BY SEK KIM & STEVE NOH
AO Movement is a dance ministry that has been meeting up this past year. AO Movement wasn’t created to merely bring a group of people who were Christian that had an interest in dance. Its aim was to grow together as a unit through the intentional pursuit and unpacking of the loaded question, “What does an authentic pursuit into the creative realm of dance look like in God?”
We learned about God as a creator, the importance of excellence within a craft, the purposes the arts serve, and much more, which helped the direction in which we were supposed to go as a creative small group.
Through AO, we discovered that every aspect of expressing your faith doesn’t have to be dripping with explicit Christian vocabulary or motifs, but that glory is also found in the simple concept of excellence.
Martin Luther drives this point home when he states that, “The Christian shoemaker does his duty not by putting little crosses on the shoes, but by making good shoes, because God is interested in good craftsmanship.” In the same way, as we met together and had conversations about godly creative expression, had we not made authenticity a major focal point, we would not have learned this truth which helped craft our performance.
Just as importantly, our group required a chance to improvise. While the improvising process may seem to be a random set of free flowing notes, beats, and movements that somehow works, the truth is that it’s actually grounded on a tempo or base note that each member joins into. It takes drilling and practicing time after time for any kind of free styling to be so casually used. In the same way, when our group gets together we make sure to spend our time honing the fundamentals, to which our individual selves can harmoniously synchronize around.
Once that was set, we were able to really embrace our different styles. Growing from simply appreciating to actually learning to try something uncomfortable and new. In the end, it benefited both us individually and allowed our choreo to grow beyond what we could have done on our own.
We are very grateful to the church for this platform to perform our worship through dance. But more so we are just happy to use the arts as a creative way to encounter and glorify God.
Sek Kim and Steve Noh are co-leaders of AO Movement. Emily Jeong (not pictured) is a contributing member.