REDEMPTIVE DANCE MINISTRIES
Presenting Denver would like to shine a community spotlight on Heather Johnson and Redemptive Dance Ministries!
Artist/Owner: Heather Johnson
Organization: Redemptive Dance Ministries
Hometown: Nashville, TN
Presenting Denver: If you are not a native, why did you choose Denver?
Heather Johnson: My husband and I have always wanted to live near the mountains and made the move to Denver in 2011.
PD: Do you split your time between dance/arts and another vocation?
HJ: We have 4 beautiful children and outside of parenting, I am blessed to be able to work only on this dance organization.
PD: What did you want to be when you were growing up?
HJ: I’ve wanted to be a professional dancer and choreographer for as long as I can remember. I used to dream of the fame and recognition that went along with a successful career in the arts. However, I saw a performing arts company that used dance, music and theater to tell the gospel of Christ in a way that I had never experienced before. I knew then, what I had been designed for, to glorify God and bring people into a personal relationship with Jesus through dance. I’ve been blessed to work toward this goal in Colorado for the past six years, resulting in a unique organization designed to celebrate unity and acceptance while learning the art of dance. My thirst for personal recognition was replaced with an extreme desire to point people to God and His goodness.
PD:How do you intend your work/business to directly affect your community?
HJ: When we study our students and their exposure to dance before finding our program, we uncovered an exciting truth: we weren’t taking dancers from other programs or studios, our program is creating dancers where they wouldn’t have otherwise sought out a program. Out of 100 students ages 2-17, 80 have never had formal dance training before finding RDM. In addition to inviting the community into the world of dance in a safe and unified manor, we also teach the importance of serving the community with our gifts and talents. In the fall, we go out into the community to share our works. We call it our fall outreach performances and touch many lives through this process, including the dancers themselves. We place high value on unity. Unity among our students, other programs, other churches and as Christ followers in general. Each year we come together and with other dancers and programs in Colorado for the purpose of unity and collaboration for a one day performance benefiting a local charity.
PD: Share your favorite motivational quote and tell us how this quote inspires you.
HJ: Psalms 150:6: Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Not only does this inspire and encourage me, but it shows that our work in training Christ-centered dancers of all styles is ultimately raising up a generation of worshippers of Jesus. It doesn’t say, just those with incredible flexibility or athleticism, praise the Lord, or just those dancing ballet, praise the Lord. It’s every single one of us, every single style of dance from breakdancing and hip hop to contemporary and modern, every gender, every body type, every age, every nation, praising Him with our gifts and talents giving all glory to the one true God.
PD: What are your resources for continuing education?
HJ: Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
It’s imperative to remember not to live and work in isolation. Growing up in the dance world, I was taught at an early age that everything was a competition, even progressions across the floor in class. That we should keep our ideas and creativity close to ourselves for protection from plagiarism or seeing our choreography pop up at the next dance competition. I could not more strongly disagree with this way of thinking and operating. It is through community and collaboration that we are stronger and even more creative.
PD: What about this art form drives you?
HJ: Dance is everything to me. It has rescued me from very dark times in my life, it has allowed me to express myself in ways that words fall short, it lends me joy as I see the the spark of passion ignite in a student and in worship it’s the act of giving my absolute whole self to praise my Heavenly Father. I want the freedom and opportunity to share this incredible gift with others, now and through our organization, for generations to come.