Interview with Fred Vassallo, Bethel Music Kids Choreographer

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Minno’s Jessica Wolstenholm sat down with Fred Vasallo, choreographer for Bethel Music Kids. They discussed faith, dancing as mission, and parenting in an entertainment-saturated world. Check out Fred’s work on Minno

Jessica:

Well, so good to have you with us and so good to have your amazing content on Minno. So Fred, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, and your role in the world of music and worship for kids.

Fred:

Absolutely. So I have a beautiful wife and three girls, three daughters, ages 16 and ten and eight. My role in the world of worship and music truly started when I was a kid. I was a youth working in the entertainment and commercial industry. Then I came to the knowledge that there’s a greater mission behind all of this: behind movement, behind music, behind acting and theater. And all of those things actually are tools to communicate the gospel.

Jessica:

So tell me . . . why dance? What brought about your passion for creating fun worship and dance experiences for kids? 

Fred:

My earliest strong visual memory is being in third grade because I was a breakdancer. And I just remember rolling around on the ground at morning recess at my school because we could dance then. I was a kid falling in love with music and movement. I would be in my room for hours training myself and watching videos and learning how to do movements. And then when I got to high school, I wound up going to take some random class and then got called out by the choreographer to join their professional dance company. Then I started traveling as a young kid . . . touring, then doing commercials, and then that expanded into the entertainment world. But even while I was doing that, I felt there was this stronger purpose behind it. I love entertainment for entertainment’s sake, but I felt that was only one part of it. There was always some other purpose that had a deeper meaning or a greater spiritual meaning to movement.

When I gave my life to the Lord, all of those puzzle pieces came together. I realized that dance and movement help use experience who God is. I mean, in the Bible, there are over 148 scriptures that specifically call (almost even command) us to praise His name in dancing.

Jessica:

You mentioned all the verses in the Bible about dance. Do you have a favorite?

Fred:

Psalm 149 literally lists the ways to praise Him and gives instructions to praise Him because of His goodness. And at the end, it says let’s praise His name in dance. Then, of course, there’s the example of King David bringing the Ark of the covenant back. He was celebrating the return of the presence of the Lord back to the city, back to where he was. And he unashamedly danced. 

Jessica:

Talk about the difference between what the world has done with dance and what you can offer. That motivation is really important for kids to understand because they see all those things in the world that they want to emulate, but they don’t understand the different spirit behind dancing for the world versus dancing for God.

Fred:

Yeah. And that’s a tough thing to navigate. Quite honestly, for me, that’s really the root of my passion for my work with the Bethel Music Kids content. It’s to be able to set something visually before the eyes of so many children so that they see that example. What makes me so excited is to know that there are going to be kids watching that content. It’s going to self-consciously answer the question for them: Can I fully be alive in Christ, serve Him, dance, sing, act, and do all this as unto the Lord? And to me, that’s what gets me so excited and fuels my passion to want to even create more content.

Jessica:

That’s why kids are in love with Tik Tok and why it’s so huge. It gave them this opportunity to express themselves in this way. And it’s just such a hard thing for parents to navigate.

Fred: 

To be honest we must. It is our responsibility to be able to do that because the idea that we can just shelter them from it is not based in reality. Technology and those opportunities are only growing. So what we need to do is find ways to get content in front of them that actually nourishes them and feeds them.

Jessica:

Awesome. This is such an amazing conversation. I really enjoyed talking with you and we’ll have to do it again because I’m sure there’s so much more we could talk about, but for now it’s so great to introduce our Minno families to you and the work that you do and the heart behind Bethel more than anything.

Fred:

That’s how it always works. He calls us according to purposes, and He goes before us. And He prepares a way because it’s really for Him, for His work. 

Check out Fred’s work with Bethel Music Kids on Minno today!