If you read my previous post, Ten Things Worship Dancers Can Learn from the School Dance Team you know how inspired I was by the talent, energy, and commitment at our local high school’s dance performance this past weekend. At the same time, I was also grieved at times and felt convicted that, as a praise dance ministry leader, I (and you) have a message that those girls need to hear. What grieved me the most was how sexual several of their garments and choreography were and how bold they were about this. Now, I didn’t expect to see circle skirts and palazzo pants at a public school dance team performance. While what is appropriate for the stage and studio is not always appropriate for the sanctuary, the converse is also true. I expected to see bodies. But what chagrined me was how outright seductive many the costumes and much of the choreography was. It was not just immodest, it was exploitative. During one dance, I wanted to search out the girls’ dads and say, “Are you okay? I’m so sorry you have to see your daughter doing this.” I don’t think the girls fully realized what their clothing and movements were saying. You could tell they were having so much fun and felt beautiful. I want those girls to know that they are worth more than that, to tell them to respect their own bodies and not offer them to everyone. I want them to know that the King wants them for His daughters. He wants more for them than that. Here’s what they need to hear from adults they respect:
- You are beautiful. God made you absolutely beautiful and your beauty can nourish, heal, and bless others. You don’t have to bare all to be captivating.
- You don’t have to sell your body to be captivating. In fact, you are more captivating when you honor your body by covering up.
- Your dance is powerful. You have the ability to stir emotions, touch hearts, change the atmosphere in the room, and change lives through your dance.
- Not all dance is good: You will be accountable for the way you use your gift of dance. Be choosy about how you dance. You will one day answer to God for how you used the gift He gave you and for the effect you had on others.
- Be choosy about the songs you dance to. When you dance to a song, you agree with the message of the song, you embody the spirit of the song. So, be choosy about what you move to.
As much as I would love to speak to these girls, I don’t have a voice in their life right now. But I do need to be ready to speak to those dancers that God allows me to teach, and so do you. As dance ministry leaders, we need to take heed and adjust our ministry so that we are ready to provide what these young dancers need. Read tomorrow’s post What We Worship Dance Leaders Can Learn from the School Dance Team.