Beasley has choreographed an hour-long dance concert, called the Compassion Concert, that will be staged Tuesday at the Link Centre. Proceeds from the show will go to Saints' Brew at All Saints' Episcopal Church and Helping Hands at the First United Methodist Church in Tupelo. Both programs help the homeless and needy in Tupelo.
"It started when I worked with the homeless in Cincinnati with my youth group. I felt I had a calling to help the homeless," Beasley, 17, said. "It's one of my big passions, and I wanted to make something enjoyable for our community."
The dancer hopes to become a professional choreographer, so putting the dances together for the Compassion Concert came naturally.
"It's very fulfilling. Each dance takes you through the stages of homelessness," she said. "The dances will tell a story."
The styles of dance in the Compassion Concert range from hip-hop to ballet to jazz and several others, and Beasley uses aspects of each to make the audience feel what it's like to be homeless.
"I'm hoping to challenge the audience. I hope they don't sit comfortably," Beasley said.
The dancers in her show are from various studios in town and her friends from show choir at the high school.
At practice this week, Beasley and nearly all of her 20 dancers went through several dances. They perfected moves and even made up a few, with Beasley asking the dancers to show off their best moves so she could work them into what she already had created.
Beasley has created a slide show that will be presented at the concert's intermission. It will show the dancers in rehearsal as well as provide photos and information of the homeless ministries in Tupelo.
She's still working on her research into the homeless population, which is a big part of her senior project.
She's taken things a step further, too, by asking that her dancers help her volunteer at homeless ministries in the area.
"We're dancing as well as ministering," she said. "I want them to know what they're dancing for."
WHAT: Compassion Concert, a benefit for
Saints’ Brew and Helping Hands
WHEN: 7 p.m. Tuesday
WHERE: Link Centre
COST: $10/adults, $5/students and children
6 and up
CALL: (662) 690-4011