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!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Dancer Profile: Emily Runyeon

My beloved speaks and says to me: "Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away."
Song of Solomon 2:10

Emily Runyeon

Emily, from Dayton, Ohio, received her B.A. in Psychology from Wright State University.  She began her dance training with South Dayton Dance Theatre and continued her studies at Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, Dayton Contemporary Dance Second Company, New ARTiculations, and Arrows International.  Currently she teaches dance for West University Dance Centre, and is excited to continue her third season with Ad Deum.

Fun Facts:
1. Nick Name? Erin Joe the Lumberjack

2. Where are you from? Dayton Ohio

3. How many years have you been dancing? I started dancing when I was 2.5 years old.

4. Favorite style of dance? Contemporary because it combines both ballet and modern into one.

5. What made you want to start dancing? Apparently I was dancing around the house, so my mom signed me up for dancing and I never quit.

6. What dance companies inspire you? I am inspired by Dayton Contemporary Company because it is the company I grew up watching. I love their repertoire, their talent is incredible, and they are just a great, fun group of people.

7. Favorite work of Ad Deum? My favorite piece is a Joyful Noise choreographed by Durell Comedy. This piece is such a gift from the Lord for me to dance because I feel Durell choreographed part of my testimony that I hadn't been able to put into words.

8. Favorite Performance or Outreach with Ad Deum? My favorite Outreach we have done was at Sheltering Arms. Sheltering Arms is a center for people who are suffering from some sort of dementia. This outreach was really close to my heart because my grandma suffered from Alzheimer's disease and I could see aspects of my Nana in each of the people that were there. It was such a blessing to perform for them and bring joy to their hearts because the joy they feel while watching our dancing lasts longer than the actual memory of our dances.

9. Favorite Ad Deum Memory? My favorite Ad Deum memory is when we washed the feet of our participants at our Switzerland intensive. It was really special for me to serve each participant in that way and get to pray over and bless each one of them.

10. Favorite Food? Chocolate chip cookies because they are delicious!

11. What would you do it you were not a dancer? It's hard to say what I would be doing if I wasn't a dancer because ever since I can remember that is what I wanted to be! But after I am done dancing I would love to do some missions work overseas!

12. What type of music do you listen to? I love all types of music, but I mostly listen to worship music. Jesus Culture, Will Reagan, Jonathan David Helser, Chris Tomlin, Cory Asbury, Tenth Avenue North... and the list goes on and on!

13. Random Fact? I have a black belt in To-Shin-Do.

Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.
- Martha Graham.