been encouraged by married friends who remind her how special that time of singleness is.
“When you are single, your journey is just with you and the Lord as your first love, but when you are married your relationship with God changes because you are now one with another person,” she stated.
Through this time of being single Emily has learned valuable lessons, saying, “The Lord has taught me how important it is for me to really know my identity in Him before I unite with someone else. When you are secure in who the Lord says you are, you don’t have to rely on someone else to give you worth.”
She added, “The Lord has also taught me so much about love, and through growing in knowledge of His love for me, I am better able to love others.”
Shannon echoed those sentiments as she reflected on lessons God has taught her during this time.
“His timing is perfect,” she acknowledged. “Though I may have my own ideas and proposed timeline, God has definitely shown me that He is teaching me lessons now that are preparing me to become a wife. Lessons like learning my identity in Christ, which is often hard to remember in the dance world… I’ve also learned to be honest before the Lord in both my frustrations and my fears, which has actually led me to become more vulnerable and open in other relationships as well as in my dancing.”
What advice do they have for others learning to be content as a single person?
“Don’t get too far ahead of yourself and take for granted the time you have as a single person, free to fully invest in whatever the Lord has placed on your heart whether it be your friendships, your family or a people group on the other side of the world,” Emily recommended.
Shannon offered advice of which she often reminds herself: “Seek the Lord first. He promises that when we do, He will add “all these things” (Matthew 6:33). To me, that includes relationships and finding a future spouse as well as career, finances, etc. In those times when I am able to keep my focus on the Lord (which is a constant decision), it is then that I feel I am better able to take advantage of the single life the Lord has blessed me with without falling into bitterness or watching life on the sidelines through the eyes of Hallmark Channel heroines.”
Remember our chocolate scenario from “Part 1”? Romantic relationships bring about different phases of life for different people. For some, a relationship that leads to marriage is the beginning of a new phase in which dance is no longer a career goal. For others, it begins the tango of fusing together two lives in which dance is a major part. For still others, relationships play a valuable role, but do not lead to marriage.
One thing is clear: God loves relationships, marriage and dance; and they can, in fact, go well together. Indeed, it seems like when it comes to the three, the saying “where there’s a will, there’s a way” is quite applicable. The key is to be careful that it is God’s will for which we are making a way rather than a battle of the wills. Then He takes care of the timing, the contentment, the scheduling, the traveling, the dancing.

Valentine’s Day Special: Relationships, Marriage and Dance (Part 1)

Do dancers get married? That’s a bit like asking do dancers eat chocolate to which the answer is some do and some don’t. Marriage, like dance as a career, is a calling and in honor of Valentine’s Day, we thought we would share the inside scoop on relationship experiences and opinions from a few of Ad Deum’s dancers.
The dancers were asked several questions in regard to relationships, specifically addressing issues unique to dancers. For part one, we take a look at the responses from a couple of the married ladies:

On Dance and Marriage

For many, dance and marriage don’t always seem like lifestyles that mix well. For Joselyn, who was married this past summer and spent the first part of the season dancing with Ad Deum’s second company, God changed her perspective when she met her now-husband, Patrick:

“I used to believe that I could either be a married woman or I could be a dancer. I couldn't see how the two could go together. But now I am obviously a dancer that is a married woman... So that alone to me is proof that God can change your heart and your mind. My husband constantly pushes me to be the best child of God and the best dancer I can be.”

For senior company member, Rebecca, who was married before joining the company, marriage is one of the ways she and her husband are able to serve the Lord together.
“Serving the Lord through dance is exactly what we do every day at Ad Deum, and because [my husband] Bob supports me, we are able to serve the Lord together through dance. Bob knows that my heart’s desire is to serve the Lord, and he knows that I am fulfilled by dancing in a community where we seek to glorify God,” she stated.
For both women, the support of their husbands includes attending shows. You may have met them at the door, handing out programs for past shows!
On the Impact Relationships Have on Dancing
Of course, we have to be professional. The audience shouldn’t know that you just went through a difficult breakup if that is the case, but it cannot be denied that relationships can influence our dancing. Rebecca’s relationship with her husband has increased her “ability to be vulnerable on stage.”
“Once I became more vulnerable in my relationship and realized it wasn’t so scary because I trust and love my husband, that allowed me to open up more in my performing,” she admitted. “If you open up and allow the audience to see more of who you really are, I think it makes for a more meaningful performance.”
On the flip side, God has changed plans for Joselyn and her husband, leading to her decision to take time off from dancing in order to better support her husband as he starts a new company.
“His dream is to be an entrepreneur,” she explained. “So here I am, diving into a business with him. Because that’s what husbands and wives do. They sacrifice for each other. And yeah, that was a hard sacrifice to make. I want nothing more than to dance every day all day long. But I know if I do this now for him that it will eventually be ‘my turn.’ He also wants nothing more than for me to dance. So maybe finding a way to perform that is a bit more ‘part time’ will be our answer. We talk about it a lot. It’s good to not hide frustration and sadness, etc.”
On Time and Busy Schedules
Without a doubt, a dancer’s life is a busy one. At Ad Deum, dancers take classes and rehearse by day and many teach at night. That doesn’t leave much time for other activities or people during the week. Both Joselyn and Rebecca will tell you they have to make the most of the time they do have to spend with their husbands.
As newlyweds, Joselyn and Patrick quickly learned they need to cut the TV off, leaving time to talk, ask questions, and laugh. Weekends are valuable, so Joselyn has sometimes chosen to say no to invitations to substitute teach a dance class that would cut into time reserved to spend with her husband. She is realizing that “taking the time even when you think you have none is not only important but necessary.”
Importantly, it takes understanding on the spouse’s part as well. This is another area where the support of Rebecca’s husband has been so important. The couple both sacrificed time in order to enable Rebecca to join Ad Deum’s month-long tour in Europe this past summer.
Of the experience, she recounted, “At first I didn’t think I would be able to go because I didn’t want to be away from him for so long. Eventually, Bob told me that if he were in my position he would want to go to Europe, so he knew he couldn’t ask me not to go. It was incredibly hard to be away from him for so long, but it was an amazing opportunity to dance and teach in Europe, and it was made easier because I knew I had Bob’s support and understanding.”
What would these married dancers say to dancers, both those single and those in relationships headed toward marriage?
Rebecca advised, “Seek the Lord first in all things. Know that His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts. Live to the fullest where He has you in life right now. Love is a gift from the Lord, and He has His own timing in when He brings that into your life.”
Joselyn also suggested reading the Bible together and premarital counseling, saying “Don’t be afraid to talk about God and Jesus together. Our relationship became so much stronger since we began praying together and talking together about our beliefs and views.” Through the class she and her husband took, they also had the opportunity to discuss questions they might not have considered otherwise.
We hope Joselyn and Rebecca’s honesty as they learn to live the married life has been helpful to you. Now is a great time to take a chocolate break (if you’re a chocolate-eating dancer) before checking out "Part 2" of our Valentine’s Day post. You’ll learn what some of the company’s single members have to say on the issue of dance and relationships.

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