By: C. Ron Allen
Delray Beach is mourning the death of Monica Herring, the liturgical ballet aficionado, who has been praising God through her gift of dance for close to 30 years.
Monica, 37, was pronounced dead at Delray Medical Center earlier this week after she was involved in a motor vehicle crash on Sept. 2.
A major dancer in her own right, Monica was known over Palm Beach County for her gentle spirit. Whenever someone asked her to perform, she gladly made every effort to share her talent. And whether she was working with kids at Banyan Creek Elementary by day, the Achievement Center for Children and Families in the evenings, or dancing in churches or at events in her off duty hours, she gave her best.
Monica was happiest performing. In public she was more reserved and more private. But when she was ministering through dance, that’s where she let out her heart and soul. Dancing was her way of coping with the ills of this world.
She began dancing at St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church and served as the Angelletes Praise Dance instructor for a while. She danced with Love & Action Productions and also managed youth performer Fisher Hooks, who was named South Florida Gospel Music Awards’ 2017 Best Gospel New Artist of the Year.
Monica was a product of KOP Mentoring Network and I watched as she perfected her art over the years. I recalled when she began teaching some of our students her art, I had some trepidations because liturgical dancing was not widely embraced in local churches then. She however assured me that, “It will be OK Mr. C. Ron, trust me.” And it was.
For her, it was not about performing for an audience, it was about praising God. She was never putting on a show in the traditional sense. Whatever form Monica’s worship took, she had a single goal: drawing others to the faith they embrace.
If there is any consolation in Monica’s passing, it would be knowing that she will be dancing with the angels. And while we all will grieve her passing, it comforts me knowing that losing her life can save or improve the quality of life for up to 25 people because she donated her organs.
A scholarship fund is been established in honor of Monica at the Achievement Center for Children and Families. Additional information was not available at press time.
A memorial is being planned locally and funeral services will be held in Georgia.
C. Ron Allen can be reached at crallen@DelrayBeachTribune.com or 561-665-0151.