Dance graduate to share art, faith in New Zealand
By Ashlee Larrison
GCU News Bureau
Before she started her freshman year as a Grand Canyon University dance major, Hannah Croft had never heard of dance ministry. Now, nearly one year after walking across the commencement stage to receive her diploma, she will go to New Zealand for two weeks in April with the Colorado-based Messengerz Dance Company & Ministry.
Croft and three other dancers will work with teens and young adults in Auckland and Wellington during an Easter camp that utilizes multiple art forms. They will perform, teach workshops on different styles of dance, mentor and lead Bible studies.
She is looking forward to working with both large and small groups and combining her passion for dance with her love of Jesus Christ’s story.
“Students come to learn more about the Easter story and about Jesus death and resurrection, so we’ll just be able to perform, teach and mentor,” she said.
It is an experience the GCU dance program prepared her for well, Croft said:
“One thing that I really loved about GCU was the like-minded people and students that I got to dance with and learn from. Everyone just had a huge heart for dance ministry … so coming to GCU and being surrounded by a bunch of different people who have a passion for sharing the Gospel through dance was just a huge blessing to my life and made me realize like how the arts can really be used to proclaim His name and minister to people in a variety of different ways. So that was really awesome.”
But that wasn’t the only way the program prepared her. It also had a lot to do with how she was taught.
“The instructors and especially Susannah (Keita), the director, they’re all just really encouraging and helpful to have us get out there and just go do anything we can in the realm of dance and just experience as much as we could in the dance world,” she said. “That was really helpful, to just get that push and get that encouragement to be able to conquer fears, basically, and just be brave and put yourself out there and go do adventures like this.”
Since graduating, Craft has worked in a training company in Utah and said that it has been a learning experience.
“Post-graduation can be really scary and a huge transition, so (it’s a matter of) just being open to whatever comes your way and knowing that plans can so easily change and that your plans don’t have to be set in stone right when you graduate,” she said. “The Lord provides in so many different ways that you can never really prepare for.
“I’ve been learning to get more involved in my community and just be open to new experiences, which has been challenging and difficult but also has taught me so much. … It’s been a good adventure so far.”
Contact Ashlee Larrison at (602) 639-8488 or [email protected]
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