In 1984, God led Lisa Odell to take her last $500 and start her own dance studio. Today, Starstruck Academy of Dance is one of the most respected dance schools in the country.
Over the years, Starstruck’s competitive company has been awarded numerous national titles, sportsmanship honors and choreography awards. Alumni have gone on to perform on nationally ranked college dance teams, Broadway, television, movies, professional dance companies, music tours and more. Dance Spirit magazine named Starstruck one of the Top 50 Studios in the country, and their influence is ever expanding…even to Africa!
In 2013, Lisa traveled to Rwanda and was deeply warmed by the love that she witnessed in some very difficult living situations. One boy in particular, Patrick, reached into her heart and she has never forgotten him.
Then, in 2015, Lisa and her family began serving a Hope Haven Rwanda student, Tesi, who faced serious medical challenges and was transported to the U.S. for more than two years of intense treatment. The entire Starstruck Academy family pitched in to serve Tesi, and they continue to demonstrate their strong love for her today as she studies at Hope Haven Rwanda.
Lisa, along with her talented daughters Chanel and Bree, who also serve as instructors, recently extended the reach of Starstruck Academy of Dance into the heart of Africa. They spent several days on our campus training students and helping them achieve new levels of teamwork, coordination and physical fitness. They also invested in several teachers who will continue training as we prepare for a large dedication and celebration. And, yes, Lisa and her family were able to reconnect with Patrick and to enjoy some special times with Tesi and her family.
In one of their capstone events, newly trained students performed as part of our Monthly Community Outreach event with hundreds of people in attendance. The worship was lively and the good news of Jesus was proclaimed as Chris, a NYPD Police Officer, shared his testimony of transformation!
In Luke 14:13-14, Jesus said, “But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” Lisa, Chanel and Bree modeled this principle beautifully as they sacrificially served those who will never be able to repay them. And, in the end, they reported that they experienced God’s presence and joy in new and profound ways. This incredible team of superstars came, shared their gifts and left our community “starstruck” in Rwanda! How will you take the unique gifts that God has gifted to you and turn them around for His glory this week?