Mime on a Mission

During the season we will be posting weekly player profiles. Tyson Stakes is going to provide the family, friends, fans, and alumni of the Greenville Panthers a deeper view of some of our players. The third installment looks at SO RB Manny Gamble (St. Louis, MO). 

 What kind of message do you want to convey to those who look up to you? No matter who you are, you always have others who look up to you; others who watch the things you do, and possibly reenact them. The Bible teaches us to train others in a way that uplifts them and brings them closer to God. There might not be a better example of this kind of mentoring than the Apostle Paul to his young friend Timothy. Our goal in mentoring should be to replicate this kind of relationship.

Whether he’s nimbly running past the opposite team’s defense, or gracefully gliding across his church’s stage, Sophomore Running Back Manny Gamble recognizes the importance of setting an example for others who look up to him. He and his brother perform interpretive mime-dance worship at his home church in St. Louis, MO. Through the popularity of such performances, Manny strives to convey a Christ-centered message to those who look up to him.

Tyson Stakes: So tell me, what exactly is mime dancing? 

Manny Gamble: It’s basically acting out a song, like a gospel song with movements and praising through movements instead of singing. And I paint my face white. It’s like an interpretive dance. 

TS: That’s interesting. I’ve seen a lot “bad” interpretive dance at church. How is this something that differs, and something that you love to do? 

MG: I’ve always danced a little bit, but that dancing really didn’t have much to do with church. My mom is a minister and she always says that every talent is a gift from God and that what we have we should always give a little back to Him. So, I guess this is my way of giving back to church and to God. And every move He gives me is not from me, but it’s from Him. And that’s pretty cool. 

TS: How did you get started doing this? 

MG: It was the most random thing ever. I was sitting in the back pew with my brother back home and randomly we both feel a tap on our shoulder and it was our pastor’s wife and she said that she had a vision for us. She wanted us to do this type of dance for a Martin Luther King celebration, for his “Mountain Top Speech.” She’s the one who really introduced us to mime. We just kinda took it from there and since then we’ve done it to different songs. That’s kind of how me and my brother just exploded at our church. It had to have been God, because we had never seen mime dance before. Every move had to be from God because we knew nothing. 

TS: That is pretty random, but awesome at the same time. How long have you been doing this?

MG: About six years now. I look back and think, “Wow… six years?” 

TS: Six years is a long time, but then again, I’m sure it doesn’t feel that way. What kind of songs do you and your like to dance to? 

MG: Obviously gospel songs. We like songs that give a message and that have a slow beginning but builds up to a real climax so that we can do a lot of movements and explosive stuff. Basically things that have a real good message we would want to communicate. 

TS: Is there any connection to your role in your church as a “servant performer” with football?

 MG: As my dancing “popularity” built at my church, a lot of youth started looking up to me and I had to start being a spiritual leader for them. It translated to football as incoming freshman look up to me, and I have to be a leader for them on the field. 

TS: So your role as a leader in church helped you lead on the field. 

MG: It brought me out of my shell a little bit. And as everybody starts to know you, you have to have a message for them. 

TS: Thanks for sharing about your mime dancing. 

MG: No problem! Hopefully I’ll be able to do it in Vespers. We’ll see what happens.

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