Cumbria’s Dancing Reverend Lifts Spirits During Lockdown Virtual Mass

By Oliver Hodgson

During lockdown people have been getting creative with their jobs, hobbies and exercise and one Reverend has managed to bring dancing and religion together.

Reverend Becky Gibbs, of St Bees Priory, performed Moky Fit’s routine to ‘Faith’ on Sunday at the weekly Sunday service last week after being inspired by her colleagues of faith.

Becky said: “Last week a Facebook post went viral of Catholic Priests dancing an Irish jig to the hymn tune “Lord of the Dance” after Mass. 

“It was so jolly and uplifting that I decided I would give it a go. Not an Irish jig though, I wanted to do something a bit more relevant to St Bees, so I chose a Moky routine.”

MokyFit is a type of dancer and exercise class, with varying classes for different abilities, which prior to lockdown Becky was a regular at. 

Becky went on to explain she wasn’t only inspired by the priests but because she is missing her friends who are still currently shielding for safety. 

“Lots of people from St Bees go too, including my friend Katy Taylor-Hamilton. Katy is a member of the church choir and a regular attendee at Priory services and events,” Becky explained.  

“She is shielding at the moment because she had a heart transplant three and a half years ago, I decided I would dance to the end of Sunday’s live-streamed service for her and anyone else like her.

“I chose to do a routine to a song called ‘Faith’ by Stevie Wonder and Ariana Grande because it seemed appropriate considering the setting. Katy loved it and I’m looking forward to the day when we can all dance together again.”

Spreading positivity, love, and fun is certainly on the agenda for both Becky and MokyFit’s founder Shameem Arnold. 

Shameem commented: “Becky has been a regular at my MokyFit classes for two years. She’s an amazing dancer and I love watching her dance at classes. 

“With the current situation, all my classes have moved online, and Becky has continued with the sessions. 

“I was thrilled when she messaged to ask me if she could do my ‘Faith’ dance workout routine at her Sunday service especially as it was inspired by a mutual friend Katy. 

“Lockdown is affecting everyone, and some light relief and entertainment are much needed.  

“Seeing a Reverend at a Church service finish with a lively MokyFit routine streamed live is quite unexpected but so entertaining and heart-warming.

“I can imagine there were some nerves, but Becky’s smile says it all and I’m sure all the congregation watching online thoroughly enjoyed it.”