LANSING, Mich. — There is an upbeat rhythm traveling across mid-Michigan, allowing local youth to be part of something larger than themselves.
Heather Taylor is organizing Worship Without Words, a faith-based group using dance to inspire, unite, and mentor youth.
“It allows us to harness youth in our community. This opportunity gives us a vehicle to give them a safe space where they can learn arts, they can learn their culture, and then they can give back to the community.”
Mikala Martin is one of the dancers participating in Worship without Words. She says the group helps to lift her spirit and motivates her to be more positive. Martin says she passes that on to others, but her favorite part is the dancing. “I like dancing a lot. And knowing that dancing can put a smile on people's faces makes me happy too.”
Recently the group presented a traditional African dance at the opening of the movie Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Taylor says Worship Without Words is an extension of the Brand New Me Workshops, a non-profit organization geared toward community youth involvement and giving back. Brand New Me Workshops have organized everything from summer reading programs to outreach to seniors in our community. During the COVID lockdown, Taylor says volunteers even delivered care packages to seniors who couldn’t leave their houses.
“The main thing we'd like for people to know is that we don't just dance; we teach too. All kids are not basketball players; all kids are not football players, and all kids are not cheerleaders. But all kids can learn about their culture. All kids can give back to the community. All kids can come to a safe space and communicate.
This week’s Good Neighbors are all those who are part of the Brand New Me Workshops, including the dancers and organizers of Worship Without Words. Thank you for supporting our youth and allowing them to hear the drums of a positive beat and, in turn, pass it forward.
On Thursday, December 29, Worship Without Words is holding a fundraiser at Lansing’s NCG Theatre. Taylor hopes all those who support the group's mission will come out for an evening of dancing and celebration.
If you want more information, visit the Worship Without Words website.
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