Dancing to the Spoken Word

worship dance poetryIs it okay to dance without music?

While music and dance go hand in hand, using the spoken word without music can be very powerful, especially to tell a story, bring a word from the Lord, or to teach through your dance.

If you find a portion of scripture that jumps off the page to you, you don’t have to find a song about that scripture to use it to minister. You can put the spoken word to movement. Likewise, if you find a poem or quote that you think would speak powerfully to others, embodying it with movement can really bring the word to life.

In the video below, I dance to a portion of poetry from A Bride Made Ready by Wesley Scott Amos that gave me a powerful picture of Christ’s relationship with His church and with me.

Let me tell you a little about this inspired book.

I read A Bride Made Ready in two days but will meditate on it for a long time. This poetic book gave me a beautiful picture of what it means to be saved and cherished by Jesus and also to be part of what He has been doing in His Church over the millennia and will one day complete. The author presents theologically sound truths even as he touches the heart with the love story of Jesus and His Church.

I so appreciated that Amos roots his story and teaching in scripture. He holds together two vital truths: It is God who calls, justifies, and sanctifies and by His grace qualifies (Romans 8:30) us to be His and makes us beautiful. At the same time, we have a part in becoming ready for what He has called us to. We walk in faith, in response to His faithfulness; we work out our salvation in fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12); we yield to His sanctification; and so we have a part in being made ready. Amos holds these two truths together in every verse of his poem.

The poem also touched my heart, as Amos tells the love story of Jesus and His bride. I was especially moved by the final chapter. In this chapter, Amos describes a scene when the Accuser points out the sin and failings of God’s people throughout history. In response to each accusation, the Lord describes how he sees each man and woman, highlighting deeds done in faith, perfected by Jesus. And these deeds touch His heart, making it swell with love. In each person, the Lord sees a foreshadowing of the great day when His perfected bride, the Church, will worship Him at the wedding feast. This made me love the Lord so much, that He would see such good in us and would make our halting obedience into a thing of great beauty and purpose.

If you would like to learn more about this book, you can find it here.

Flash Sale: Choreography Training/Dance of Healing

choreography basics online schoolThis is a super last minute announcement, but it’s such a good deal that I wanted to post it, in case you are willing to act quickly to save on registration. Jocelyn Richard, who has taught me so much of what I know about worship dance, has a flash sale ending this evening.

She’s offering Choreography Basics and the Dance of Healing online courses (self study) for the price of one course. Honestly, I can’t think of any two courses more relevant at this time.

Firstly, if you are preparing to dance for the holidays, you’ll get creative ideas for powerful choreography from the Choreography Basics Course. It was when I was choreographing a dance for Christmas five years ago that I found one of Jocelyn’s choreography tutorials on Youtube. I watched her and said to myself, “I want to dance like her.” Her expressive choreography and skill combined were powerful and moving. I am not kidding when I say that watching that video transformed my dance. Continue reading “Flash Sale: Choreography Training/Dance of Healing”

Recap: When the Spirit Moves Dance Concert

I was blessed to participate in the When the Spirit Moves Dance Concert at Victory Baptist Church this past Sunday. It was an awesome evening and such an honor to be a part of.  Thanks to Valerie Toliver and her team from Highest Praise Dance who organized the evening with excellence, the perfect blend of order that comes from careful planning, and freedom that comes from humbly being open to the Spirit of God. You made space for Him, and He came and blessed all who were there.

I want to share with you four ways where I saw His fingerprints on the event and to share the video of the dance we shared.

For those of you who prayed for this event, thank you so much. Here are some places where we saw His fingerprints on the event. Continue reading “Recap: When the Spirit Moves Dance Concert”

Bless your City by Dancing in their Parade

parade praise dance I sense that the Lord is calling dancers out of the four walls of the church and into the cities. At this critical time in history, when there is so much turmoil, confusion, and change, we have an opportunity to be part of the blessing our cities and ushering in God’s presence. Where His presence is, every good thing follows.

A powerful way to let God use your in your city is to dance in their parades, to get out in the streets and bring a dance of joy, healing, and hope.

My friend and fellow student in the Dancing for Him Dance Ministry school, Bobbi Muncy, has danced in countless parades over the years and knows how to it. (You can see that in the pictures, right?)

I asked her to write for us, sharing how she finds opportunities to dance in parades, what she does to prepare, and what practical tips she can offer us to help us be ready to truly be a blessing.

Read on to hear from Bobbi:

“Everyone loves a Parade!

“A friend asked recently how she could do a parade with her team and bring glory to God. To say I was excited to share is an understatement! I have been doing parades for over 14 years.

“It all started with a call from a friend of a friend. They asked if we would be willing to be in the NE Minneapolis Parade. All we needed to do was bring flags and dance. We just showed up and the rest is history.

“Over the years the dancers, music, cities and and the costumes have changed. But we continue to bring glory to HIS name and take back the streets for Jesus. Our motto is “the praise goes forth first!” This is based on 2 Chronicles 20: 17-21. NKJV When King Jehosephat realized what he was up against, he called everyone to pray and fast. He then consulted his people and appointed the men to sing and give praise to the LORD. As they praised the LORD, He took care of their enemies! That is how we see parades.

“Scripture also says, “my word shall not return void” Isaiah 55:11 NKJV. The songs we use always bring a message not only to the people, but they fill the atmosphere!  Imagine Michael W. Smith’s “Forever”. The words of the song fill the atmosphere and chase the enemy away! We have also danced to “God’s Not Dead! It is fun to see the look on some of the faces in the crowd.

“I usually start praying about what parades we should do starting in January. Many of them we do every year as they almost always ask us to come back. When I am thinking of new area, I check with the local Chamber of Commerce to get dates and applications. Be aware, some parades charge a fee to participate. I have paid up to $100 for a parade and it turned out to be nothing but a drunk fest. Really seek God first before committing.

“We do the parades with flags and tambourines. I use a minimum of 5 people doing tambourine. I love to include flags and banners when I can. Especially if I have kids or extra people. These can be choreographed if need be.  I have also had a dancer out front leading us.

“We use the same songs for every parade and usually for a few years. This way everyone becomes very proficient with the routine and can worship from the heart. We do about 3-5 parades a year in and around our community. We use the tambourine patterns from Shachah Ministries.

“Here are some practical tips:

•Keep it simple as this is a parade and you are moving most of the time.

•Keep your dress modest and be creative! Color is awesome!!

•Be sure to wear good shoes, sunscreen and sunglasses if needed.

•Stay hydrated. But note that there usually no bathrooms near the line ups, so be prepared.

•Line up is usually and hour prior to the parade. I highly suggest you go in as a team so no one gets lost.

•Pre test your sound system to make sure everything is working properly.

•Try to arrange someone to pick up the team at the end of the parade as everyone will be very tired.

“Remember to pray continually as “the enemy seeks to devour”. This is frontline warfare. Pray for your team and for the people you will be passing on the streets. Pray protection over backlash as the warfare can be very intense!

“There is a lot more to what I have written here. Please feel free to email me with any questions you may have! I would love to hear from you!

“You are LOVED! John 3:16″

Take a minute to join the discussion by sharing in the comments:

Have you danced in a parade? If so, what tips would you add?

What did you gain from this post? Feel free to share it.

 

Dancing for Healing and Reconciliation in Pasadena

Dancing for healing and reconciliation PasadenaMany of you have prayed for the Lord to open doors for ministry for me in Pasadena, and so I want to share an answer to those prayers. A new friend, Jill Shook, who has a passion for Jesus and for social justice in the city, has asked me to join her in leading in dance and movement in the Palm Sunday Peace Parade in Pasadena on March 29.

I’m particularly drawn to this opportunity because it’s a chance to bring dance and movement outside the four walls of the church and into the community and to extend the Kingdom of God in my city.  And, you are invited to join us.

Hear, in Jill’s words, what we’re doing and how you can be a part of it:

Join us, all wishing to participate using movement, dance and mime in a public worship of Jesus as the Prince of Peace and also honoring the healing Tree of Life described in Genesis and the Book of Revelation on March 29th, at 3pm as part of the Pasadena Palm Sunday Peace Parade. This will the 13th annual family fun Palm Sunday Peace Parade (where 50+ churches representing hundreds of people, including children who will lead the way taking turns riding a live donkey). Continue reading “Dancing for Healing and Reconciliation in Pasadena”

Praise Him with Dance

Liturgical Dance to Psalm 150I had the complete joy recently to teach a six week dance class to students at Ecclesia Classes in Pasadena.  We danced at Ecclesia’s Christmas party to Psalm 150, produced and sung by the Harrow Family on their album, A New Commandment.

We also had the privilege of inviting the community to worship with us through movement after we danced. After all, this Psalm is a call to worship.

So, I taught the audience gestures to the song, “I Love You Lord,” and invited them to worship to the song with us. It was really moving to watch whole families moving in worship.

Enjoy this dance and let it draw you to praise our Jesus, our creator, redeemer and shepherd.

Please share in the comments about any dances you were able to share during the Christmas season and how they impacted those to whom you ministered.

Four Things I Learned from our Advent Dance

I posted this last year after the team I lead at Sherwood Presbyterian Church had the privilege of dancing in worship during Advent.

If you are preparing to dance in worship this advent, I think the lessons I learned will encourage and help you. So, I’m reposting this.

We danced to a song called, “And a Child Will Lead” by a friend and one of my favorite artists, Douglas Eltzroth. It was such a joy and an honor, and the Lord taught me some important lessons in the process. Here they are:

1) Sometimes Less is More: Continue reading “Four Things I Learned from our Advent Dance”

Begin Where You Are and Resist Criticizing

Beginner Praise Dance ChristmasDon’t despise the days of small beginnings.

I choreographed the dance below three years ago and it is dear to me.

Warning: There is a huge garment problem right at the beginning. Don’t let that hinder you from being blessed by this dance.

In fact, in a way, that garment snafu is part of my point in posting this video. There are many things I could critique about this dance regarding the garments, the group choreography, even or especially, our hair. But it this dance is dear to me, and it still moves me.

Watch it, and you’ll see what I mean.

Continue reading “Begin Where You Are and Resist Criticizing”

Choreographed, Anointed Dances for your Team

Several People have asked me for DVDs with dances that have already been choreographed, so I thought I would share a few that I love and have available in my store. Make sure to read to the end to learn about the special offer available until the end of September.

Click image for details
Click image for more details

Divine Choreography Tips and Techniques – In addition to giving you a wealth of ideas and techniques for choreography, this DVD has a completely choreographed reproducible dance, broken down step by step.

Dance, Dance, Dance DVD – This DVD describes the many Hebrew, Greek, & English words found in the bible and then depicts, through movement, their related scriptures. In addition to giving you a multitude of activities you can use with your team to bring the scriptures to life, it contains an intermediate level dance to Psalm 23.

Expressive Worship and Sign DVD – The teaching on this DVD has given me countless ideas for choreography and class activities as Lynn teaches how to use expressive sign in your dances.  At the end,

Lynn breaks down an entire Expressive Worship Dance that you can easily reproduce with a group of dancers of varying levels. It is divided up into: a sign language part, an expressive worship part & a dance part. Continue reading “Choreographed, Anointed Dances for your Team”

Dance the Psalms

worship dance to psalm
Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised.

Do you need inspiration for a praise dance? Try going to the scriptures.

Below is a praise dance the Lord enabled me to choreograph to Psalm 145. Here’s what I loved about choreographing to this Psalm: Continue reading “Dance the Psalms”