BY LEANN DILBECK –
Dream Spinners Christian Dance Company is the long-time dream of Hatfield resident, Candace Riner. As a child living in Dardanelle, Riner was extremely introverted often hiding behind and tightly clinging to her Daddy’s leg in public. At age five, her parents enrolled her in baton twirling lessons in hopes that it would help with her shyness. Riner has participated in parades, festivals, contests, clinics and scholarship pageants throughout her childhood and adult life which have helped her better cope socially.
Riner trained under multiple baton twirling and dance teachers through the years, taking private lessons around the state and region and competing in contests winning local, state, and national awards. In 1998, Riner was encouraged by her main coach to begin teaching on her own in her hometown. Late that summer, Riner and her mother founded Dream Spinners while she was just a high school junior.
Riner has taught baton and dance lessons to hundreds of girls for the better part of two decades in the River Valley and Ouachita regions of Arkansas, training over a dozen majorette lines and countless students many of whom went on to become feature twirlers and captains on the high school and college level. Riner brought her vision to the area over seven years ago and has seen it realized more than she ever imagined.
Riner moved to Polk County in 2005 after she married her husband Andy, current Prosecuting Attorney for the 18th West Judicial District. She and her husband are active members of First Baptist Church Hatfield. She also works part time as a Ministry Assistant for the Ouachita Baptist Association, is the Founder of Princess in HIS Image Ministries and serves as Board Chair of Fresh Start Pregnancy Resource Center. Riner holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communications from Arkansas Tech University.
Dream Spinners is a Christian-based performance dance company based in Mena; offering quality training in an uplifting environment. Students learn creative movement, basic ballet and beginner to advanced lyrical, contemporary, and jazz dance technique and fundamentals. Additionally, students learn all aspects from beginner to intermediate baton twirling and ribbon dancing.
Riner explained that all classes begin in a circle formation where students listen to a brief Bible lesson. Students are led in a prayer to begin class warm-up and activities. Each class meeting is uniquely different but structured the same to create stability and creativity for the student’s enjoyment. “We have a controlled classroom environment and have a low student-teacher ratio whereby students have equal opportunity for growth and one-on-one attention,” she added. Classes are meant to stimulate young minds and help with coordination, poise, self-control and physical activity. Students begin to develop graceful movement as they practice and train on a weekly basis. “We also offer quality training for generally less money than families would spend at the average dance studio. We have generous supporters who provide scholarships for girls to participate in class who otherwise would not be able to attend.
“In addition to weekly classes, Dream Spinners provides students with the wonderful experience of performing in a yearly recital or production,” Riner explained. “Both the recital for ages 2½-8 and the production for ages 9 through adult are designed to bring glory to God and serve as an encouragement to those in attendance. The special events are a great opportunity for students to share their gifts and faith with family, friends and the community.” Our performance season runs September through May, and when we begin classes we do not take new students until the end of the season. This helps us with chorography and does not interrupt the classroom and group dynamics.”
Riner said she is so pleased to have the very sweet and talented studio teacher, Emmye Rowell working with her on this endeavor, teaching girls of all ages the beautiful art of dance and baton twirling. Dream Spinners perform locally at nursing homes, festivals and parades throughout the year. Today, Dream Spinners has grown to 75 students and teachers, whom love dancing for the Lord.
“Dream Spinners is truly a God-given dream. I am often reminded of Proverbs 16:9, ‘We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps’. As we are “spinning” our plans, the Creator is guiding us with each step we take by His Spirit of grace”. “I believe that God is the Dream Weaver,” she continued. “He is providentially working His perfect plan behind the scenes for the future. We have prayed for several years, as we have grown in number, for God to provide a location to better serve our dancers and families and to be able to train and minister to more girls. We fully trust Him and His timing to reveal His will. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
“As we faithfully seek to know Him and reflect His glory, we are grateful for His blessings and the privilege to teach girls God’s Word while practicing a beautiful art. I’m thankful to be living my God-given dream. I typically like change but teaching girls for over 15 years has been the work that I find the most joy in doing and would do if I were not paid a dime. I have known this call on my life in the area of girl’s ministry for many years and it has become my passion to watch the girls God entrusts in our care to grow into beautiful and graceful young women who love and honor Christ with their lives.”
“Dream Spinners mission is to spread the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through dance and evangelism at public events in our community and through our annual recital and production,” she added. “Feel free to contact us and learn more about what we do at 479-747-0115 or visit us at www.dreamspinnersdance.com.”