What Impressed Me About Ballet Praise


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Yesterday I went to the gym; I prefer to walk and run outdoors, but it is too cold for me here in Fairbanks, Alaska. While I do cardio on the treadmill, I enjoy watching TV with my headphones on. It is better than just looking at the walls or at others that are really going faster than me.

         As I started flipping channels, I stopped on ESPN for an NBA Basketball game. I saw tattoos all over the place. I also noticed that apparently scoring points was not enough for the players, they have to talk trash, beat their chests and humiliate their opponent.

         Today I went to the gym again. This time, I saw a few MMA fights and interviews. Again, the arrogance, the disrespect, and the trash talking were evident. In the last two days, I watched some of the best athletes in the world acting like fools; that seems to be the norm now. No wonder that is exactly what I see in some of the local games at the high school level; they are trying to emulate their professional idols. What I see is an epidemic of arrogance, ignorance and plenty foolishness that is indeed sickening in this generation.

         I take issue with coaches that seem to only care about the game and show very little interest in helping these young men and women develop character. These coaches are not teaching any life skills, such as integrity, self-respect, modesty, or how to prioritize, nor do they seem to care or know how. Many times, I feel like they are not re-enforcing our values, but actually contradicting them.

         Oh, but I am so glad my weekend ended on a positive note. One of my daughters has been taking Ballet classes at Ballet Praise here in Fairbanks, with long time Ballet teacher Rebecca Smith.

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Miss Rebecca is a pioneer, as she founded the first faith-based dance studio in Interior Alaska. The Biblical foundation for their validation as a ministry is Psalm 149:3, “Let us praise Him with dancing…”

         To start with, Miss Rebecca did not charge at the door for this recital. I would have gladly paid and I am sure other parents felt the same way; but Miss Rebecca had a greater idea in mind. Miss Rebecca requested that we all bring can foods to be donated to a local ministry to feed the needy. So the students were actually dancing, not for fame, not for recognition, but to help others in need. Over 600 cans of food were collected that night and a great lesson to our children.

         However, the thing that impressed me the most was what was happening behind the scenes. The students were not only dancing, but also acting as the stage crew. With dozens of children, including very young children, it was refreshing to see teenagers and even pre-teens students so active in keeping the show rolling. They were serving, they were moving, and they were awesome.

         See, I hope that every single student’s dream at Ballet Praise becomes a reality; if that is to become a professional ballet dancer, let it be so. However, teaching kids humility, hard work, servant-hood, and respect was a glass of fresh water for me.

         Ballet Praise is taking a well-deserved break for the Christmas season, but you can bet that in January my daughter will be back. Not only that, my wife and I will add another one of our teenage daughters to the class.

Ballet Praise

         Miss Rebecca started her academy with two students six years ago, but today she has 92 students going strong. Congratulations Miss Rebecca, thank you for all you do; for teaching our children how to dance, but more importantly, for being an extension and enforcer of the values we teach our children at home. I can’t wait for next semester!

         For more information please visit www.balletpraise.com

Author: angelcasiano

An independent thinker with a profound call to see the orthodoxy of the church and passion for Christ manifesting together. Angel was born in Brooklyn, New York in April of 1968, he was raised on the beautiful island of Puerto Rico where he earned his B.S. degree in Sociology with a minor in Education from the Inter American University in San Germán in 1991. That same year he moved to Jacksonville, Florida. After working construction jobs for a year and learning the English language, his first job working with foster-care children in the capacity of youth care worker was with Jacksonville Youth Sanctuary in September of 1992. With JYS he was promoted several times as group home supervisor, legal caseworker, and program director. While in Jacksonville, Angel studied a couple of martial arts styles. After earning his black belt, he became the founder of Good Fight Ministries as he used martial arts as an instrument to preach the gospel. In 2004 Angel was selected Martial Arts Instructor of the Year for the State of Florida and in 2005 Angel was inducted in the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame where he also received the Christian Spirit Award. In July of 2005 Angel accepted his call to pastor a bilingual church in Winton, NC where he served for a couple of years. Five months later he lost his first wife to cancer in December of that same year. This initiated a deep valley of suffering in his life, a mountain of costly mistakes and the embracing of lifestyles of sin that are well documented through this blog. In August of 2012 Angel moved to Fairbanks Alaska with his wife Rayette Casiano and six children who are now adults. In Alaska, Angel continued his social work-related career and his ministry of preaching, teaching and writing. Angel is the author of two books, Hope for the divorcee: Forgiving and Moving Forward and 7 Banderas de Esperanza: La Bendición de Yokdzonot. In January 8th of 2020 Angel and his wife moved to Arizona.

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