From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the second annual event will feature live entertainment — including Excel Christian Academy’s chorus and jazz band, and musicians from area churches — food and craft vendors, inflatables, face painting, a cake walk, carnival games, a silent auction and performances by Steps of Faith Dance Company dancers.
“They’re going to Italy on a mission trip in May,” said Angie Alexandersen, SOF board member and a coordinator for the Fall Festival. “So they’re trying to raise funding to kind of cut the cost for the girls. They’re raising money on their own but this will also help with cutting the costs for them. As much proceeds as we can possibly get will go toward that mission trip.
“My daughter, Christina Alexandersen, she’s going there in February. She’s studying abroad with Operation Mobilization. It’s a missions group that supports full-time missions around the world. ... In Italy they have a home base where they teach dance and Bible, and then my daughter will be, in conjuction with OM, organizing the mission trip for the girls to go and dance in different venues and different churches at different locations.”
For Julie Reeves, artistic director for Steps of Faith, trips like this tie into the dance studio’s overall mission. Since 2005, selected dancers have traveled to Norway, Sweden, upstate New York, Trinidad and Mississippi, participating in a range of activities, such as leading dance camps and Bible schools to delivering donations to an orphanage.
“The mission trips are actually part of the company, a part of our ministry and our mission of what we do, which is spreading the word of Jesus Christ throughout the world and our community,” Reeves said. “So that’s part of what we do is to go on these trips and to be able to dance and to preach the gospel that way. ... I just think it’s really important, not only just internationally but locally. And we’ve done stateside missions as well.
“Steps of Faith in general likes to be involved in helping people out. We’re not just about dancing. We’re not just about teaching the best ballet, which we think we do, but at the same time we feel like it’s just as important to develop these kids — civically minded and also [mission]-minded — so that they can be better citizens in the world and to be on fire for what God has called them to do.”
Echoing Reeves’ comments, Alexandersen said she has witnessed firsthand how missions impacts the dancers’ lives. As a former Steps of Faith dancer, her daughter — who now is a Steps of Faith instructor — participated in three mission trips, which helped shape her career path.
“In Trinidad, she would have literally stayed there because she felt like those kids had never seen tap before and my daughter, she grew up doing tap and did The Rockettes’ summer program two times in 2007 and 2009,” Alexandersen said about Christina. “She loved those children there in the orphanage and would have stayed and set up shop, I think.
“My daughter is now a cultural anthropology major and what she wants to do is take the gospel through dance to different countries. That’s what she’s always wanted to do and that stems from her first mission trip. She loved it and all the girls do. They grow so much. Any time a kid goes on a mission trip, they see amazing things that touch their heart and it broadens their horizons tremendously.”
At Saturday’s festival, there will be no charge for parking or admission but some activities will require a nominal charge or donation to participate. For more information about the event or securing a vendor booth space for $20, call Reeves at 404-316-8546.