RiverPointe Dance Academy still continues its tradition of telling the story of the birth of Jesus.
Since 2010, the RiverPointe Dance Academy has presented this original dance production every two years. “It Began in Bethlehem” was created by owner and instructor Bridgett Hunt and her sister Holly Claborn.
“It’s the most important story ever told since the birth of Jesus, it’s the greatest gift we’ve ever received,” Hunt said. “I firmly believe that dancing is a gift from the Lord and I thought this (recital) was the perfect opportunity to give back at this time of year.”
RiverPointe is a Christian dance studio that uses various techniques and styles of dance to tell stories centered on the teachings of Jesus.
This year’s Christmas recital was performed at the Vicksburg City Auditorium at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on December 18.
“The dancers were super excited to do this show because it has so many traditions and memories, like when they were the little sheep until they became Mary or the angel,” Hunt said.
Since the onset of COVID-19, the dance studio has been trying to create ways to make things normal while following proper guidelines. Fortunately, the studio has returned to a familiar routine with this Christmas production.
“I just think they like the tradition, and a lot of the choreography stays the same and they were excited to get back into something that feels normal,” Hunt said of COVID-19’s effect on the studio.
Cheyenne McCullough, dancing the role of Mary, said she was thrilled to be dancing on stage again this year.
“I can’t wait to be Mary and to be able to try to be able to tell the story of Jesus and to show that emotion and to be able to worship God,” McCullough said.
Other dancers and teachers eagerly waited to watch many dances, including a fan favorite among the entire studio, the Elder Dance choreographed to the song “Adore Him.”
“I love watching the ‘Adore Him’ number. Holly, my sister, choreographed that one, and it’s really different and beautiful,” Hunt said.
Leading roles for this year’s production were Cheyenne McCullough as Mary, Ryan Hadley Gray as Joseph, and Laney Hunt as Angel.
Abby Mandarino danced for the role of the innkeeper and the role of the shepherd was danced by Addie Kate Lum. The three wise men were Ryan Hadley Gray, Laney Hunt and Mandarino.