by Melanie Carpenter
As I walked up to the doors of North Beach to visit the new Teen Dance Fusion Class, I could hear the music pumping from inside. As I entered the building, I observed dozens of girls mirroring the actions of their fitness instructors, Michele and Kim. As I watched a little longer, I heard the beginnings of the song Thriller by Michael Jackson. Were they about to do the Thriller dance? Because who wouldn’t love to learn the Thriller dance? My suspicions were correct, and I had to resist the urge to join them.
Michele McKay, who has a daughter in high school, created the Teen Dance Fusion class that began its first 8-week semester on Jan. 10. “I felt like it was something that God wanted to do for the teenage girls in our community — give them a safe place to dance and have fun while getting exercise, to be reminded that God is for them and not against them,” said Michele of the vision for this class. Along with Kim Lindley, Michele created a class using dance fitness choreography class for mainly high school girls between the ages of 14 and 18. Along with teaching the teens the Thriller dance, they also exercise to current pop songs combining dance moves with cardio exercise.
Briana Midkiff, a junior at Carmel High School, is a member of the class. “I am an athlete and work out a lot, and this is by far one of the most fun ways to work out and get cardio in,” said Briana about the class. “It’s another way to look at fitness, and it is definitely enjoyable and a good work out at the same time.”
The class has been immensely successful as evident by the more than 40 girls who are registered for the class. The class has an average of 30 or more girls in attendance weekly. Michele and Kim have been “encouraged by the response and energy” of the class so far and plan on continuing with the class. Ultimately, Michele would like to advertise in local high schools so that they “can reach out to unchurched teens as well.”
This class isn’t just about fitness. Kim hopes that the teens taking this class will “learn to give back to their community by bringing a bag of non-perishable food items for Brookside or paying for the session [which also goes to Brookside].” Michele also has hopes for the girls taking this class. “I want them to learn that God is crazy about them and that he totally wants them to enjoy life, be fit and healthy, be themselves and have fun,” she says. “I don’t want them to think that God is only in the church. They need to know that he understands what being a teenage girl means.”
Michele and Kim plan on reconvening the class sometime in early March. If you are a teen who wants to exercise, meet new people and have fun, look for information regarding the start date in March on the church website and in the church worship program. Briana adds, “I recommend this class to anyone who isn’t doing anything on Mondays 5:15-6 p.m.. Instead of watching TV at home, you could be getting a good workout in at this awesome class!” I couldn’t have said it better myself.by Read More