May 3, 2023
Dancing is such a beautiful medium to express the serenity and grace of music. There is a connection to our spirit and to our Heavenly Father that compels us to move when we hear a joyous hymn or upbeat melody. However, in today's culture, many young adults and even children are being raised on a form of dancing that is often vulgar and hypersexualize.
That is why we are so grateful to have as our guest, dance educator Mary Bawden. Mary discusses how dance is an incredible tool for expressing worship, and why it is so important to preserve "Healthy Dance." She also explains how dance today is becoming more and more sexualized, what parents can do to fight against that exploitation in dance and how to know they are creating healthy relationships with dance in their children's lives.
Who is Mary Bawden?
Mary Bawden (MA ‘06) is deeply passionate about dance, not just as a hobby or performing art, but as an expression of worship through “prayer in motion.” Her lifelong calling to praise through dance led Mary to found a non-profit organization called Soul to Sole Choreography in 1994. The mission of Soul to Sole is to “use planned movement as an expression of worship (praise, beauty, teaching, celebration, and/or prayer) to glorify God during church services and ministry situations with a specific choreography concept and song/text that communicates a biblical, conceptual message.”
Mary’s organization also addresses the overwhelming issue of the sexualization of children in dance. Such exploitation compelled Bawden to compile materials that raise awareness and combat this offensive abuse of the art of dance, which she released under the banner of DA:NCE (Dance Awareness: No Child Exploited). In 2016, Bawden spoke at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) Conference in Houston Texas on this topic and continues to advocate for a medium free of exploitation.
Our listeners can learn more about Mary's organization, DA:NCE, access resources and much more on her website: www.danceawareness.com
Get in touch with Mary through her email: Mary@danceawareness.com
Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the Music for the Soul Podcast! If you haven't already, please leave us a five star rating and review wherever you get this podcast. We are so grateful to bring you this powerful story and many more like it in the future.