Expand Your Worship Vocabulary with Expressive Sign

Using sign language in dance
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Do you want your dances to tell a story?

Do you want to build your worship vocabulary?

Using expressive sign in dances is one of my favorite ways to tell stories through dance. The woman who first introduced me to worship dance borrowed heavily from sign in her dance. It was mesmerizing to me to watch the expressive gestures combined with dance.

For years, my worship dances consisted almost exclusively of signs and gestures. These signs and gestures went a long way in helping me choreograph simple dances for myself and others.

When I found this DVD by Lynn Hayden of Dancing for Him, it greatly increased my expressive vocabulary. I especially love using expressive signs when I teach children and new dancers. The movements are simple for and memorable to the new dancer. In addition, they are powerful in telling stories and embodying the words of the songs to which we dance.

Also, I find that when I give others an expressive vocabulary, they begin to see expressive choreography when they hear songs. They begin quickly to adapt the signs themselves to create new gestures. So, their creativity expands.

This DVD filled my tool box for choreography and teaching. The Expressive Worship and Sign DVD gives the worship dancer a vocabulary to express their worship and to tell God’s stories. Pastor Lynn teaches over thirty signs for words that we often use in worship. Ten she goes on to tell how you can use those and/or modify them, making them bigger, embellishing them, and adding dance moves like the the pivot turn, the lunge, and the soutenu turn to add variety and to suit them to your dance. The purpose is not to speak in sign language but gain inspiration for movements that express our worship.

Every time I share about one of Lynn Hayden’s videos, I want to say, “This is my favorite video,” and I want to say that here. I have several favorites. This is one of several that impacts my dancing each time I teach and choreograph. Whether you are leading others or just wanting to enjoy adding more movement to your private worship, you will love this DVD and gain great benefit from it. You can learn more by clicking here, or just go ahead and purchase it. You’ll love it. Take a minute to watch the video below in which I teach a short exercise from the DVD.

Price: $26

 

Worshipful Stretching Routine for Praise Dancers

Stretching tutorial
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Do you want to be more flexible?

Do you want to improve your dancing?

Do you want to prevent injuries?

Do you want to worship while you do this?

The Stretch and Adoration DVD by Pastor Lynn Hayden will help you do all of these. It’s a wonderful tool for the praise dancer. I’m using this DVD twice weekly as part of my studies in the Dancing for Him teacher certification class. I love it.

Read my review below to learn more and enjoy this short stretching tutorial in which I demonstrate one of my many favorite stretching segments from the DVD: Continue reading “Worshipful Stretching Routine for Praise Dancers”

Modern Dance Exercise Tutorial

Do you need ideas for choreography? modern dance tutorial hip joint
Do you want to grow in your dance technique?
Do you want to make your dances more worshipful and emotive?

If so, the Modern Dance I DVD, by Dancing for Him, is a fantastic tool for you. Watch this short tutorial, teaching how to do the hip joint opener and read my review below. This exercise is based on the Modern Dance I DVD by Lynn Hayden of Dancing for Him, You can purchase that DVD, in my store.

The Modern Dance I DVD gives you an introductory modern dance class for the dancer with a heart to minister through dance. It was designed to give dancers a movement vocabulary, using the fundamentals of modern dance. Beginning with floor work, moving to stretching and abdominal exercises, and finishing with across the floor work, Pastor Lynn first teaches each exercise, carefully instructing on proper form and technique, and then invites the dancer to practice the exercises with along with her and a team of worship dancers. I have used this DVD over and over in the two years that I have owned it. It has inspired my worship dance choreography. I love modern because the movements are emotive (using contractions) and earthy (using flexed feet and parallel position in addition to pointed feet and a turned out position) and fun. Because the DVD provides an introduction to modern dance, I find it provides a great model for the technique portions of my worship dance classes with children. Modern dance seems more accessible to the new dancer and to children than ballet. The parallel feet positions are easier for most children to imitate than the turned out position (and from there, I teach the turned out position.) It seems easier for children to learn to turn out after they have learned the parallel position. In addition, my older students are drawn to modern dance’s emotive and fun movements. For the worship dancer who wants to express his or her heart to the Lord and to tell stories of God’s work in their lives, and for the emerging dance teacher, this DVD is a powerful and effective tool. Click the image below for more information or buy now to order immediately You will love this DVD and gain great benefit from it.

prophetic dance teaching DVD modern
Modern dance instruction DVD cover

Price: $26

Continue reading “Modern Dance Exercise Tutorial”

My Seven Favorite Choreography Tips

Choreography TipsI’ve been studying choreography as part of the Dancing for Him course this past month and have compiled my ten favorite choreography tips and how I used them in the most recent dance I choreographed:

1. Begin with prayer. The Lord knows the moves that will minister to others. All creativity comes from Him. Pray about which song to use. Once you have chosen a song, spend time praying through the lyrics, asking the Lord to give you a picture of what He wants this dance to look like.

2. Keep your dance to 3 to 4 minutes, especially if it’s a solo. Unless you are very experienced and/or have a large group of dancers, it’s difficult to keep enough variety to hold the audiences interest longer than this. Continue reading “My Seven Favorite Choreography Tips”

Add Variety to your Choreography by Varying Stage Positions

This exercise, inspired by the Divine Choreography DVD by Dancing for Him is a great exercise to use with your team or dance class to see how something as simple as varying your position on the stage can add interest and variety to your choreography. Continue reading “Add Variety to your Choreography by Varying Stage Positions”

Learn How to Choreograph Dances that Minister

Divine Choreography Book cover What do you need to make an impact in dances, inspiration or knowledge of choreography? In Divine Choreography, Lynn Hayden’s answer is both. She begins by explaining that “Whatever offering you bring to the Lord (if it is presented with a humble and submissive worshiper’s heart) will be a sweet smelling savor to our Lord.” (p.11) At the same time, she points out that “if a dance is interesting and has a lot of variety, it will, more than likely hold the audience’s attention longer and thereby minister more effectively.” (p. 22). So, she first instructs the dancer to pray over a dance, listen to the song over and over, to listen to the Spirit, and to consider fasting, so that the inspiration comes from the Lord. Continue reading “Learn How to Choreograph Dances that Minister”

Now is the Time

2-d child shot less backgroundHave you been thinking about purchasing my children’s worship dance curriculum? Now is a great time to buy it.

Here’s why:

1) You’ll receive my  updated  videos which include live teaching and footage from dance class. I’ve been getting great feedback from those who have received these videos. I’m adding them to the current package without changing the price.
2) You can purchase a hard copy of the book, if you’d like. I’ve had many people ask about this.
3) You can purchase the book separately from the videos, allowing you to  get started with the book alone for a lower price, if that suits your needs better.
4) As a reward for taking action this next week (before March 8), you’ll receive the gift of “Raising Up Worshipful Children” Teleseminar audios with your curriculum.  This will teach you how to build a worshipful children ministry and how to use the activities in my book.  I taught with Jocelyn Richard of The Praise Dance Life. You’ll receive two 1-hour audio messages as well as slides that accompanied the class.
So, if you have been thinking about purchasing the curriculum for yourself or for a friend, there’s no better time than now.
To learn more, click here.
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Dancers, strengthen your abs with Pilates

Having a strong core is crucial for a dancer. It protects our back, helps with posture, and affects almost every aspect of technique. Watch this 3 minute video I made on how to do the Pilates hundreds exercise to strengthen your abs, and read the essay below, which I wrote on the Pilates – Basic – Preliminary DVD from Dancing for Him Ministries.

Preliminary Pilates: This DVD gives an excellent introduction to Pilates. It contains two sections: The first can be used to run through the entire workout without stopping long for explanations. Throughout this section, Pastor Lynn provides coaching on how to maintain proper form throughout the exercises. The second section, “Form and Modifications,” gives even more detailed teaching on the proper form for Pilates as well as modifications for beginners as well as for ways to increase the difficulty of the exercises.

In Pilates we pay careful attention to form and breathing, the movements are small and controlled, and the focus is on developing the core muscles, which are so important for dancers. In the basic Pilates position, you keep your  naval to the spine, feet flat on the floor and knees bent. Several of the exercises begin from this position, including the ab prep, the hundred, the roll up, and the shoulder bridge. There are two basic positions for the pelvis/back: There is the neutral position, in which you keep the natural C-curve of the spine; and there is the imprinted position, in which there is little to no distance between the low back and the floor. The imprinted position provides more support for the low back when doing exercises in which the legs are extended.  Several exercises, like the hundred, the spine twist, and the oblique stretch, require you to bring the neck and shoulders off the floor. To keep proper form when doing this, you want to tuck the chin, without jamming it, before lifting the head and shoulders off the ground and also to keep the shoulders elevated but not hunched or rising up.

Doing this DVD made me want more. I can feel the strength required to do the exercises correctly, and felt I could do more. I appreciate the modification for the hundreds and find this one of the most satisfying exercises because it makes me sweat and takes the most perseverance.  Since having strong core muscles is so important for dance, and for overall health, I can see how valuable Pilates can be for a dancer.

I did it!

I did it! I’m so proud, really thankful, to have finished this project that I’ve wanted to complete for a month. My husband was out of town, so I stayed up until past midnight for a couple of nights, and got it done. Normally, it’s not my style to work late into the night. I take Psalm 127:2 at face value,

It is vain for you to rise early, come home late, and work so hard for your food. Yes, he can provide for those whom he loves even when they sleep.

I’m usually nodding off around 10:30. But this was a project I couldn’t get done during the day with my kids wanting me, or wanting my computer. And I couldn’t get it done on a normal night after they went to bed, because that’s when my husband and I get to catch up. So, I burned the midnight oil for a couple of nights and, by the grace of God I did it.

I made a 3 minute video introducing my worship dance curriculum for children, And a Child Shall Lead Them – Ten Worship Dance Lessons for Children. This book, which is close to my heart, contains my ten favorite lessons to teach children about dancing for Jesus. In it, I instruct teachers/leaders/parents how to lay a biblical foundation for dance for their children, how to build a vocabulary of worship, how to dance the scriptures, and how to keep a kingdom mindset through it all. The book has clear lesson objectives, lists of songs to choose from, photos, lists additional resources, and two short videos that come with it. I think it’s really valuable and I want to get it into the hands of many parents, dance teachers, and children’s ministry leaders. It’s not cheap, so I know that for someone to buy this curriculum, they need to know what they can expect to receive before they purchase it. That’s why I created the video, to give a brief but meaty overview of what is in this curriculum package.

So, take 3 minutes, click the video above, have a look and let me know what you think.

By the way, I hardly felt tired over the next two days. God gave me grace. It reminds me of a favorite promise of God’s that my mom used to quote on busy days, “and your strength will equal your days,” Deuteronomy 33:25. He gave me strength to match the day.

Is there something you have really wanted to do that keeps getting pushed out by the urgent tasks of your day? Take a couple of nights and burn the midnight oil or get up before dawn. Ask God for strength to meet the day and just do it. You’ll be blessed, and others will through your work.

To purchase this package – which includes a digital download of And a Child Shall Lead Them – Ten Worship Dance Lessons for Children and the accompanying videos click here:

Price: $34

And A Child Shall Lead Them – Ten Worship Dance Lessons for Children is Completed and Available!

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I’m proud and grateful to have this e-curriculum completed and available to purchase. In it, I have assembled my favorite worship dance lessons – ones that teach children the heart of worship, engage them, and equip them to worship Jesus. This book contains ten scripted lesson plans for parents, dance teachers and dance ministry leaders. In addition to the lesson plans, it includes two videos,  Building a Vocabulary of Movement and Joining the Worship of Heaven – Revelation 7 Gestures, which accompany the lessons. The biblical principals taught are foundational to worship dance, so dance teachers and dance ministry leaders can use them alongside their technique training to raise children who dance for Jesus. The movements in the book are simple, so that  parents can use them at home with their children.

Click here for a preview of selected pages: