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SONdance: Finding whispers of hope
Manteca-based Christian dance group inspires
Dancers from SONdance stage the organization’s 20th anniversary performance. - photo by HIME ROMERO

Earlier this month SONdance Christian dance school celebrated their 20th anniversary with a brilliant performance of Whispers of Hope at Calvary Community Church on Lathrop Road. Although I have seen SONdance perform at other events in the past and always thought they did a beautiful job something about this year’s performance was exceptional.

Perhaps it was the nature of the theme—Hope.  With anxiety and worry being a common state of mind for many people during this challenging economic time, hope is what people are looking for and hope is the message that the SONdance team displayed through their inspirational and expressive dance.

SONdance founder and teacher, Jolynda Lyon opened the program by reading a portion of  Charles Swindoll’s booklet titled The Rising Hope which reminds us that hope is a wonderful gift from God.

• When we are trapped in a tunnel of misery, hope points to the light at the end.

• When we are overworked and exhausted, hope gives us fresh energy.

• When we are discouraged, hope lifts our spirits.

• When we are tempted to quit, hope keeps us going.

• When we lose our way and confusion blurs the destination,
hope dulls the edge of panic.

• When we fear the worst, hope reminds us that God is still in control.

• When we must endure the consequences of God’s decisions, hope fuels our recovery.

• When we find ourselves unemployed, hope tells us we still have a future.

• When we are forced to sit back and wait, hope gives us the patience to trust.

• When we feel rejected and abandoned, hope reminds us we’re not alone.

• When we say our final farewell to someone we love, hope of life beyond the grave gets us through our grief.

Upon concluding the reading, Jolynda added her thoughts on the subject of hope when she said, “God is not finished with it yet.”

While each of the nineteen songs (Ten in Act I and nine in Act II) along with the choreographed dances that accompanied them were exceptional there were a few that struck me personally as truly inspiring.  The opening line to the very first song, When you Believe brought tears to my eyes.  As dancers delicately moved across the stage, the words “There can be miracles if you believe” filled the room. The gently hand movements and light pitter-pattering sound of ballerina feet caused the audience, caused me, to feel hope and believe.  

When the first song ended and before the second song began a narrator spoke something to the effect of our need to be quiet when someone whispers referring to our need to be unmoving and hushed within, in order to hear the still small voice of God.  At this, the music to the song Wonderful Maker began and little children danced upon the stage.  Their moves were slightly unrefined yet ever so pure and full of grace as they reflected hope.  

Later, the Men who Dare to Dance made their way to the stage. Resembling King David as he danced boldly before the Lord these men, marched, skipped, clapped, jumped and danced with dynamism.  Toward the end of the song, the men scattered throughout the audience waving colorful flags, worship their creator to the tune of Today is the Day.  It too reflected hope and gave a good idea of what tender warriors really look like.

If SONdance’s intention through Whispers of Hope was to inspire, encourage and uplift all who saw the show then they succeed greatly.  This may be a season of challenge for many but as the SONdance performers remind us, “While petals fall, so do seeds and with fallen seeds come new life.”  Through faith, we have whispers of hope for a better tomorrow.

For more information call SONdance at (209) 823-1740 or visit