When I was a little kid, God spoke to my mom’s friend He told her that I am a ‘dance warrior.’ I didn’t know what that meant, and to be quite honest I thought it was strange. I hadn’t even started dancing yet. During the first week of Incarnate, OM Arts Director Bill Drake told me I am a ‘dance warrior’ and I was shocked! I think that was a long-awaited confirmation of my identity.
Photography: Garrett Nasrallah
The solo dance I created during Incarnate is kind of my testimony. It’s titled ‘Dance Warrior.’ I fought with the devil and won! The piece focuses on Jesus Christ and why He died. Jesus loves us so much. His love is so simple, so pure. He can do anything, but because He loved us He submitted to death on the cross.
I specifically designed each part of the piece to convey this message; including the elements of music, lighting and choreography.
I mixed the accompanying music and laid a spoken word track over the music. During the piece you’ll hear people speaking the Lord’s Prayer and later shouting, “Crucify Him!,” in several different languages: German, Chinese, Italian, English and Spanish.
The lighting I chose is stark, dramatic and focused. It’s intended to capture the audience’s attention and reinforce the gravity of the message.
As for choreography, I use my body to draw the cross to show that I am a dance warrior with Him. I can fight because Jesus fights with me; He fights for me.
Dance is how I express the fight that went on inside me. I use lots of jumps and sharp, jabbing movements and I fall down. When you fight someone you will beat them. I didn’t just use the beating movement with my hand, but I beat and then turn my body so the movement is bigger and creates a beautiful picture. The fighting part is filled with strong and quick movements.
During my time at Incarnate, God showed me that another part of my story He wanted to work on was forgiveness. I had to forgive my sister, my friends and my teacher. When I was younger and just starting to dance, they called me the fat girl and I hated them. They said I wasn’t good enough. I’m still fighting those lies from my past and working towards forgiveness. It’s a process.
I think I’m almost there, almost ready to wholly forgive. Coming to a place of forgiveness hasn’t been easy for me. It’s been a fight. Every time I practiced this piece I was reminded that I need to trust Jesus because I cannot forgive them on my own. Jesus forgave me and now I am able to forgive them.
Jesus and I, we fight together. I’m not alone.
OM Arts dancer Sara Ying of Taiwan recently completed Incarnate, discipleship programme for artists in Italy. Interview with Sara was conducted by Lauren O'Shea. Lauren is a journalist from the United States. She is a communications intern for OM Middle East North Africa, currently on assignment with OM Arts International during the Incarnate programme, and is dedicated to telling the world what God is doing through global missions and the arts. Photography by Garrett Nasrallah, OM International.