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Ballet presents unique Christmas story

Special Photo: Students with Heavenly Dance Steps rehearse for this weekend's performance of "The Blessing."

Special Photo: Students with Heavenly Dance Steps rehearse for this weekend's performance of "The Blessing."

COVINGTON -- A local dance studio will present a very unique Christmas story to the community this weekend.

Heavenly Dance Steps will perform "The Blessing," described in promotional material as a modern day Christmas story of hope, at 6 p.m. Saturday at Alcovy High School and Sunday at Social Circle Theater.

The story centers on a teenage girl who becomes pregnant and ultimately finds a blessing in her pain through faith.

"It's a story of a teenager that's come to a crisis in her life, but it's also a story about hope and restoration for her and her family, her parents and their marriage ... We basically link the Christmas story from the Bible and the ministry of Christ and how he can bring hope and restoration into our lives when we allow it," Nelson said.

Nelson describes Heavenly Steps as a "Christ-centered dance studio" celebrating its 10th year of ministry. The company's 70 students range from age 3 to college-age and take ballet, tap and jazz.

Nelson started dancing at age 8 and got her teaching certificate before marriage and children diverted her attention for a while. She decided to pick up the art form again. As a new Christian, "I was very strongly convicted that the only way this was going to happen is I was going to have to do it for the Lord," she said.

The studio started in a double-wide trailer at Eastridge Community Church and eventually moved to its current Usher Street location. Though Nelson said she's always viewed the company as a mission, she recently formed two groups of students specifically for community outreach.

"Even though we are a Christ-centered studio, our heart is to minister to anybody and everybody. The doors are open to anybody, to any children interested in dancing," Nelson said.

Nelson said she hopes the community will find hope in this weekend's performance.

"(I hope) they come to truly know no matter what is going on in our lives now or in the future that the Lord is our source of hope that is everything that we need to just live, that he can restore us through any trials we're in or that come our way," she said.

Performances are free, though a love offering will be collected.