Posts

Do You Let Yourself Be the Student?

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?”

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. Continue reading “Dancing to the Spoken Word”

When Worship Class turns to Chaos

Sometimes we think that because we have experience with something, it will always go smoothly for us. This is dangerous thinking.

Have you ever had your worship dance class turn to chaos?

Have you ever tried to teach a group of children who weren’t interested in what you had to share?

Have you ever wondered how experienced teachers seem to effortlessly engage children and hold their interest when it seems like a mystery to you?

Have you ever failed at something you thought you were good at?

I have all done each of those things recently. In this post, I’m going to share my experience and what I learned that is helping me move forward.

First, the background:

Because I’ve put my worship dance class lessons on paper and make them available to others, people think I’m an expert on working with children. Sometimes I start thinking this myself, which is, of course, dangerous. As it says in Proverbs 16:18, Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.

Let me tell you about my fall. Continue reading “When Worship Class turns to Chaos”

Improving Technique: Modern Dance at home

modern dance technique trainingAre you taking any dance classes right now? If not, I encourage you to, and if you don’t feel you can, I share a super affordable resource for improving your training at home.

As worship dancer said at a workshop I attended, Get training so that your body doesn’t get in the way of what your spirit wants to say.

Jocelyn Richard, my mentor, always encourages her students invest in their training, to take live classes in the studio. This week, I took a modern dance class where I met another sister who has been mentored by Jocelyn, Jennifer Oliver. We took the picture below for Jocelyn, to let her know we were together and were investing in our training. We wanted to make her proud.

I’ve been taking another modern dance class on Saturdays for the past couple of years. You’ve probably heard me share about how challenging this class is. The other students are way above my level, enough so that I often have to talk myself into going (Read my story about this class When is it Okay to Give Up? If you need encouragement.) Even though I often feel super clumsy in class, I can see a big difference in my technique. Pastor Lynn noticed it at the last conference I attended with her. There is nothing like being in a live class where you get stretched beyond your comfort level and receive correction.

Having said that, few of us have the time or resources to take as many live classes as we would like to. We are mothers with kids at home, or we work full time, or we are busy with our own dance ministries. And live classes are expensive. They’re worth it, but you still have to have the money in the bank to write the check. So, most of us don’t take as many classes as we’d like.

So, today, I want to share with you three free video tutorials and a DVD that you can use at home.
Continue reading “Improving Technique: Modern Dance at home”

What should I wear to minister in dance?

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?

regular clothes as worship garments
My dancers and I in 2010 in our red and black clothing, simple, beautiful street clothing

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.

Praise dance choreography tips using motif
Dressed for beauty and God’s glory in this gold overlay, full white skirt, with culottes underneath.

When I connected with the praise dance community and gained training, my answers changed some. Continue reading “What should I wear to minister in dance?”

What not to do with worship props

Anyone who has taught worship dance to children has experienced one of these challenges:

  • Children using their streamers as swords
  • A child pouting because they did not get the flag/streamer of their choice
  • A child getting hit in the head by the flag pole of another child who is unaware

I have a section in my online class Teaching Worship Dance to Children entitled Using Props with a Purpose. In it, I give suggestions for teaching children how and why to use props in such a way that they are tools for ministry and not toys. It’s a helpful section to head off the problems listed above before they happen or how to use them as teachable moments if they do.

using flags in worship wiselyBut there is a much greater error we can make when using props in worship dance than any of those that the children commonly make. It’s a mistake any one of us is vulnerable to make if we are not careful, and,  it can even be a life or death issue.

Continue reading “What not to do with worship props”

Living God’s Dreams – Ministry Activation

Are you awaiting the fulfillment of dreams that God has given you?

Have you faced setbacks that cause you to question whether the dream will be fulfilled?

Are you or others with whom you serve weary of waiting for a dream to be fulfilled?

Do you ever get frustrated by the dreamers in your life?

If so, you’ll find this message from Wesley Scott Amos’ book, The Transforming Journey encouraging and perhaps even convicting in a way that leads to renewal.

I’ve created a video explaining a ministry activation you can do with your team or congregation, renewing hope for the fulfillment of the dreams God has given and releasing power and encouragement for the journey. Continue reading “Living God’s Dreams – Ministry Activation”

Why Use Flags or Banners in Worship?

worship flags scriptureWhat 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. Continue reading “Why Use Flags or Banners in Worship?”

Worshipful Ronde de Jambe sequence

ballet for worshipThe 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”

Post Sabbatical Reflections

Last October, I felt led to take a sabbatical from my blog and email community for a season. That decision came after a soul searching conversation with my friend Marlita Hill, who has a way of helping draw out from me my heart concerns as well as hopes. You can read more about that conversation here.

Now, I’m standing at the other end of that sabbatical and it’s time to share the gifts that came out of that time with the hope that it will encourage you.

First of all, Continue reading “Post Sabbatical Reflections”