LAUD ministry moves to change perception of dancing in the church
Non-denominational dance ministry, LAUD is on a mission to change the perception that dances are not for the church and has been working assiduously to re-image church members’ minds. (Photos: Marlon Reid)
Dancing often triggers a sense of uncleanliness for most people. It conjures images of suggestive sexual undertones with the movement of the loins stirring an uneasy emotion, especially for Christians.
Non-denominational dance ministry, LAUD is however on a mission to change the perception that dances are not for the church and has been working assiduously to re-image church members’ minds.
“The sole purpose of LAUD is to glorify God through dance. Dance has been taken from the church, in a sense that it has become derogatory. We believe that it was created by God to give praise,” said LAUD’s founder and artistic director, Nickesha Jones.
According to Jones, dance has been treated like a taboo in the church.
“People will draw all kinds of conclusion to it. We want to make people know it is okay to dance. It is like a choir,” Jones said.
The group started in 2006 with nine persons and the membership has fluctuated over the years, reaching a maximum of 100.
LAUD’s founder and artistic director, Nickesha Jones.
Members currently rehearse at the Calvary Gospel Assembly on Sundown Crescent, off Molynes Road in St Andrew.
LAUD Dance Ministry has been twisting and turning rhythmically to music for 12 years, during which time the dance troupe has won many Jamaica Cultural Development Commission’s trophies as well as accolades from performances that touch the soul.
The group has also performed at many functions and national events, including the Grand Gala which is staged each year on August 6, Jamaica’s Independence Day.
It has also staged its own production each year with rehearsals in full swing for the October 13 ton14 Little Theatre show titled, “Incomplete”, which is taken from the biblical narrative of Hannah and Peninnah.
“Incomplete” will have a Jamaican twist, with Jones along with husband Kemar writing some of the songs for the production to ensure that there is a connection between the choreography, music and the story that is being told.
LAUD Dance Ministry
Click the slider for more photos from LAUD Ministry's rehearsal ahead of their production on October 13 and 14.
According to Jones, persons have reacted positively to the production over the years, always loving the storyline.
“The main aim is to have them walking away thinking, as there is always a message,” Jones said.
She added: “‘Incomplete’ will be powerful. Come with an expectation to be blessed and be ministered to.”
Recently, LAUD launched a dance and sign language competition for churches across the island.