Dance team becomes ministry

There are many different ways to worship. Psalm 149:3 says, “Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to Him with timbrel and harp.”

Liberty University’s student-led, hip-hop dance ministry team D-Trex is doing just that — praising God through dance.

“The group was … originally called Death On Awakening (D.O.A.), and that was a part of the Urban Ministry crew Bridging the Gap (BTG),” D-Trex captain Erline Destine said. “And then we decided to do our own thing and wanted to grow more and wanted to do things our way … and just shine more with God’s glory.”

The dance team, whose name means death to resurrection, comes up with a new theme and dance routine every year. According to Destine, this year, the dance crew’s theme is “The Fall.”

“In the beginning of our routine, it starts off with Adam and Eve and God breathing life into them,” Destine said. “As (the routine) progresses into the songs, if you listen to the words, … it goes into how (life) was brought up from God and how it went into a whole different thing that God didn’t intend.”

The group’s routine focuses on the different types of sin that are in the world and how God can save the fallen from those sins, Destine said.

While some of the dance members remain the same throughout the years, D-Trex welcomes new dancers and crew members to their team.

“We have tryouts every semester, so our biggest group ever I think was 26,” Destine said. “Right now, I believe we have 14 to 15 people.”

D-Trex consists of two captains, two spiritual leaders and dancers.

The crew’s spiritual leaders José and Carlie Rey are in charge of leading Bible studies and small group prayers during practices.

“We want to stay spiritual about it, so that’s why we … set aside time for our Bible study and our spiritual leaders will lead that,” Destine said. “(On) Saturdays, we have our quiet times, because we have a mission about actually being in the Word and constantly being in the Word.”

D-Trex travels every semester to compete in dance competitions and to minister to others. They have visited cities such as Charlottesville, Atlanta and Philadelphia.

“We travel, in a semester, out of Lynchburg maybe four to six times,” Destine said. “(During) spring semester, we usually travel a lot. (In the) fall, maybe twice.

Wherever people want us, that is where we go, wherever we’re called.”

According to Gabriel McGann, male captain for D-Trex, the best part of being a member of the team is that it is like a big family.

“I love that aspect of it,” McGann said. “That’s hard to find in some places. I love the fact that (dance) can be a ministry. … That’s kind of how I worship.”

Destine said hip-hop has been negatively viewed, but D-Trex wants to change that outlook.

“We want to bring it back to the roots … and we also just want to remain humble as well,” Destine said. “No matter what goes on, we don’t want to have to be all the way up to a level where we can’t be spiritual. Because then pride gets in the way, selfishness gets in the way, and we just want to remain humble and stay true to ourselves and stay true to God.”

As D-Trex grows in size and popularity, the crew hopes to stay grounded in their roots — remaining humble and continuing to keep the focus on God.

“My hopes, and I think the original goal for D-Trex, is to keep growing, keep ministering, keep focus and keep the goal in mind,” Destine said. “We want to change the hip-hop community and the way it’s viewed.”

D-Trex will be performing at Hip Hop Night presented by Campus Artist Series Nov. 18 at 7 p.m.

For more information on D-Trex, visit

BUNNER is a feature reporter.

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