– “Junior, Biochemistry (Interested in holistic/alternative medicine)”
2.) What are your positions for Acclamation Dance Ministry? What does that entail?
– “Artistic Director: Work with head choreographer to help keep Acclamation up and running. We check in with each other almost weekly to talk about things ranging from specific details about classes and events to big picture intentions of the ministry (we joke that between the two of us Acclamation could be our full time job… which we would happily do!). While our roles overlap a lot, generally Haley works on creative aspects of planning while I tend to do administrative type things. For example, I’m responsible for reserving venues for rehearsals and performances, completing required paperwork for our events, and communicating with college faculty and staff. I also support the other Acclamation officers and help facilitate communication and cooperation between them.”
– Ballet II Teacher: I also love teaching ballet classes! Last year I taught ballet 1, and this year I teach ballet 2. It’s been a transition learning to teach an intermediate level class as compared to a beginner level, but it’s been rewarding. As a teacher my mail goal is ministry. While I do want to help people improve their technique, even more I want my class to be a place that people can come and be refreshed… I pray our time together renews our awareness of God’s faithful presence. That happens not only in devotional time at the beginning of class, but also during fun warmups, ballet exercises, and choreography. Also, my hope is that class time is collaborative. I know I’m not the only one with good things to bring to our time together, and I know I have a lot to learn too! It’s an interesting position to be in a peer leadership position (both as artistic director and a teacher)… even as I’m working to give my best I’m continually learning how to do better. And I can’t do any of it without all the wonderful peers and mentors I get to work alongside.”
3.) What’s your vision for Acclamation this year?
– “Vision for Acclamation: My vision for Acclamation is tied to our theme verse for the year; Colossians 2:6-7: ‘So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.’ I picture that verse as a tree… roots (‘rooted’), trunk (‘built up’), branches (‘strengthened in the faith’), and fruit (‘overflowing with thankfulness’). I want Acclamation to be that tree growing up into who God has called us to be. I picture dance as our overflow. But to get there takes intentional cultivating. I think of it both as intentionally cultivating the seeds (ideas, teachings, encouragement, truth) God has planted in us as well as if we are seeds growing up in God’s soil that need cultivating. What does that look like practically? It means we are intentionally seeking God as leaders and members of Acclamation. It means we are collaborating with one another in meaningful relationships. It means we are sharing the results of our pursuit of God with our audiences, inviting them to ‘dig deeper’ in Him, with Him too.”
4.)How has Acclamation impacted you over the years at Messiah?
– “Dance is such a central part of who God made me… it’s how I worship, it’s how I relax, it’s how I create, it’s how I function… ‘pray and plie” may be my life motto. That said, being able to not only continue dance, but also be a part of a dance ministry in college has been critical to my experiences at Messiah. Some of my best friendships, most exciting moments, and deepest encounters with God have come through dance. Plus I love teaching, leading, and organizing… putting that together with dance really makes me come alive. I am so thankful for Acclamation. So thankful for all the leaders, teachers, mentors, and members who have paved the way, kept the heart alive, and continue to bless me, this campus, and beyond.”
2.) What are your positions for Acclamation Dance Ministry? What does that entail?
– “I’m the head choreographer and teach ballet 3. Head choreographer is just a fancy term for event coordinator/contact person for everything! I also choreograph the opening and closing numbers for our spring concert, and make sure everything runs smoothly!”
3.) What is your vision for Acclamation this year?
– “It’s funny to think about my vision for Acclamation for this year, because it’s continually changing and growing as God works in and through everything that we’re doing. However, I think that the overwhelming push this year has been for our outreach ministry to grow, and it has already! We’ve gotten opportunities to reach out to alumni, dance in chapel and local churches, and in December, be the creative element for a national youth conference as well as have our own performances throughout this year.”
4.) How has Acclamation impacted you over the years at Messiah?
– “Acclamation has been one of the most influential things in my life over the past 3 years. Although I’ve always loved to dance, I didn’t grow up with the understanding that it was a form of worship. When I first joined Acclamation I had trouble integrating dance with my faith but I was blessed to be challenged with this my freshman year, and now I can’t imagine not putting the two together. God created me to dance, and what can I do but give it all back to Him!”
Jennifer is a junior biochemistry major who plans to pursue holistic medicine. She has been dancing since before she can remember, and she sincerely loves Acclamation! Dance as worship and ministry is something she’s grown up with, and it is a gift to continue in that with Acclamation. Her go-to dance styles are ballet and lyrical. She also enjoys group oriented dancing like Israeli. Plus, she’s generally open to trying new dance styles…taking a tap class with Acclamation is on her bucket list!
Haley Wilson is a junior Applied Health Science major with a concentration in Pre-Physical Therapy and will be serving Acclamation this year as the Head Choreographer and Ballet 3 teacher. She has been dancing since she was five years old, and feels extremely blessed to be a part of the incredible things God is doing through this ministry. When she’s not dancing (which is rare!) Haley loves to bake, watch movies, and hang out with her friends.
Marisa Fiorelli is currently a junior Elementary Education and Special Education major with a Dance minor. She teaches the Jazz 3 class for Acclamation this year. She also currently serves as the Secretary for Acclamation. Marisa has been dancing for 17 years. Marisa loves teaching and cannot wait to start this current dance year.
Bayley Taylor is a sophomore nursing student at Messiah. This is her second year in Acclimation Dance Ministry, and she is pleased to be serving the ministry as a co-treasurer and as the jazz 1/2 teacher. She has been dancing since she was four,and it is one of the greatest joys in her life.
Megan Gallagher is a sophomore education major with certification in Pre-k-4th and a double minor in psychology and pre-counseling. This is her second year in Acclamation and Footprintz. Megan has been dancing since she was four years old as well as dancing in numerous musicals throughout the years. Along with being treasurer Megan is the Musical Theater teacher and a choreographer for Footprintz.
Katie Johnston is a senior Public Relations major with double minor in Theatre and Marketing. She is the public relations guru and Tap 1&2 teacher. She loves her puppy (Brody), Steve Madden shoes, and Chai lattes. Someday she hopes to play Cinderella on Broadway and own a ring from Tiffany & Co.
Hannah Ruskan is a Junior Psychology and Dance Major that is excited to be a part of the Acclamation Family. She is currently serving her second year as the Costume Coordinator for ADM and has also taught the pointe class in the past. She has been dancing for eighteen years and could not imagine her life without it. Hannah loves the outdoors, baking delicious treats and spending time with her friends.
Victoria Hines is Psychology major with a minor in Criminal Justice. She began dancing at the age of 12 with her church’s dance ministry. By her senior year of high school she was a member of a professional Christian dance company called Neshema. The reason she loves dance so much is because “It is a way for me to express my worship and emotions. Dance is a way I can speak my feelings without saying a word.” This year she will be teaching Modern 3 and improv for Acclamation. She is also the Outreach coordinator and will be teaching that class.
Jacey Johnson is a senior youth ministry major and the current prayer chaplain of Acclamation. She has only been dancing for three years but she loves it! On campus she is also a member of the Koinonia small group leadership team and the president of P.L.A.C.E. (Preparing Ladies to Affirm Christ Example), which is a women and ministry club. In addition, she is the Young Adult intern at Camp Hill United Methodist Church and she has a passion for reaching teenagers and young adults with the love of Christ. Isaiah 40:31
Emma is a senior biopsychology major with a math minor at Messiah. She just recently returned from a semester abroad in Lithuania during which she got to travel to some pretty neat places, including Russia, Estonia, and Paris. In years past, Emma has been the Outreach Coordinator but has recently switched to the role of Alumni Relations Coordinator. She hopes to establish connections between past and present dancers who share the common passion for their time spent dancing with Acclamation.
Sarah Pratt is a senior nursing major, adventure education minor with a love for Israeli dance. She has been a part of Acclamation since coming to Messiah in 2011. Last year, she was finally able to make a dream a reality: beginning the Israeli dance as a class offered through Acclamation. She has been doing Israeli and Messianic dance for six years now. When she’s not studying for nursing classes or choreographing a new dance, she enjoys kayaking, crocheting, and watching Doctor Who. This is also Sarah’s third year as the webmaster.