Friday, March 22, 2013

Ad Deum Spring Intensive 2013

Ad Deum Spring Intensive 2013 (By Stella Almblade)

Note: There are no pictures for this blog because we want our readers who have attended the intensive to submit pictures to the blog. Submit pictures by emailing them to: and a small paragraph about your experience. You may see your picture and story on our blog!

How would I describe it in one word? A GIFT.
Ok, that's two, I know, but it was a GIFT. The preparation was long-coming and prayer-filled, to finally see the week come, it was a gift on all sides!

So what IS the Spring Intensive anyway, you might ask...
In a nutshell, it is an intense week of experiencing the Ad Deum Community. We had over 60 people come to the studio each day for 5 days straight! There were three divisions of dancers: the high-intermediate/advanced, the low intermediate/beginner, and the youth intensive ages 12-15. It was a blast! So many people, so many!

All the participants wake up bright and early on their Spring Break to arrive at the studio by 8:30am for live worship and devotionals. These times are precious, they unite the participants and the Ad Deum companies in heart, spirit, mission, and vision of what God is doing in each of our lives, in the lives of all His People, and in the lives of those He has called to be artists. The theme this year was the God of Angel Armies. Each morning, in addition to the message, we broke down the stanzas of the Chris Tomlin song called "Whom Shall I Fear".  There are so many versus in scripture that give foundation and support to the lines of the song:
It is truth that God goes before us. (Joshua 24:18)
It is truth that He stands behind us (Isaiah 52:12)
It is truth that God is the God of Angel Armies (Psalm 84:1)
It is truth that He is always by our side, He will never leave us nor forsake us (Duet 31:6)
It is truth that He reigns forever (Psalm 146:10)
It is truth that He calls us friends (John 15:15)

These are just some of the truths that we learned this week.

Imagine taking a challenging ballet class, modern class, or doing something challenging at work or in school, yet knowing that God is by your side! There is so much freedom to come from understanding that the God of Angel Armies is by your side! The peace it brought us dancers this week is beyond words. I only hope and pray that we all take what we've learned in our hearts into every single day of our future!

After the morning time at 9:30am there was a ballet technique class with Ad Deum Dancers, or Fara Sciulli-Bowen. Fara was a blessing all week, with her incredible classes, super-helpful cues, amazing technique hints, and DELIGHTFUL personality. She is a JOY in every class she teaches!. (Thank you Fara for an amazing week!!!)

Immediately after ballet was an 11:00am modern class with Ad Deum dancers or Durell Comedy. Durell taught Limon technique (He is currently dancing with the Limon Dance Company). Durell challenged all of us in our release into gravity, our coordination, our sense of balance, and our concepts of movement in general! It was a completely new way to move for some and a fun challenging experience for everyone!
(Thank you for Durell for all your GREAT classes!!!)

After a brief 30 minute lunch break, from 1:00-2:00pm there were elective classes offered such as hip hop, breaking, jazz, contemporary. And from 2:15-3:15 there were Ad Deum repertoire classes. Daniel Cossette taught the incredibly inspiring and fluid solo called Corpus Instrumental every day that week. I wish you could just listen to this song. Simply listening to it will calm your spirit and mind! Sarah Brotherton and Joanna Tan taught a soothing, mediatively gorgeous group piece called Sanctus B. Again, if only you could hear these songs... wow. When you hear them, you can only imagine what dancing movement which is just as beautiful as the symphony would be like... simply a peaceful blessing and a taste of heaven.

In the end, what's my reaction to the Spring Intensive? WOWZAH!!!


Personally, my favorite parts of the week all have to do with getting to know people!

I loved giving rides to the participants from the hotel to the dance studios in the morning, hearing their stories, and just chatting. I loved teaching the Beg/Low Int Modern and Jazz classes, they were an incredible group of people, incredible talent, full of willingness to learn, and beautiful hearts! I loved learning in class and in rehearsal from Durell Comedy, what an honor and a blessing to learn from him! I loved lunchtime conversations with participants! And I was blessed by all of the Ad Deum dancers, knowing that everyone was working their hardest to make sure everything was running smoothly! My heart and mind were at peace the whole week. I thank the Lord for the unity within Ad Deum, it is only by His grace and strength we were able to accomplish-slash-survive this week. I rest in knowing that He was glorified through our worship, dancing, preparation, hard work, and even in through our laughter! I look forward to hearing testimonies in the future of the things God did during this time! May God bless everyone who participated in this event, and may He be glorified! Amen!

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