Israel Houghton and Health Partners offer “Crazy Praise!”
By John Manley
On Saturday, November 20, 2010, Health Partners of Philadelphia, a non-profit health plan with more than 165,000 members (http://www.healthpart.com/AboutUs.asp) celebrated its 25th year of providing valuable services to the Greater Philadelphia area. This year it brought back the Crazy Praise Dance Showcase. This is the second year of the showcase that highlights dance troops from churches in and around this city (for information about last years’ showcase go to http://www.healthpart.com/CrazyPraiseEvent2009.asp).
According to Felicia Phillips, Supervisor of Communications and Public Affairs, the whole premise behind the dance showcase is to encourage people both young and old to “get moving” through exercise be it through their local gym or even on the praise dance team at their local church. Area churches are starting to embrace praise dancing more and more and Miss Phillips, along with Health Partners, feel that this is a great way to holistically work on the total person – mind, body and spirit
In addition, there was a health fair associated with the dance showcase where people could go in and get their BMI (Body Mass Index) measured for free along with other things like blood pressure screenings. There was also an abundance of information concerning all aspects of health targeting African Americans who, according to officials, are less likely to get screened for preventable diseases and ailments making them more likely to suffer needlessly.
The health fair was well attended but what people wanted to see was the dance groups, who didn’t disappoint at all. The host church, The Baptist Worship Center (Bishop Millicent Hunter) started off the showcase in amazing fashion and it ended with a great display of energy, coordination and exemplary dance skills from the dance team from Victory Christian Center.
The event was hosted by Praise 103.9’s Lonnie Hunter, who provided information as well as comic relief.
After the dancers performed there was a special performance it was now time for the man of the hour, Israel Haughton and New Breed. Israel’s performance was unbelievable to say the least. The capacity crowd was on their feet from the minute the lights went out and the video intro emblazoned the dual screens on the sanctuary walls. Israel started with a worship medley and went non-stop for the nearly a two hour long set.
All in all, Health Partners 25th Anniversary concert was an absolute success as they did exactly what they set out to do; inform people that there are options out there to manage and monitor their health and praise the Lord while doing so. Adding to an already great night, this event was totally free to the public!