Johnathan Coraccio, a senior computer science major, said he dances and makes people laugh for the glory of God.
As a Christian, Coraccio said he draws his inspiration from God, knowing that he performs for God.
“When I dance, in my mind, it is my way of worshiping God to show, ‘Hey, this is something that he has given me a passion for,’” Coraccio said, “so I just want to point this back to him.”
Coraccio is the president of Cedarville’s dance org, Ayo, where he seeks to continue combining dance and worship. Raven Simmons, a member of Ayo, said Coraccio’s dance is inspiring.
“Watching Coraccio dance is an experience unlike any other. The precision in which he moves is beautiful. When he dances you can see passion, fun and a God-given and God-praising gift,” Simmons said. “It’s incredible and inspiring.”
Rebecca Baker, faculty adviser of Ayo and director of Cedarville’s fall production “Father of the Bride,” said Coraccio puts emotion into his work as a cast member in “Father of the Bride.”
“I first saw Johnathan as a dancer for Ayo and found his style to be a great blend of fun and genuine emotion,” Baker said. “I am a huge fan of his energy on stage, dependable work ethic, and wonderful collaboration with the rest of the cast.”
Coraccio said that when coming to Cedarville he had a major decision of what he wanted to do with the dancing and comedy he developed in high school.
“I’m not here just to study and get a degree, but I’m also here to find a new way to engage in the lives of others or finding new ways to glorify God,” Coraccio said.
Coraccio said coming to Cedarville allowed him to see the bigger picture in his life, that bigger picture being glorifying God.
Coraccio said he also draws special inspiration from a Filipino dance crew, The Jabbawockeez. Coraccio said he shares a similar dance interest with the group.
“I just thought it was really cool how they were having fun while they entertained others,” he said. “Dancing to me isn’t a chore. It’s a way to brighten other people’s day.”
Coraccio said his favorite dance style is hip-hop or animatronic, similar to that of the Filipino dance group.
Coraccio explained that he seeks to set his mind on dancing for the glory of God before each performance. And he said he tries to trust his practice and not over think what is going on.
Aside from Ayo, Coraccio is involved with DTR, Cedarville’s improv comedy group, that seeks to entertain students with clean humor.
“Improv comedy always intrigued me, but I didn’t know how much I wanted to do it,” Coraccio said.
After joining DTR, however, Coraccio said he was hooked by the family-like atmosphere. It was something that encouraged him to get better at improv comedy and encouraged him to grow closer to his fellow performers.
“We start each rehearsal with prayer time just to get us in a good mindset that we are here to glorify God and support each other,” Coraccio said. “As we are performing they make sure not to throw out rude jokes to tear each other down and instead jokes that build each other up or play to the unique gifts of the performer.”
Coraccio said the camaraderie between DTR members continues outside rehearsals and performances.
“It seems like they actually want to be there with me, that they actually care what’s going on in my life,” he said.
To upcoming artists, Coraccio said that community is important.
“When I went into improv comedy I hadn’t done any of it before. Find a good platform and good people that are very uplifting and encouraging to you,” he said. “You can be by yourself and study all you want about how to dance or how to do improv comedy, but until you really interact with other people with the same mentality, you’re not going to really get it.”
Hunter Hensley is a sophomore English major and an arts and entertainment reporter for Cedars. He is an avid gamer who likes to play almost any game under the sun with a group of friends.