Artist bio

Willow Pinkerton has been dancing since she was very young and loves the power and scope that movement has to communicate stories and bring people together. After attending Susquehanna Dance Center’s pre-professional program, she went on to complete her BA at Goucher College in Dance and English. Currently, she is an apprentice with The Collective Dance Company and plans to continue to choreograph and perform in the future. Jonathan Rothermel began to seriously pursue filmmaking as a career in 2016. Two years later, he co-founded Cursive Films with his brother, Michael. Together, they make films across the United States and the world.


Trial and Faith


Dance - Modern

Artist Statement

This performance is a personal exploration of the Spiritual Battle and what it has meant for me recently, as well as over the course of my life as a Christian. God has used dance to teach me countless valuable lessons and it has been an outlet through which I process the world. In my performance, I intend to bring honor to Him and I am thankful for the opportunity to share it with others!

How it fits into contest

Ephesians 6:10-20 has offered a rich springboard for the creation of my choreography. A primary theme which presented itself as I read the scripture and asked God to be with me in each step of the process, was the prevalence of "standing firm." As I reflect on my experience as a Christian and as a dancer, there are striking parallels that have arisen and taken hold in my heart that are related to this very idea. Throughout the Bible, and especially in Ephesians, we see the commandment to be rooted, grounded, and tethered to Christ in all that we do. When evil attempts to uproot and shake us, we are called to put on the armor of God to protect ourselves and be strong in the conviction that in Him we are resilient enough to weather the storms.

God has been teaching me the importance of seeking Him to help me discern when to take refuge in Him as my protection, and when it is appropriate to align myself with the instructions of this passage and prepare myself for battle. As I set about building a piece that would speak to this truth, I wanted to express the nuance in facing the Spiritual Battle with boldness and unshakable faith.

Through trials, faith is strengthened. In this work I seek to highlight my commitment to holding that duality as I grow in my relationship with Christ. To translate the emotional and cognitive aspects of this journey into physical movement, I exhibited the balance between harnessing energy and surrendering to stillness. I also explored a juxtaposition between struggle and perseverance, as seen in the dynamic shifts and specific recurrence of movement phrases. Finally, the visual and audio components illuminate the Spiritual Battle by offering further layers to the complexity and ongoing nature of what it looks like to live a life of faith.


Choreography and performance by Willow Pinkerton

Cinematography and editing by Jonathan Rothermel

Music "Dawn" by Nicolas Guerrero (Licensed through

Transcript / Lyrics

Not applicable to my entry.

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