JaReese Arrington performs a dance for a group attending a Men’s Health Forum at Greensville County High School last month.

There are many reasons why some feel we should praise God, as well as many ways to express that praise.

Local resident and recent high school graduate JaReese Arrington showed up and showed out during the recent Hampton University’s Minority Men’s Health Initiative Prayer Breakfast. It appeared to be enjoyable as well as impressive for those in attendance to see Arrington’s adoration of God be expressed through dance.

According to Arrington there are a lot of people that don’t understand the meaning behind the dance.

“Dancing is an avenue to express myself,” he said.“It gives me the opportunity to release any pain, anger or sadness while touching others hearts.”

As you looked around the room you could see the attendees nodding their heads as if they could relate.

You may have seen them at church, or faith based events, their faces painted white or wearing masks and their outer clothing is normally black. They are called mimes, doing what they do best, entertaining without verbal communication.

It’s an art form of storytelling through movement and gestures only. This form of worship is used by some Christian churches to articulate the spirit of God through bodily movements. Although dancing was used to express joy and thankfulness to the Lord in ancient times, it was forced out by the Christian churches by the Reformation. However, in the 20th century, praise dance re-entered praise and worship services.

Praise dance includes various diverse forms of dance like jazz, traditional or modern ballet, lyrical and hip hop dancing. Today, praise dance can be seen performed by Christians of all ages. More churches are allowing praise dancing. You can find Arrington mastering his skills and teaching youth from ages 5 through 18 at Emporia Dance Studio during the week.

“Praise dancing has been a great blessing to me,”said Arrington. “I simply want to share praise dancing in hopes to inspire others.”

Emporia Dance Studio has listened by giving Arrington a platform to master his skills as well as teach others.

“I simply want to share and praise which has been a great blessing to me,” said Arrington. “This style of praise dance is considered to be solemn and introspective. I certainly do not discount or disqualify any avenue or method in either area. I simply want to share and praise which has been a great blessing to me.