Today I’m concluding my interview with dancer Katherine Gant, who has danced with Classical Ballet Memphis, Ad Deum Dance Company (www.danceaddeum.com), Project Dance (www.projectdance.com), Ballet Magnificat! (www.balletmagnificat.com) and more. Katherine continues to teach and dance and is a founding member of the Atlanta Christian Dance Community (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/atlchristiandance).
LM: How has your faith affected your passion for dance?
KG: I once danced for my own glory and satisfaction but it left me feeling very empty. When I realized that my gift of dance comes from the Lord and can be used by Him, a whole new world opened up. The burden of perfectionism that comes with this art form vanished and a new freedom to simply dance came. I deeply desire to help all dancers find the freedom that comes from surrendering their gift of dance to be used by Him.
LM: Have you found that other Christians don’t understand why you are involved in the arts?
KG: It is tough to address dancing within the church to other Christians. They are always opposed simply because they have never been shown what the scripture says about it. My favorite verse to take them to is Psalms 149:3: “Let them praise His name with dancing.”
LM: What would you say to encourage other artists who are trying to live their faith and their art in the world?
KG: I think Christian artists really struggle with being artistic and still being a Christian. I think too often we try to separate the two when really they go hand in hand. If we are truly hidden in Christ, all we say, do, write, dance or speak will reflect Him, even our art. We shouldn’t focus on asking “Is this Christian art?” but on listening with our heart and fleshing out what He has shown us deep inside.
Note: Katherine is Event Coordinator for New York-based Project Dance’s inaugural event in Atlanta to be held in Centennial Olympic Park on Sept. 22, 2007. The event, which occurs over a three-day weekend, includes dance classes, motivational forums, networking and a free all-day dance concert held in the heart of the city.
“The purpose of the free dance concert is to share our talents with the people of Atlanta and to communicate a message of hope and healing through the language of dance,” explained Cheryl Cutlip, founder of Project Dance.
Project Dance was born out of a desire to serve the people of New York directly after the events of September 11th and it has managed to do just that for the past six years.
Next month, at the first event in Atlanta, about 200 dancers will gather to take part in the festivities. Although the weekend is designed to give participants the opportunity to perform and take dance classes, Project Dance also strives to inspire dancers as artists and individuals. All of the activities over the weekend focus on faith and personal growth.