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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Highlands Graduate Provides Dance Lessons to Underprivileged Girls

Dancing with a Mission

Samantha Reynolds teaching a class. Provided. 
By Michele Wright

Samantha Reynolds, a Highlands High School graduate, was only 18 when she felt God had called her to serve underprivileged children. A member of Highland Hills Baptist Church, she realized her dream with the support of her parents, her pastor, several members of her church, and the help of other churches in the area.

Reynolds decided to call the classes, “Dance Like David.” She said, “I took the name from a verse in the Bible where King David dances for God to praise him and I believe we each need to praise God with our individual gifts.” 

The lessons are free, and girls from Dayton, Bellevue, Fort Thomas, Newport, and Cincinnati get 13 lessons of jazz dance instruction.

Reynolds connected with Pastor Tony Hayes from the Dayton Bellevue Christian Church and they were kind enough to donate space for the classes. Many members of several different churches donate snacks, which are greatly appreciated since some of them don’t have access to a lot of food.

Her first session started with 12 girls, ages seven to nine years old, and her last session in the Fall of 2015 grew to 32. The recital at the end of each session is held at the First Baptist Church in Dayton, Kentucky. Gently used costumes and black ballet shoes are donated from dance studio owners and other generous people.
Reynolds in action. Provided. 

The dance lessons are set to contemporary Christian music and each lesson is one hour of dance instruction with a half hour afterwards of Bible study. Each session is 13 weeks long and meets once a week.  Recently, Reynolds has added interpretive movement to her classes as well.

Will Weber, a close friend and president of Northern Kentucky University’s student body, feels Reynolds is very accomplished. Besides her volunteer work as the founder of “Dance Like David,” she is also a Cincinnati Ben-Gal cheerleader and the 2016-2017 HHS JV dance team coach.

Reynolds recently graduated from NKU with a BA in Elementary Education. She will be teaching at Woodfill Elementary in Fort Thomas as a Title I Remedial Reading and Math teacher.

If you would like to donate costumes, snacks, or money to the dance class, please contact Samantha Reynolds at 859-653-3475.

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