Natalie Robinson, left, Sophie Robinson, middle, and Kimberly Robinson tap dance on the sidewalk so that the public could hear them better Saturday morning at the Oz Fest. L&T photos/Giseelle Arredondo
By GISEELLE ARREDONDO
• Leader & Times
A young woman has taken her love of dance from an early age and turned it into spiritual expression – and a vocation.
Kimberly Robinson, a student at Seward County Community College and an instructor of a dance fitness class at Southwest Fitness & Racquetball, will be starting new dance classes Thursday evenings at First Baptist Church.
“Right now, I have a dance fit class, which is like an exercise dance class. It’s sort of like Zumba,” Robinson said.
“That is actually at the Southwest Fitness and Racquetball Center,” she continued. “I have those classes on Monday and Wednesday’s for adults at 5:30. And then I’m going to start a kids’ class from 4:45 to 5:30 on Monday’s and Wednesday’s, as well.”
The classes will incorporate more dance techniques into her new classes, she said.
Robinson is very excited to share her passion with others. She has been dancing since a very young age.
“I started dancing when I was 5 years old,” she said. “My mom put me in dance class. However, I was really shy when I was younger. For my first dance recital, I didn’t go on stage, I was too scared. So I skipped out on my first dance recital because I was too shy.
“Growing up, I got used to dancing on stage. I did ballet and tap when I was younger, and when I was 12, I got really into dancing,” she continued, “I was home schooled, and my sixth grade year, when I was 12, I was trying to figure out a way that I could get money because I wanted to have a job, and so I began with classes at the church.
“I had 16 kids the first season that I did my dance classes, and throughout my middle school and high school years, I continued to teach, and I would put on recitals at the end of the year with all my kids. And more and more people became interested and so I added more and more classes,” she said.
“Whenever I was a senior in high school – that was the last year that I taught, in Indiana – I had 100 kids in that recital. It went from 16 kids when I was 12 years old to 100 kids when I was a senior in high school.
“And we got to perform at our high school auditorium, and there was probably about 400 to 500 people there, so that was really awesome just getting to do that.
“After high school, I went to Dallas, Texas, and I was part of a dance company there called ‘Ingredients Dance Company.’ It’s a Christian dance company, and we would go and do different conventions and different cities around the U.S.,” she said.
“After being in the dance company, last year I did a mission’s program, and I went to Russia. I went to London,” she continued. “And I did some things overseas and I got to dance a little bit in some of those countries.
“We would put on different productions and workshop classes for dancers and different things like that,” Robinson said. “I grew a lot then too, just perfecting different skills and learning more technique and also growing in my confidence.
“This year, I came back to Liberal to be with my family, and I’m taking classes at Seward. I really have a desire, because I miss it so much, miss teaching so much,” she said. “I really have a desire to teach while I’m here, so I’m really wanting to get some dance classes going.”
Robinson noted that dancing helped her grow a lot not only in confidence but in leadership and responsibility, as well.
“It really taught me a lot, and I grew a lot through that – leadership skills and with the responsibility, because I taught the classes,” she said.
“I found costumes for them when recital time came. I put the recital together. Then I also had to take care of the money stuff, and tearing down and setting up and finding music, and contacting parents, so that gave me a lot of confidence,” she added. “I became more social in communicating with the kids and communicating with the parents.”
She said she is looking forward to sharing her passion for dancing with others. Especially now that she is teaching her new dance classes Thursday evenings at First Baptist Church.
“I really enjoy just sharing what I loved and teaching it to the kids, and getting to see them learn to love it. That’s probably my favorite thing about teaching; getting to share my passion with others and getting to see them grow and learn and work through just different things,” Robinson said.
Robinson sees dancing as a way to spiritually show expression without words.
“One of the reasons I love dance, it’s how I can worship God. I can express myself. Instead of using words, I can use my dance moves. I can use just movement to be able to express myself,” she said. “Learning how I can have freedom in my dance, and how I can have freedom in Christ, as well. It goes hand-in-hand with dancing because I can give all the honor and glory to God.”
Robinson said she is really excited about her new classes.
“It’s something that I love to do, and I’m really excited about it. It’s my passion, and I’m hoping eventually I will own my own studio. Not just dance there, but also different forms of the arts; instrumental or paining or singing. And of course, dance will be one of them, because I love to do that,” she said and laughed.
“I want to own an art studio like that and have different forms of art all come together. And just teach people how to use their talents and express themselves and how they can use it to worship God,” she added.