The next steps on Travis and Alee Wiens’ career path are dance steps.
The husband and wife duo who directed the Refined/Undignified hip hop dance team at Caronport High School this year plan to move to Ontario in July to begin a similar kind of dance team there in the fall. They plan to call the new team The Found and The Free.
“Our auditions (for high school students) are at the end of September so that we’re not necessarily tearing students away from the extra-curriculars that they want to be a part of,” Alee explained.
Besides Elmira, Ont. being Travis’ hometown, the Briercrest alums are drawn to the province because of the large opportunity for outreach.
“Within a two hour radius there are seven million people if not more,” Travis exclaimed. There’s so much need and there’s so many people that need the gospel close to home.”
Travis and Alee have found that when teens communicate their faith through dance, the message comes through loud and clear.
“Teenagers sharing the gospel and their own faith with teenagers is so incredibly effective and powerful,” Alee exclaimed. “A lot of high school students have this idea that ‘Okay, that adult is telling me that I need Jesus, but I have until I’m that old to need Him. Right now I’m young. . . I just want to do what I want to do.’ But to see someone who’s their age or even younger with this confidence that Jesus is their everything is so real because that person has Jesus in their life now.”
The Wiens say their experience with this year’s Refined/Undignified high school team has taught them a lot about leading a dance ministry.
“We wrote a whole new show,” Alee said. “I did the choreography and Travis is really great at spoken word and at mixing and finding music so we’re kind of like a great team in that way. We held auditions ourselves, we picked a team of 10. We’ve been blessed to work with a team of really incredible kids who love the Lord which is really cool.”
The Wiens recruited fellow Briercrest alums Matthew Newton and Aaron Naismith for the leadership team of The Found and The Free. The four plan to put together a short dance program that they will travel and perform to give youth groups in Ontario a small taste of what the dance ministry is all about.
“We were thinking, ‘How do we get the word out?’ How do we get people on board to understand what it is we actually do because it’s so hard to explain,” Alee said. “You’re going to have to show people.”
The couple is working on the short dance program in the weeks before they leave for Ontario.
“We have studio space now,” Travis said referring to the space at Briercrest typically used by the Refined/Undignified teams. “Over the summer not many people are going to be using it. Hopefully we’ll throw something together . . . See what the Lord lays on our hearts for a new show.”
The leadership team of The Found and The Free will have a week long boot camp the end of July to learn the show. The rest of the month will be spent setting things up.
“I think that July will mostly be fundraising – getting the word out there,” Alee explained. “Right now we’re searching for studio space which is tough. We’re trusting the Lord that He wants us to do this. He knows what we need and that He will provide.”