Who is Min. Yolanda?
As far back as she can remember Yolanda Rountree has always had a passion for Dance and began formal training at the tender age of 11. At 14 she was already performing in Detroit’s “All City Dance Concerts”, an annual showcase of the city's most gifted young dancers, an event she was invited to attend 3 years straight. Subsequently, it was at this showcase that Yolanda received the 1993 award for Student Choreographer of the year. It was also during this time period (1992) that Yolanda began taking classes with Sondra Jackson a renowned choreographer in liturgical dance and founder of Spirit of the Moment Praise Dance Ministry (SOM). Yolanda cites this as being the time she "developed her love and passion for dancing for the Lord." In 1993 Yolanda attended classes at the Detroit Windsor Dance Academy and O'Days School of Dance while continuing to dance with Spirit of the Moment.
In 1998, Yolanda made a difficult decision to stop dancing with SOM to pursue her education full time and in 2002 graduated College with a BA in Business and Administration. Shortly thereafter she casually took a dance class at Artistry in Motion and quickly realized that she missed dancing, especially for the Lord which caused her to returned to Spirit of the Moment dance ministry. In April 2003 Yolanda made her big stage debut dancing in the play Perilous Times Part II. That same year she attended Marygrove College where she took dance classes with well-known instructors JoAnn Cusmano (ballet) and Penny Godboldo (Dunham & Modern). 2004 saw Yolanda in her first acting role as Pastor Johnson and Liu in the musical stage production “Rhythmic Nations." She also returned that year to dance in the stage play Perilous Times with William Murphy. In early 2005, she was cast as the hairdresser Nikki in the Michael Mathews stage play “Too Good to Let Go" with Jackee Harry and Tevin Campbell. In 2011 Yolanda graduated a Licensed Minister of Dance from the Eagles International Training Institute and soon after traveled to Ecuador on a Mission’s trip with her mentor Dr. Pamela Hardy where she taught dance to underprivileged children. She has since traveled throughout the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and on a Carnival Cruise Ship to teach the gospel through dance and the word at conferences, churches, workshops, intensives, plays, and many other events.
God had given Yolanda a vision to do a 2 Day Dance, Mime, & Music Intensive/Conference many years ago. Her mentors Rev. Eyesha Marable and Dr. Pamela Hardy encouraged her to move forward and trust God's vision. This birth El Olam Center for Dance and Arts 2 Day Dance Intensive which was held on June 28 & 29, 2013 in Detroit, MI (El Olam means God of Everlasting). The Intensive has grown in the eight years of its existence that the intensive is now held at TCF Convention Center. The growth of the intensive has also birth El Olam Cares a foundation that provides resources for people who are less fortunate, underprivileged, and/or suffers from disabilities to be able to take music, dance, theater, and art classes.
Yolanda was a member of the House of Prayer & Praise Ministries from 2002 - 2020 and served as the Leader of their Dance Ministry. She was licensed as a Minister by her Bishop Steven J. Bennett in 2014. There she worked with members of all ages and skill levels teaching dance fundamentals, choreographed routines, and ministry through movement. She has traveled to Ghana/Africa on a mission trip with her church where she danced and provided toiletries and school supplies to the Ghanaian people. She recently became a member of Triumph Church in 2020. She had danced throughout the US and Canada with Spirit of the Moment for 21 years until 2014 when God told her it was time to move on. She is still very close to the Spirit of the Moment liturgical dance ministry.
Yolanda teaches and dances throughout the nations, and has previously served as one the personal administrative assistant to Dr. Pamela Hardy of the Eagles International Training Institute from 2011 - 2018, and is an active member of National Liturgical Dance Network under Rev. Eyesha Marable. Not to mention, she teaches a Nonprofit & Business Planning course and Leaders Communication course.
In addition to all of this Yolanda is a loving daughter, sister, Godmother, and is a beautiful wife to her husband of 15 years, Lin Rountree; himself an internationally renowned recording artist. She gives all glory and thanks to God for her many blessings!