The COVID-19 pandemic caused stress, depression, and other ailments to elevate in the lives of even those possessing strong faith and close relationship with the Lord.
Hoping to relieve the high anxiety levels many people are experiencing, Musicians In Action united with Baldwin Bethany Community Development Corporation (BBCDC) to present “Dancing Your Way Through It.” Leading the program are Gerald and Jacque Malone, MIA founders and directors, with assistance from Rod Miles, executive director, and the BBCDC staff .
The series of seminars, which also included drum circles, music therapy and dance instruction, are being held each Saturday in the multipurpose center at Stella Middle School Charter Academy, located on the campus of Bethany Baptist Church in South L.A. Scores of youngsters have been participating in the free classes, which will continue for six more weeks.
Outlining the reason behind the presentation, Jacque said, “Many of our kids were unable to attend school due to the pandemic and their parents were trying to figure out what to do with the children after their distance learning classes were over. Everyone was traumatized and dancing is like therapy.
“MIA developed this program so young people and adults can dance their way through whatever they may be experiencing. We started with drum classes and saw that there was a need to expand the art with dance sessions, which we were able to do thanks to a grant from L.A. Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA),” she explained.
Dr. Sherry Traylor and members of the Psalms Dance Network led the dance sessions. On August 27, the results of their lessons were displayed in a recital featuring children and adults.
“As a result of doing this program, we realize the need is great for even more arts and music education classes to help people release some of the unhealthy emotions built up during COVID,” Jacque said.
“Also, we’ve been able to partner with groups like the Inner City Youth Orchestra of L.A. and it gives the community a chance to see that positive things are going on.”
Providing outlets for youth is one of the main ministries of MIA. Throughout its three-decade existence, the Malones have consistently presented activities to educate and inspire young people in the field of music.
“God planted the idea in me for Musicians In Action more than 30 years and my wife has been a driving force in making it successful,” Gerald said. “As we look out into the community and see a need, we try to address it and fill that void.
“Of course, finances is always a concern, but for this program, God provided grants through DCA, so we are able to do it.”
Learn more about Musicians in Action and the programs the nonprofit offers by visiting musicians-in-action.com.