I’m so excited to share with you the dance my class of modern dance students shared at our homeschool graduation celebration (there is a fun surprise in the middle, too).
With every dance, there is a story, a story of our weakness, our labor, our faith, and of God’s provision, faithfulness, and revelation. I want to share the story of this dance because the Lord taught me something that is changing me.
If you have followed me for long, you know that I often question myself, my calling, often wrestle with doubts about my fitness.
Have you ever agreed to dance and wished you hadn’t?
Have you ever contemplated backing out of a ministry assignment the night before?
Do you ever question your call to dance in the middle of an assignment?
I do these things more often than I would like to admit. : Last Saturday evening, the night before I was to dance at my own church for Pentecost, I seriously contemplated backing out. In this post, I share what kept me from doing that and what I learned about the choreography process that may help you as well. I also (spoiler alert) include a video of the dance I did end up sharing. Continue reading “When you wish you hadn’t said “Yes””
I’m would love to meet you at a live training. My next workshop in Pasadena is scheduled for Sunday, June 3 from 1-4. I have more details coming soon.
I will make sure to include you when emailing about upcoming live training times. (If you have come across this page without having subscribed to my email list, you’ll want to subscribe, so you don’t miss these emails.)
I’m excited to share with you some of the many resources I have gathered for praise dance garments and accessories.
I will make sure to include you when emailing ideas, videos, and resources about praise dance garments and accessories. (If you have come across this page without having subscribed to my email list, you’ll want to subscribe, so you don’t miss these tips.)
I also want to share with you thirteen of my top blog posts and resources that are already available on this topic:
What do you do when you are asked to choreograph but feel your plate is already full?
Is it okay to reuse choreography from a dance?
How do you take a solo dance and turn it into a group dance?
This year, while I have been far more silent on my blog than I would like, I’ve had the joy of being very active in choreographing and dancing, in teaching live classes, leading an online study group, and choreographing for another church.
If I someone had presented me with all the assignments at once and asked me if I could take them on this year, I likely would have declined a couple of them.
However, with each opportunity that came my way, I felt the inner “yes” and went ahead, and for each assignment, I have been given what I need to complete it. More than that, I have experienced a synergy between the assignments that has been a joy and a delight.
So, I want to share my stories with you so and give you some tips that will enable you to, under the Lord’s leading, complete more than you think is possible. I also hope it will help you see how the Lord is constantly at work, weaving together the details of our lives into His larger tapestry.
I’ve been teaching a beginner modern dance class to teens this year. I absolutely love it. I was scared to teach it, because previously, I had not taught a technique class. I’d taught expressive movement and worship and left the technique to others. (By the way, Lynn Hayden’s Modern Dance I and Modern Dance II DVDs have been an indispensable tool in improving my own technique and also developing a structure for my class.)
The Lord really gave me the dance we ended up sharing at our winter performance with very little extra effort on my part. The choreography process was unlike all my other choreography processes. I had several assignments for my Dancing for Him Level 3 school that involved choreographing two counts of eight of music. I had fun teaching these to my students. Then I simply strung them together, and it became this dance. I didn’t even initially choreograph it for this song. I choreographed the counts and they ended up fitting really nicely with this song.
I look at the dance and marvel that He made it so easy, and I think the dance was beautiful and thoroughly worshipful. Girls with no previous dance experience and those with many years of experience loved dancing it. Their parents were deeply blessed, as was our community and the nursing home where we shared it.
But for our spring offering, I had nothing for the first half of the semester. We played with one song, but I simply did not have a leading. Until Palm Sunday.
On Palm Sunday, I ministered a solo dance to our congregation and a sister congregation. The choreography process was actually arduous for me, filled with uncertainty and struggle. I had to keep going back to the Lord and asking, “Am I supposed to do this? What do I do next?” But in the end, He gave me a dance that ministered. When I finished it, I knew that I had my dance for my modern dance students. I could see how this solo could be bigger, more moving, and more powerful with a group. So, we are working that our right now. I look forward to sharing it with you. Here is the solo.
For now, though, I want to share a few tips on turning a solo into a group dance:
For the introduction: Use floor patterns of movement. Where the solo dancer may just dance down the aisles, see the group coming in from different corners and moving in a circle.
For the body: Use cannon in movement. Where the solo dancer might walk for eight counts, have one dancer begin the sequence, and a couple more dancers enter every two counts.
At key moments in the dance: Don’t underestimate the power of unison movement. When your movements are simple, having everyone do the same thing at once for a sequence is very powerful.
For expressive movements: Try group shapes instead of gesturing a movement individually. Consider how the dancers as a group can embody that movement. (There is a part in the dance above when I go back to gesture to the cross. In the group dance, two dancers will form a cross with their bodies. The others will dance facing that cross.)
Turning a solo dance into a group dance is a delightful challenge. Where the dancer may be able to execute more complex choreography herself, the group together, each doing simple movements, create a sequence that is even more visually interesting.
A fantastic resource to give you more ideas is Lynn Hayden’s Creative Worship DVD. You will go away with so many ideas you’ll be looking for a dance to choreograph.
I have so much more to share on this topic, how I used the chorus of the dance I choreographed for one church in my kids praise dance class, how I’ve used so much that I learned from leading a prophetic veils study group in both my modern dance and kids praise dance classes, and how the Lord really does know how our assignments fit together.
But I’m going to close this long article here. I would love to hear from you. Please share in the comments:
Can you share an example where the synergy between your assignments allowed you to participate in more than you would have thought possible?
Do you re-use choreography? If so, how do you make sure you are still bringing something fresh from the Lord?
Are you considering joining the March active study group on using prophetic veils in prayer and praise? If so, I’ve created a list of FAQs to help you discern whether this group is a fit for you. I end this blog post with a choreographed prayer that I wrote and prayed using veils. Continue reading “Prophetic Veils March Study Group – FAQs”
I want to share with you my new favorite worship tool. I purchased this veil from my friend Bobbi Muncy of All for His Glory Ministries last month.
In this post, I share five things about this veil that make it my favorite, a video of a prophetic dance using this veil, and how you can purchase a custom veil, allow me to pay for shipping, and get access to a private study group I’m leading in March for free. Continue reading “Prophetic Veils for Worship”
The bible says there is a time for everything, a time to weep and … a time to dance. Last week I shared with you my dance of lament.
This week, I share with you a dance that brought me joy, even during a difficult time. I have the privilege of teaching beginner level modern dance to these young women at Ecclesia Classes. They shared this dance at our Christmas presentation last week. I hope it blesses you.
If you are looking for a good modern dance workout that you can do at home, I highly recommend the Modern Dance I and Modern Dance II DVDs by Lynn M. Hayden.
Ministry leaders and dance teachers, when was the last time you let yourself be the student?
How often do you take the place of the student?
How often do you have to learn someone else’s choreography?
Team members, do you ever feel like you can’t keep up, don’t learn fast enough?
Do you ever fear disappointing your teacher/leader?
Something so valuable happens when we step into a role we don’t normally have. In this post, I share an experience from this past week when I experienced this role reversal, how it affected me, and how such a role reversal can help us be better teachers, leaders and students, if we’ll let it. Continue reading “Do You Let Yourself Be the Student?”