Reality LA brings Christmas Joy

Dance Team Leaders
Dance leaders pour their energy into teaching dance.

The week of December 13-20, a talented team from Reality LA came to Haiti to share Christmas with the kids and community.  The team poured their skills into working with the children to produce a truly memorable Christmas event for the community. Choreographers, set production, costume designers, acting coaches, and a lot of hard work was the formula for an amazing afternoon!

AC Sanford, Ian Gilligan, and Lauren Ankenman provided the imaginative drive and training for the choreography, culminating in a dance performance of “Drummer Boy” unlike any seen before. They set a high standard and challenged the kids to go beyond what they thought they could do.

Beckee makes sure the ram costume fits
Beckee makes sure the ram costume fits

Beckee Craighead and Rebecca Nearing worked on costumes as well as set design. The costumes were amazing with the two little rams being a big hit.

Set Design
Yards and yards of blue sky challenge the set designers.

Christian Snell and Jon Marcu designed beautiful sets and painted and built props. They hung the amazing backdrop of the night sky, hung lights, and painted the nativity scene.. The stage backdrop was made from two bolts of white linen fabric that had been tie-died blue to give the appearance of stars. Each bolt of fabric weighed 65 pounds. Fortunately, the airline waived the oversize costs when they heard what the fabric was going to be used for.

Rachel Hummel and Will Barker organized the nativity pageant and coached the kids with their various roles. Sarah Frank did vocal coaching and worked with the little kids on their songs and presentations.

Andrew Hummel helped with production and also served as a videographer.

Angelo Saragosa, a Child Hope board member and frequent visitor to Haiti, provided invaluable support with his carpentry skills and  knowledge of how to get things done in Haiti.


Capacity crowd watches
Capacity crowd watches

When the day of the performance arrived, around 300 people gathered to enjoy a Christmas celebration that included almost 15 acts and lasted over two and a half hours. The little ones recited poems, sang songs, or recited scripture verses they had learned. Some groups did songs together, and some like Patrick did an individual performance on his recorder.

The event concluded with the nativity pageant and the “Drummer Boy” dance troupe.

Rebecca Nearing summed up her experience of the week this way:

When we first arrived, we weren’t quite sure how interested the kids would be in the hard work of practicing. Many of them had done Christmas events for years, and we were afraid that they were burned out. It was amazing to see them take ownership of the program and get so excited they began practicing on their own time. When Thursday arrived, I was so blessed to see the kids engaged passionately in what they were doing, and to see how the Holy Spirit stitched all their hard work together into a time of sweet ministry to their community and each other.

The specially choreographed Drummer Boy dance  was so popular that an encore performance was demanded by the audience. Here is a not very high-quality video of it, recorded on a phone. Andrew will soon have some excellent professional quality video posted to share and we’ll update the link then.

AC Sanford, dance instructor, commented:

I will be forever changed by my experience and will continue to pray for all the boys and for their lives…that they would grow to be strong men in the Lord and be a part of what God is doing in Haiti or wherever the Lord calls them.

A heartfelt thank you to this incredible team. The kids are forever changed also as they had an opportunity to be loved and valued and affirmed in working together to lift up and celebrate Jesus, God’s perfect gift, the Savior of the world.

“Behold, I bring you tidings of great joy which shall be to all the people.” Luke 2:8