'Dancing the word of God'

Published May 19, 2007

NEW PORT RICHEY - In the Bible, in 2 Samuel 6:14, it is written that King David danced before the Lord with all his might.

Now, a new dance production called In His Presence will have 90 dancers, ranging in age from 3 to adults, aiming to celebrate their relationship with the Lord just as King David did.

The production is at 7 tonight in the Epicenter at Calvary Chapel Worship Center at 6824 Trouble Creek Road, New Port Richey. Tickets are available at the door for $15 for adults and $6.50 for children ages 3 to 12. Younger children are admitted free.

April Pozzi directs and dances in the production. Her resume includes instruction under numerous principal dance masters from around the world; the Atlanta Regional Ballet Company, where she was awarded Honorary Exemplary; and membership in such noted dance companies as the Florida Ballet Company and the Still Pointe Ballet Company of Boston.

"We incorporate Christianity into our dance, " said Pozzi. "Our production is dancing the word of God."

Pozzi used the example from Psalm 139 of being wonderfully made by God and how God knows people from the inside out. "As we enter into praise, we enter the outer courts, and when we worship we go into the inner courts with him, " she said. "All the numbers are about being in his presence."

The Rev. Bill Strayer, pastor of Calvary Chapel, said Pozzi's dance academy at the church, Studio J, attracts a lot of young people who want to develop their skill in the performing arts, especially dancers.

"In His Presence will be a terrific way to show their skills in front of family and friends, " said Strayer.

It will be fun, too, as Celtic, flamenco and hip-hop are incorporated into the program.

"Diverse City is a hip-hop song that shows how different races come together in heaven, " said Pozzi.

Pozzi's sister, Janice Pozzi Durbak, who sings with the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay, will sing while the dancers perform.

Bethany MacPherson, 9, is one of the dancers. She is a third-grader at Sun Ray Elementary School in Holiday.

"I feel really excited, " she said. "Being a part of this is a way of thanking Jesus for dying on the cross for me."

Bethany's mother, Jane MacPherson, said the production is a wonderful outreach.

"It expresses the true meaning of who God is, " she said. "Last year's production brought me to tears."