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”
What should I wear to minister in dance?
Is what is appropriate for the stage appropriate for the sanctuary?
Do I need to wear layers of skirts when I dance to be holy?
I know that my dance is to be set apart for the LORD’s purposes. What does that mean for what I am to wear?
When I started dancing in worship, my answers to those questions were fairly simple: I was worshiping, so I wore clothes suitable for Sunday worship, ones that were modest, flexible enough to move in, and beautiful. I shopped in regular stores when preparing for a ministry piece, choosing skirts and pants that flowed and tops that fit the color scheme I had been led to. I always kept my eye out for street clothes that could also be dance clothes.
When I connected with the praise dance community and gained training, my answers changed some. I saw and loved what my fellow worship dancers wore – flowing dresses, beautiful overlays, culottes underneath skirts for additional flow and modesty. I learned good reasons to dress this way, for modesty, for beauty, for God’s glory. I started shopping at the websites of anointed worship dancers who created garments specially for worship.
Now I am again part of a start up church for which dancing in worship is unfamiliar to most. It would feel out of place for me to arrive for worship in a long white dress and sequined overlay. To those in worship, it would look like a costume and would set me apart as a performer. So again, I have asked myself the questions above.
My friend, Leslie Passerino, a powerfully anointed dance minister, shared with me an article she wrote as she asked the Lord some of the same questions. The answers the Lord spoke to her spoke to some of my questions, and so I thought they might speak to some of yours. I share this with you humbly, with not intention to tell you what you must or must not wear, but perhaps to give you some freedom to ask the Lord yourself.
Here is what Leslie wrote. (French is her first language. I wish my French was as good as her English. I have left the story in her words.)
Two years ago, I started to question myself about garment….I looked after the “perfect garments” but nothing came on my heart nor through prayer nor through a revelation nor through a dream. N.O.T.H.I.N.G.
So, I doubted that my calling was to be a dance minister or a simple dancer. But the Holy Spirit confirmed me I was called. For sure the garments are to be modest even they are simple. But I desperate to find something. I tried so much, and when I say “so much” I mean it. During two years, I received a lot of opinions from France, from Montreal and from USA…. But nothing resonates in my heart. It was a nightmare. I focused so hard on it that I missed the point.
Garments are important but NOT vital
Garments should fit with your church, your calling and your anointing
Garments should not be about ME but about HIM.
So, I realised that I was totally to much vain here. Need to repent first. So, from end of February 2017 to middle of April I almost did not dance. We had a special event where we, all the dancers, wore red and white garments. After my time off to release my futility and my pride out off me, The Holy Spirit talked to me. He asked me five questions:
How is your church? Answer: cutting edge, trendy, prophetic, caring people, anointed for emotional healing.
How is your city? Answer: full of different people from all nations, a lot of activities outside, trendy, open mind, happy, colorful
What kind of clothes wore Jesus during his ministry? Answer: amazing fabric, one piece, but SIMPLE… not like a king.
Why? If He was dressed as a king it would be difficult to touch Him, to be near of HIM… So, with his “simple clothes” people could come closed to Him and be healed, saved, delivered.
So, what does it mean to you now? Answer: I have to be just me, dance outside, talk to people, love them, pray for them, show them how HE loves them through the movement
Leslie’s answer was that, in her context and for her calling, the layers of flowing garments fit for the daughter of a king were not fitting. She was to wear simple clothing that did not draw attention to herself, distinguish her from those to whom she ministered, or attract attention.
For others, the answer will be different. The answer need not be the same for every dance. What I love about Leslie’s story is that she did not only ask the experts. She asked the Lord, and He gave her an answer. Reading her story gives me freedom. I am grateful for what I have learned from the experts, but it does not exempt me from asking, “What do you want me to wear here, now, with these people?”
Please joint the discussion in the comments section. Feel free to respond honestly.
What do you think? How is your church? How is your city? What does that mean for you? What has the Lord shown you? Do you dress differently in different contexts? Is there any absolute from scripture that you know you must check any revelation you or others receive against?
What is the point of using flags or banners in worship?
Does the bible say anything about worshiping with flags?
Are flags a distraction, drawing people’s attention to the dancer when they should be worshiping?
Have you asked or been asked any of these questions? If so, read on to learn how flags were used in scripture and four important ways you can use them in spiritual warfare and ministry in worship.
In Processionals, Props and Pageantry, Pastor Lynn Hayden talks about the scriptural significance of banners. Scripture uses the words, banner, ensign, flag and standard. All of these are used in reference to warfare and, you will see, are relevant to our worship. Watch this 9-minute video to learn how.
Thanks so much for joining me today. Please join the discussion.
Why do you use flags or banners in worship?
What you have seen the Lord do when you have worshiped with flags?
The ronde de jambe is one of my favorite movements in dance. It is so graceful and communicates reverence and adoration. So, when given the assignment to create a tutorial from Lynn Hayden’s Ballet III DVD, I chose her ronde de jambe sequence. You can watch this 4 minutes video below. Enjoy and feel free to borrow from for your own choreography. Continue reading “Worshipful Ronde de Jambe sequence”
Do you have a child who loves to dance? Are you looking for meaningful summer activities for your child? Would you like to see your child connect their love for dance with a love for the Lord?
Then this camp is for you.
Psalm 141 instructs us to “Make His Praise Glorious.” In this week-long summer dance camp, you child will learn to do just that. We will focus on using flags, streamers, and billow cloths to offer our praise to Jesus.
Here’s what your child has to look forward to:
Monday:Words are Not Enough. Children will build a worship vocabulary using expressive sign and worship flags. Tuesday: Not Empty but Full – Divine Choreography Begins in our Hearts. Children will learn the difference between empty and full worship dance and how to use simple choreography techniques to create beautiful movements. Wednesday:Colors Speak – Pay attention to Meaning. Children will learn to use props with a purpose, as tools, not toys. Thursday:Beautiful Warriors – Our Weapon is Praise. Children will learn the biblical significance of waving banners and will learn to use billow cloths to create glorious expressions of praise. Friday:Ministering through Dance – Putting it All Together. Children will put the techniques and lessons we’ve learned together and will share a worshipful dance to minister to their parents.
Each child registered before June 20 will receive a set of beautiful worship flags to keep.
Who: Children ages 7 and up
Where: Magnolia Dance Space 4 Esther Street When: June 27 – July 1, 10 AM-12 PM Cost: $80 online registration rate, $85 at the door
When choreographing, should a dance leader look to hear team for inspiration and confirmation about choreography?
Or, does seeking the opinions of others muddy a leader’s connection with God and what He specifically wants to say through her dance?
Does God primarily reveal His Word for the dance through the anointed, appointed leader?
Or, is it important to listen to and gain ideas from a group of Spirit-filled dancers, so that we can more fully understand what God is trying to say?
At the Unlocking Movement that Speaks prophetic movement workshop this past Saturday in Pasadena, these questions simmered among us and left me with some questions for the Lord, “How do you want this done, Lord? How do you speak? How do you want me to best listen?”
Sometimes you read a book and find it inspiring, but as soon as you finish it, you move on, doing life just as you did before you read it. You know there is truth in the book, but somehow those truths don’t work their way into your life. They don’t translate into action for you personally.
And then there are those books that change you. They are the ones you go back to and read more than once. They are the books that you share with your friends. They are the books that shape you and from which you can trace changes you made in your life that set you on a course for the better.
What makes the difference between the two books?
I think there are two things:
First, of course, is the quality of the message. Did the author have something to say that, when applied, has the potential to change your thinking and, beyond that, your life?
Second, you have to spend enough time to ingest what a book says. You need to reflect on how it relates to your life and your calling. You need to chew on what you read, talk about it, maybe write about it, and out of that, make decisions on how you will apply those revelations, how you will act on them.
Dancers! Assume the Position is a books with a message that can transform your thinking and your approach to dance ministry. I am finding that to be true for myself, and I’ve heard others say the same.
Here’s what a couple of others have written about it:
This book is more than thought-provoking. It has unbound my creativity and moved me to another level, while reinforcing what I knew about my purpose in dance. I will now use this book as required reading in my dance ministry workshops and teachings. – Loretta Green
As soon as I started to read this book I didn’t want to put it down. It answered so many questions I was thinking. I had been praying for more direction and God led me to this book!….It’s a book you want to read over and over again. Annabel Taylor
We have the amazing opportunity to study this book with the author. We have the chance to digest it, to ask questions of the author as we read, to ask questions of ourselves, to apply it to our own situation and calling, and ultimately, we have the chance to let God reshape us, redirect us, and set our course for 2016 and beyond.
I invite you to join me as I host Marlita Hill as she teaches from this book, beginning next Saturday, January 30. This will be a four part class, the first class of which is free.
In this class, you will:
•Construct a clear picture of the dancer’s ministry
•Identify how ministry is worked through dance
•Learn to collaborate with God in the various areas of your ministry, including songs choices, choreography, and ministry opportunities
•Clearly trace what the dancer contributes to God, the individual, the congregation, and the body of Christ
•Identify the mindset necessary for effective ministry
•Draw a clear distinction between the activity of dance and ministering through dance, so that God can minister through you, unhindered, and in the fullness of His power.
Ultimately, you will fortify your assignment for 2016 with the support and encouragement of a seasoned teacher and fellow dancers.
So, I hope you will join me. You don’t need a plane ticket. You don’t need to reserve a hotel, rent a car, or leave your family for the weekend. You simply need to dial in (or connect in through the internet) for 2 hours on Saturday, January 30 (and the next 3 Saturdays, if you take the full course)
I’m excited to be able to offer this to you and hope you will take advantage of it.