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The Flor-Ala

The Student News Site of University of North Alabama

The Flor-Ala

The Student News Site of University of North Alabama

The Flor-Ala

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Rejoice: combining dance and worship

Courtesy of Rejoice Dance Studio

Emma Senecal has always loved dance, but never felt truly connected to the secular side of it. She performed at a local dance studio when she was a preteen and gave up after two and a half years. In 2017, she began dancing at a worship studio, Sole: Studio of Dance & Expression, and found her calling.

Senecal is a native of Florence, and attended Brooks High School in Killen. She graduated from an online homeschool in 2021. Aside from dance, she works at Butler Studio Photography in St. Florian. 

She opened her studio on a whim while perusing Facebook Marketplace. She had been teaching dance at a church youth center, but fully decided to branch out once finding the space. She initially wanted a bigger space with mirrors for her church students. She found a small space that was for sale, and thought contacting the seller was worth a shot.

She got the space and classes still take place there.

To recruit students, she posted on social media introducing herself as a dance teacher, along with her values and goals as an instructor. She also made a website with more in-depth information.

“There’s a very well-known, huge homeschool group in the area and one of the moms told me ‘If you open a Friday class, I can get you some students,’” Senecal said. “To this day, that is still my largest class. [The homeschool group] is such a community.”

A lot of the success of Rejoice has spread through word of mouth, whether it be through churches or homeschool groups. She also credits a good deal of her success to God.

“We’re still small, but I’m shocked by how many we got and how much we’ve grown,” Senecal said. “It just kind of solidified what I’m doing. For a minute, there was a lot of self doubt and ‘What am I doing?’ The people that came in solidified that I am doing what I am supposed to be doing.”

Rejoice offers classes every day of the week. Most classes are in the style of contemporary and taught by Senecal, while a ballet class is taught by another instructor on Thursdays. They also have a beginners jazz class for all ages.

The classes are divided up into ages three to five, six to eight and nine to seventeen. Senecal plans to open an adult class soon. 

Weekly classes every week total $50 per month. The studio offers a discount for siblings, which is $15 off an extra child’s total. Sibling pairs are one of her biggest groups. 

Senecal’s main priority is to eventually do church outreach, with dance competitions being a very low priority. Since the studio is still getting its start, what Senecal really wants to lock in are weekly classes. That being said, the studio has performed at a few churches in the area.

What Rejoice truly specializes in is dance ministry. Senecal teaches students the fundamentals of dance, but ultimately encourages them to move the way they feel compelled to through God.
“Dance ministry is simply dancing to glorify the Lord and touching others through dance — healing, deliverance, anything that prayer can do basically,” Senecal said. “Prophetic dance is displaying God’s heart. Whether that be a word, vision, story, etc. Instead of verbalizing what the Lord is saying to you, you dance it. It can be personal or for others to see.”

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About the Contributor
Emma Tanner, Editor-in-Chief
Emma is Editor-in-Chief of the Flor-Ala. She is a senior from Killen, Ala. She is pursuing a bachelor's degree in Mass Communications with a concentration in journalism and digital media. She was previously Managing Editor for the spring 2023 semester. She also served as News Editor from Jan. 2022 to Dec. 2022. She was previously a volunteer writer. Her favorite topics to cover are profiles and local news. Tanner has written since her childhood and grew a passion for journalism during high school. Aside from working on the Flor-Ala, she was also a research assistant for a psychological study at UNA and served as CASE ambassador president for the Fall 2022 semester.

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