El Salvador Day 6

Our last day of ministry was at the largest all girls public school in El Salvador called España. When we first got there, the person that everything was scheduled through was not there and they had no idea we were coming. At first, they didn't really want to accommodate us being there, but after talking with the assistant principal she agreed to let us do a shortened performance for the morning classes and then we would need to talk with the afternoon principal to get his approval for an afternoon performance. We were so grateful to be able to perform in the morning even with not knowing about the afternoon...blessed are the flexible, right?

So, we had a wonderful performance for the morning group and Emma G and Emma P did an amazing job sharing their testimonies. We got to talk to a LOT of girls after the show (in fact we were wishing we had more translators because there were so many students!), signed autographs, and took pictures. One of our girls got to pray with a girl from the school to accept Jesus into her heart! She was touched by what she saw when we danced...so thankful that she saw Jesus in our dancers!

We had lunch at the school and anxiously awaited to hear whether or not we would be able to do an afternoon show. Thankfully, the afternoon principal agreed to allow us to perform! Although many girls on the team were tired and some not feeling well, they all gave 110% and finished so strong...it's an awesome place to be when we are at the end of ourselves and have to rely so heavily on Jesus to take over and He did!

We had a great team debrief that evening and an amazing time of prayer over each team member. Even though none of us wanted to leave El Salvador, we are so thankful for the time we had in this beautiful country and so thankful to Jesus for giving each team member a glimpse of who they really are...Jesus was so awesome in each of these dancers. As we come back to our normal lives, please be praying that He would continue the work that He started in each team member. Thank you for your support and prayers for our team...we couldn't do this without our Turning Pointe family and friends covering us and lifting us up! To God be the glory!

El Salvador Day 5

This morning started with a trip to the Gringo Market. The students had to practice their bartering skills and did a great job purchasing souvenirs for friends and family back home. We also made a trip to Super Selectos (which is a grocery store that is common in El Salvador) and Starbucks!

After this excursion we went back to the hotel to have a delicious lunch. We then went to Comasagua, which is a town in the mountains that is quite poverty stricken. We got to teach a dance to some of the girls from the town to the song Great are you Lord. We also performed 4 dances including the dance that we taught the girls. We dressed them up in costumes that they got to keep and spoke truth over them. We then got to be a part of the service at Pastor Jose Luis and Sylvia's church. Wally preached about God given dreams take small steps and hard work and talked about Turning Pointe and what God has done to take the dream of an 8 year old girl and make it into something that touches and blesses a lot of people! Pastor Jose Luis had people come up and speak the dreams God has put in their hearts at the end of the service.

"I'm amazed by how much God is present in Comasagua even though it's very poor and the church barely has a building. It felt like the city on a hill figuratively and literally. It was also neat how all of the Salvadorians dreams that they mentioned during the church service were to serve others. " -Emily S.

"I thought it was really cool when we first got to the church and we met the dance team. Most of them seemed very shy, but when we were doing the dance you could slowly start to see them let go more and more. And then by the end they were all hugging us and talking to us and it was really cool to see that. And also I loved seeing their faces when we told them that we had costumes for them to keep. One girl had tears in her eyes and the way their faces lit up was amazing. I also think the message was very good and it was awesome to see how all of their dreams were to serve others." -Olivia P.

Our team loved praying over people at the end of the service releasing them into their God given dreams and destinies. We got to pray over the girls that danced with us and we wouldn't be surprised if God is planting seeds for a Christian dance school in Comasagua!

We came back to the hotel and had a traditional Salvadorian pupusa dinner...yum!  

 

El Salvador Day 4

This morning, Ms. Tina was able to share at the Earthquake School of Supernatural Ministry about her story and dreaming with God. It was amazing to share about how Turning Pointe came to be and to encourage people in their faith that God can do so much more than we can ask or imagine!

Next we went to a 2 hour salsa class at Danzarte Estudio in San Salvador taught by Patty Barrios. This is a dance studio that also offers painting, karate, robotics, and music classes. Crazy enough, Danzarte performed Hairspray the musical this past December! It was so fun to see pictures of their special rendition. We all entered the studio with excitement and learned "how to use our hips in public (quote by McKenna)." We learned a crazy combo that had us all sweating within the first 15 minutes of our 2 hour class. We were so blessed by Patty's expertise.

After our dance class, we ate lunch and then went to Tia Ana's house. Tia Ana's house is a home for kids whose parents are still living but do not want them for various reasons. There are about 23 kids in the home right now ranging from almost 2 years to 20 years old. We passed out little toys, performed a couple of dances, drew with chalk on all the walls (and each other), and hugged on little kiddos who need to know that they are loved.

"At first when we walked in it was really overwhelming. There were a lot of kids everywhere. And then after we danced for them I found a little boy who giggled every time I did something. And then I got covered in chalk by Moriah and R. I didn't want to leave." -McKenna

"When we walked in all the kids gave you the biggest, deepest hugs you could ever get. It was really comforting to me too as much as it was to them. They were very joyful even though they were not in the best situation. They all kind of reminded me of my younger sisters especially the one little boy N because Lizzy and AJ were very small when they came to us.  Even though Lizzy was small and had trauma she had the biggest smile when she came home with my dad. And it was just really a flashback to when they came...it just shows that there are always going to be children who have been hurt everywhere, but we have to know that God can still give them joy." -Emma

"You feel so sorry for the kids on one end, but how do you explain to the kids about their heavenly father when their fathers are absent or abusive? They are so eager for a father that loves them. I cannot fathom all the fathers that don't understand these kids want someone to play football with them in the street...something as simple as that...to be absent for that is hard to believe."- Aaron P.

Again we were so honored and blessed to be able to serve Tia Ana today. She is so much like Jesus and her vision to bring in the forsaken very much reflects the Father's heart.

El Salvador Day 3

After a refreshing night at the cabins, we headed to Casa La Attaraya in Ahuachapan. This is the school where Moriah and Rachael spent 7 weeks last summer teaching English and dance.  The school gave us the most amazing welcome and were so receptive to our dances and message. Even the youngest kids were very attentive and engaged during the program.

“Both Rachael and I were so excited to introduce everyone to the place our hearts hold so dear. There is something so special about watching other young hearts fall in love with the same kids and place that continue to capture our hearts each day. We saw so many faces that we knew and the performance was incredibly anointed.” – Moriah

“Last year, when Moriah and I lived at Casa La Attaraya we had a student named Michael who God just laid on my heart. Throughout this past year, living back in the US, Michael and I have talked a lot and I have prayed for him almost daily. Today, when we were visiting I was so excited to see all of these kids, but especially Michael. After our performance, I felt like God was telling me that I really needed to pray for him. I grabbed a couple of the girls and we took him outside and asked him if we could pray for him and he said yes. After a little while of praying, one of the girls asked him what his relationship with Jesus was like and he responded that he didn’t really have one. She asked him if he would like to change that and he said yes! So we prayed with him and welcomed a new brother into the family of God! It was so incredible to witness this seed being sown and witness the harvest of it, and even now communicating with him he’s asking questions about how to further his relationship with his heavenly Father. I’m so excited and honored that we had the opportunity to not only witness to Michael but also participate in his decision to follow Christ. I cannot wait to see how he continues to grow and that I get to be a part of that!” -Rachael

Next we got to tour the Teatro de Santa Ana where the national ballet performs. It was such a gorgeous theater and we are dreaming of dancing there in the future! After lunch at Pollo Campero and ice cream at Pops we headed back to the hotel for rest. We are loving what the Father is doing in our hearts and all that He is teaching us about His extravagant love on this trip! 

El Salvador Day 2

On Thursday we visited Josue Cristo, a Christian school in the town of Ataco. The students were so eager to participate whether that was in tag or dancing with us. We were so blessed by their sweet hearts.

“I met this boy who God had been telling me to pray for before we even came on the trip and I met him at this school. I asked him about his relationship with Jesus and he told me that he had known him when he was young, but he had gone to a dangerous school and had fallen away from the Lord. The translator and I shared a bit of the gospel with him and told him that this gift is a free gift but it’s also a choice. He told us in turn that it was a hard choice to make. I hugged him and told him that God loved him and then we left. It broke my heart knowing that we might never see the outcome of the seed planted in his life. More importantly it broke my heart because God told me how he felt about this boy.” – Emma G.


“At the school I met this boy named Niko and he has Down’s syndrome. I was praying for him during the show that he would be receptive and understand. Afterwards, I got him to dance and he was just so happy. When I was watching him during the show he was sitting still the whole time and engaged and entertained. It made me realize that in El Salvador I don’t know how kids with special needs are perceived, but he had so much joy and brightened my day.” – Lindsey C.

After ministering at Josue Cristo we had a grand adventure…ziplining in a torrential rainforest downpour! It was AWESOME! After drying off and moving into the cabins of Jardin de Celeste, we experienced the small town vibes of Ataco. We finished up the evening with a scrumptious dinner at La Pampa. This day made us so much more excited about what the Lord is doing in El Salvador. He is moving mightily!

El Salvador Day 1

We made it! After 8 months of preparation we are finally here and we hit the ground running. 

Our first day of travel went so smoothly even though our first flight was delayed, the Lord orchestrated all of the details and we arrived safe in El Salvador in the evening. We are so thankful for how He is already teaching us to be flexible and trust Him.

We are staying at a lovely hotel with a mountain as our view on one side and a pool as our view on the other side...we aren't in Colorado anymore! 

For our first day we returned to El Tunco and Remar orphanage. We had a quick trip to the beach in between to eat lunch.

El Tunco is a beach village with a really bizarre mix of tourist attractions and extreme poverty. We had the honor and privilege of ministering at an elementary school in El Tunco. Amazing Love Missions has been serving at this school for 10 years including helping with purification of the water for the students so it was incredible to partner with their legacy. El Tunco will probably be one of the hottest sites we go to...yet the dancers did so incredible in committing to on the fly spacing changes and interactions with kiddos. 

“As soon as I saw a boy named Andres I knew we had a special connection. He was a very shy boy and seemed to drift between many groups. We bonded over playing catch with a little yellow ball. After a few minutes of playing his guardian told him to go inside. I was devastated with the fact that I wouldn’t get to say goodbye. But on our way out, I got to see him one last time. Both of our faces lit up at the sight of each other. He made leaving Remar incredibly difficult and I’ll never forget seeing him standing outside the orphanage watching us drive away.” -Emmy V.

After a quick trip to the beach, we headed to the Remar Orphanage also in El Tunco. This orphanage houses about 60 kids all from different backgrounds and stories. They were a very receptive audience and that plus the sizzling cement made for an incredible show. 

"There is a sweet 8 year old girl whose name was Fanny and we drew pictures that were yellow because that was her favorite color. It was cute how the kids wanted to share the English words that they knew with us." - Kerstin L.

None of us were ready to leave both the El Tunco elementary school and the Remar orphanage. We are so thankful for how the Lord is working through us, in us, and beyond us. What an honor it is to serve the Kingdom!

Team El Salvador- Preparing the Way

Our team of 18 Turning Pointe dancers, parents, and teachers are preparing to travel to El Salvador June 6-13, 2017 to share the love of Christ through dance, drama, and personal testimonies. This is something so unique to our studio because we get to use both our faith and our gifts in action! We have the opportunity to take all of those lessons at the ballet barre, all of the years of technique we've learned, and all of those life lessons in perseverance and flexibility and put those into practice by performing in the heat and humidity sometimes on dirt and slippery tile, and by looking into the eyes of a child and telling them that they matter and God loves them.  

To prepare our hearts for this mission, we recently participated in a day of low ropes to bond as a team and learn about communication, trust, and consideration. It was amazing to see how the team bonded, learned each others names (including middle names), and worked together to be good leaders and good listeners. 

We want to say THANK YOU to our Turning Pointe family and friends for sending us and for supporting our team financially and through prayer. We will be posting pictures and blog updates from our travels and experiences right here on this page and hope that you all will follow and be encouraged! Please be praying for safety and health for our team. Pray for hearts to be open and lives to be changed. Pray for boldness and courage in each of our students. Gloria a Dios!

Placement

Often, at this time of year following recital, we are asked "What class should my child be in?", "Why was my student placed in this level?", "Can my student be approved for an advanced class or a class that is above their age group?"  It is true, the Arts are subjective and each dancer/student interprets dance differently. However, we have gone through a careful process of selecting teachers that are professionally trained to not only teach, but evaluate each student taking into account their unique development on each level.  Indeed, it is possible and necessary to assign a dance development level based on readiness.  Ultimately, that is our goal at Turning Pointe School of Dance - advancement through readiness.

The primary readiness screen for levels and placement is the safety of dancers. Dancers must master each level before it is safe to proceed to the next, as new techniques and movements build upon each other. Dancers who don’t master essential skills in one level before moving to the next run the significant risk of struggling to keep up and potentially losing confidence.  In addition, they face a greater risk of physical injury.

 Another detail we factor in is balancing the needs of all students in a class and encouraging growth across the spectrum within the teaching setting. As with any discipline, dancers will progress at their own individual rates. Some skills will come easier for some than others.  While other skills will come more easily to an individual dancer at some times in their lives than other times, depending upon their physical development. Every dancer is unique and will achieve various levels at different times.  We want to encourage that unique journey by placing each student in the right setting and teaching environment for their individual needs.

One of the differences at Turning Pointe is our attention to these individual needs and readiness of each student, and while we encourage students to push their boundaries and to excel and improve continuously, we always put the well being of the dancer first.

At Turning Pointe, we are not only focused on technique and mastery of skills, but training and developing the whole person: body, mind, and spirit. As the owner, I have meticulously and prayerfully considered each teacher on the Turning Pointe team.  Our instructors take notice of student strengths and weaknesses, challenge them, love them, and have genuine care for each and every student. I have confidence in their thought and decision making process within our classroom settings. Because of this, I strongly encourage parents to trust the hearts of our teachers toward each student, trust the goals and mission of Turning Pointe as it applies to your daughter/son, and trust the process. This is a marathon, not a sprint! Together, we have the opportunity to remember that all things come with time and it is vital to enjoy the journey along the way!  Our children are taking their cues in how to respond to the joys and disappointments of this process from us as parents.  There is an appointed time for ALL things! Let's keep that in front of our children/students and encourage them to practice patience in the journey, the value of working hard, holding fast to a dream despite the obstacles in a given moment and the joy of encouraging and strengthening those around us. 

We look forward to helping your student develop, grow and advance towards their dreams as we hold fast to the goals and mission of our unique studio environment!  Thank you for entrusting us with your student and their unique story.  Thank you for trusting the process and the development of the whole person in each of our students.  Dance is so much bigger than a performance based skill...it really is about equipping our children with tools for life!

Grateful for the joy set before each student!
Miss Tina

Are you interested in an Advanced Level class
To be eligible for an Advanced class, a student must have 2 years of consecutive experience in that dance genre and/or must have teacher approval. For teacher approval in a genre a student does not have 2 years of experience in, a student can come to the Placement Day on July 30th or attend a summer mini mester class in the intermediate level for evaluation. Please contact turningpointeoffice@gmail.com to request an evaluation.

If you are not able to come to our evaluation date or are registering after the Placement Day, students who are 8-12 who have had 2 or more years of dance experience may attend an age appropriate class as a placement class. Students ages 10 and up with 1 year or less of ballet experience, will enroll in a beginning ballet class and no placement class is needed. Please check in with our school administrator at turningpointeoffice@gmail.com to set up a placement class and the teacher will also be notified.

Current Turning Pointe students 8 years and older will receive an evaluation from their teacher in May for their level placement for the upcoming school year. If a teacher requests for the student to be re-evaluated after summer classes, those students may come to the Placement Day (July 30).

There is an appointed time for ALL things...enjoy the journey!

There is an appointed time for ALL things...enjoy the journey!