By Marian Nimoh
It is 10 AM on a sunny Saturday morning at St. Joseph High School in Brooklyn, NY where organizers are setting up for the “Every Body Move Dance Celebration” hosted by award-winning choreographer Camille Brown. There are chairs for the guests in attendance and a video that showcases African dance styles that are popular around the world like the twist, a dance that originated in Congo during slavery and was popular in America during the ‘60s, Quilan Arnold said he his showcasing God work doing this dance.
The “Every Body Move Dance Celebration” is a celebration of social dance to create communities and bring social change through support, positivity, and empowerment for African Americans. The guests are the center of this celebration where they are put into groups based on the colored dot on the name tag they are given during registration. They are then taken upstairs to different classrooms to learn the different styles of dances based on different music genres.
The instructor for Saturday’s hip hop class was Quilan Arnold, a young and talented dancer from Brooklyn. He graduated from Penn State University where he started off as a forensic science major but due to his strong passion for dancing, chose to pursue dance instead.
According to Arnold, his motivation to chase after dance was “God.” He firmly believes that dancing is his life calling and it is a way for him to shine his light to the world and live for God. There is a connection he feels between himself, God, and dancing as a believer in Christ, so there is a lot of reward doing God work through dancing. He strongly abides by the bible verse in Romans chapter 10 verse 9, “if you declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” His passion for dancing allows him to live his new resurrected life in Christ by dying to self daily, becoming one with Christ and a better individual for the kingdom of God through the help of the Holy Spirit, which also helps him shine his light to the world.
Arnold’s work focuses on the vernacular dance structure to create a relationship between hip hop studio and street dance. He is currently a Hip Hop dance professor at Hunter College in NY and you can subscribe to his youtube channel to find out more about his amazing and talented work and also check him out on his website (Cue4christ.com) as well as Instagram (@cue4christ.)