OUTLOOK: ‘It Began in Bethlehem’: RiverPointe Dance Academy holds Christmas Recital

Published 4:00 am Sunday, December 26, 2021

RiverPointe Dance Academy still continues its tradition of telling the story of Jesus’s birth. 

Since 2010, the RiverPointe Dance Academy has been presenting this original dance production every other year. “It Began in Bethlehem” was created by Bridgett Hunt, owner and instructor, and her sister Holly Claborn.  

“It’s the most important story ever told since Jesus’ birth is the greatest gift we have ever been given,” said Hunt. “I firmly believe that dance is a gift from the Lord and thought this (recital) was the perfect opportunity to give back in this time of year.” 

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RiverPointe is a Christian-centered dance studio that uses techniques and various styles of dance to tell stories that focus on the teachings of Jesus. 

This year’s Christmas recital was performed at the Vicksburg City Auditorium at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Dec. 18. 

“The dancers were super eager to do this show since it has so many traditions and memories, like when they were the little sheep all the way to becoming Mary or the Angel,” Hunt said. 

Since the beginning of COVID-19, the dance studio has been trying to create ways to make things feel normal while following the proper guidelines. Thankfully, the studio has been getting back into a familiar routine with this Christmas production.

“I just think they love the tradition of it, and a lot of the choreography stays the same and they were excited to get back into something that feels normal,” Hunt said in regards to the effect of COVID-19 on the studio.

Cheyenne McCullough, dancing the role of Mary, said she was excited to be dancing on stage again this year.

“I look forward to being Mary and just being able to try to be able to tell the story of Jesus and show that emotion and be able to worship God,” McCullough said. 

Other dancers and teachers looked forward to watching many of the dances, including the fan-favorite among the entire studio, the wise men dance choreographed to the song “Adore Him.”

“I love watching the ‘Adore Him’ number. Holly, my sister, choreographed that one, and it’s just really different and beautiful,” Hunt said.

Leading roles for this year’s production were Cheyenne McCullough as Mary, Ryan Hadley Grey as Joseph and Laney Hunt as the Angel. 

Abby Mandarino danced for the role of the Innkeeper and the role of the Shepherd was danced by Addie Kate Lum. The three wise men were Ryan Hadley Grey, Laney Hunt and Mandarino.