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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Two-step transformation

Dancing gives ministry new possibilities

Ask Jeff Nehrbass his thoughts on leadership, relationships or the Spirit and he’s likely to say, “It’s a dance.” Nehrbass is a pastor who’s preoccupied with dancing.

Allison K. Schmitt<BR><BR>Jeff Nehrbass
Jeff Nehrbass is an ELCA pastor and with Cindy, his wife, owner of On Your Toes, a dance studio, where he finds that encouraging people—a step at a time—is his ministry.
With good reason: He won the world ballroom championship in 2005 and the U.S. championship in 2007, both with partner Adrienne Brown. They were guest dancers on an episode of the PBS show America’s Ballroom Challenge that aired earlier this year. He’s also a prize-winning dance coach, leading teams of ballroom dancers to national championships the last four years.

Nehrbass grew up in a dancing family. “It was a great way to have a lot of fun together,” he said at On Your Toes, the St. Louis Park, Minn., dance studio he owns with his wife, Cindy. The two have been dancing together since college. They opened the studio in 1994, the same year he graduated from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., and was ordained.

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