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Gospel Line Dancing Learned at Baptist Temple

Participants pose for a photo with Instructor Steve “Fun Bunch” Dillard after Gospel Line Dancing Workshop at Baptist Temple.
Participants pose for a photo with Instructor Steve “Fun Bunch” Dillard after Gospel Line Dancing Workshop at Baptist Temple.

By Journalist Dr. Ms. Jones

NEWBURGH – “We start off with the right foot crossing. One, two, cha, cha, cha…Then we Hood Walk four times right back. One and two, three and four, five and six, seven and eight.” “We need a break.” “That was a good one.” These were the sounds that were heard on Saturday, June 1st at Baptist Temple Church at their Gospel Line Dance Workshop instructed by Steve “Fun Bunch” Dillard.

“I have been tracking Steve for a while on Facebook. And I know since the pandemic, line dancing has become really, really popular… It was amazing for me to get an opportunity to… do the workshop with him and the fact that it was Gospel or Christian on top of that was even better. He just really instructs very well,” said Evangelist Christal Banks of In The Faith Christian Fellowship who really appreciated that the line dancing was to Gospel music. “The world needs to see that Christians are not just so dry and humdrum.”

Steve "Fun Bunch" Dillard teaches Gospel Line Dancing at Baptist Temple.
Steve “Fun Bunch” Dillard teaches Gospel Line Dancing at Baptist Temple.

Dillard also does workshops using R&B and Soul Music. He creates his own line dances and teaches well-known ones. At this workshop he taught familiar line dances like “Jerusalema” and new ones like “The Temptations Cha,” “I Will Always Be Thankful,” and “Vain Call.” Even though a lot of people think line dancing is new, it’s been around a long time.

“[Urban] Line Dancing is something that started back in the 60s…Right now, we’re getting a real big surge of people in different communities that’s growing. Everybody’s getting together. One of the great things about our line dance community is that people from all over get to learn these dances [and get] into one place and do them all. Although we come to a workshop like this one where you learn individually, when you get back to, let’s say we all meet up in Philadelphia, and we all get to do these dances,” said Dillard who has been teaching line dancing for almost 10 years and will begin teaching every Wednesday at Zen Dining Lounge in Wappinger Falls beginning on Juneteenth.

Baptist Temple held the line dancing class as a fundraiser for the 5thPastoral Anniversary of their pastor, Rev. Dr. Dollyann Briggs. Briggs is the first African American female pastor of a major Baptist church in the city of Newburgh, the first African American female elected as president of The Christian Ministerial Fellowship of Newburgh & Vicinity, the first female Assistant General Secretary for Empire Baptist Convention of New York State, and the first female Vice Moderator for Central Hudson Baptist Association.

“We wanted to do something new and exciting, something different because we have a new and exciting pastor. She’s something different,” said Alyce Mauldin, Chairperson for the Fifth Anniversary. “We had different activities leading up to her anniversary… We did a Bowling Night. We did a Paint & Praise. We did a Cake and Praise where we actually decorated cakes and took them home.”

The Anniversary Gala is on Saturday, June 22nd at 1pm at Spruce Lodge. Participants will eat, fellowship, and do the line dances learned in the workshop. On Sunday, June 23rd they will have Guest Preacher Reverend Dr. Stanley Woodfolk from Virginia speaking at Baptist Temple to culminate the Anniversary Celebration.

Journalist Ms. Jones

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