Posts

Using Veils to Add Emotion and Beauty in Your Dance

Veils are a beautiful addition to worship dance. They add beauty, glory, drama and effect to your dance. They help tell a story, and you can use them to communicate emotion when you dance. In this video, you’ll learn techniques for using veils in your worship dances and see several examples of dances using veils in solo dances and also in a group dance.


The teaching from this video comes from the Veils and Dance DVD by Lynn Hayden. There are even more creative ideas for using veils on this DVD as well as an entire choreographed dance for a group of three or four dancers. I took the ideas from this DVD to create an entirely new dance that ministered powerfully to our congregation. You can watch this here and also read about 3 things I learned about preparing a group dance.

The veil used in this dance was made from 1 yard of 42″ wide fabric, cut down the center to form two veils with 21″ width. Then, I simply sewed a hem around the border to prevent the fabric from fraying. Often, at JoAnne’s fabrics, I will look through the remnants for fabric to create new veils. It’s inexpensive and often there are beautiful pieces from which to choose.

I’ve also used these veils as tunics in other worship dances by simply simply sewing a hook and eye on them so they could be attached at the shoulders.

come wash me veils

 

 

Pasadena Choreography Workshop Recap

Adding depth and interest to your choreography is simple, but it is not easy. I think each participant at last Saturday’s choreography workshop with Marlita Hill in Pasadena would echo that sentiment.

Going into the workshop, Marlita assured that we would learn how to turn simple movements into creative phrases that fill the space, song, and stage and communicate God’s heart. She also said we would learn how to communicate our choreography to others so that they can easily and effectively follow. We did both of those things.

Marlita walked us through a series of exercises that taught a slice of Laban’s Analysis of Movement in a way that was simpler than anything else I’ve heard before. It made complex choreography teaching accessible. But it was not easy.

We worked hard. Each exercise called us to work harder, dig deeper, and stretch further. The results were very satisfying. Each of us walked away having choreographed a short dance that told a story about who we are.

In addition, one of us had the opportunity to teach her dance to the rest of us. Marlita coached her on how to teach  dancers to turn (Who among us hasn’t asked our students to turn, and then stepped back and watched the turns go in varying directions, losing our unity at that point?), travel, and replicate timing in a way that preserved the integrity of the dance and the team unity.

So, thank you to those who prayed for this workshop. We felt your prayers and they were effective. And thank you to each woman who participated, who took risks, dug deeper, and shared their movements with us.

Watch this 3-minute video recap. Just watching this short clip, you’ll get ideas for how to take your own simple movements and add depth, interest, and power.

 

Summer Praise Dance Camp – Pasadena

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.

kids praise dance camp pasadenaHere’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: $75 until June 13, $80 regular rate, $85 at the door

 

Learn Simple Techniques to Amplify your Choreography

Thank you to all who prayed for the Movements of Intercession – Dancing Your Prayers workshop in Pasadena last weekend. We had a powerful time studying the scriptures, stepping into them through movement, and interceding for each other, our loved ones, and our nation.

Enjoy these pictures from the workshop:Pasadena dance intercession collage Continue reading “Learn Simple Techniques to Amplify your Choreography”

Do you consult others when you choreograph?

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?pasadena praise dance workshop

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?”

At the heart of the discussion were really two paradigms for choreography: Continue reading “Do you consult others when you choreograph?”

Six Quotes for Ministering in the Fullness God Intends

worship dance tele seminarAfter spending a month of Saturday mornings with Marlita Hill and a fantastic group of praise dance ministers for the Dancers! Assume the Position tele-seminar, I want to share with you some of the  most meaningful quotes from the course. As we grasp the truths contained in these quotes, we will gain greater freedom and greater empowerment in our assignments to dance for Him.

1. “We dance not just for ourselves or the event that we are attending. We dance to affect far beyond those sitting in front of us, reaching even tot he parts of the Body that we cannot see.” p. 24, Dancers! Assume the Position

The Body of Christ is connected. Because we are part of that Body, what we do affects the entire Body. God is working out His plans for the world and for His Body through all its members, including us. Marlita used this analogy: If I am making soup, my whole body is actually involved: My hands are cutting onions, my feet are supporting my weight, my heart is beating so I can do the job, my eyes are watching what I’m doing. Each part doing it’s job enables the whole body to make the soup. While each part has a specific role, a critical role, they are part of a bigger picture, in this instance, making soup.

God is doing something in the Body bigger than our dance, which our dance is a part of. He has reasons for the specifics He gives which connect to what He is doing in other parts of the Body, what He is doing in the big picture. What we do needs to fit in with what He is doing in this big picture. This is why it is so important to listen for His instructions. What He wants us to do in _________ (fill in your church, your city) will fit in with what He is doing in the Body of Christ in New York, in Chicago, in Puerto Rico, in Africa. The effect of our dance ripples out to the rest of the Body.

seed cling2. “…there must be a mechanism in place to help the people stay connected to the word long enough for belief to become action and manifestation to occur.” p. 45, Dancers! Assume the Position

Marlita talked about how, in the Body of Christ, there is an enormous gap between the tremendous amount of spiritual truth we hear and the fruit it produces in our lives. As a seed that lands on the ground must cling to the soil in order to germinate, these truths need “cling” to our hearts and minds in order to germinate and produce their intended result: forming us into the image of Christ.

We dancers are a strategic part the mechanism Marlita talks about in the body of Christ to people “cling” to the Word they hear from the pulpit so that it has a chance to take root in their lives. Through our dance, we give people a visual picture of that Word, using Spirit-led songs, that helps the message to stay with the people of God long enough for those truths to take root and produce fruit in their lives.

prophetic movement.jpg3. “Movement is part of the way He speaks. The imagery and dramatization created by physical movement are critical and essential to the way He communicates.” p. 59, Dancers! Assume the Position

We looked at the prophets and saw how God told them specifically how to move in order to communicate His message. For example, He told Ezekiel to lie on his left side for a certain number of days. In doing so, Ezekiel was bearing the iniquity of the people of Israel (Ezekiel 4:4). These movements were critical to the message. As the prophet moved, the Word of God went forth. So, as the Spirit directs us specifically about the movements we use, it is critical we listen and obey. Those movements become His word to groups and individuals, accomplishing in their lives what He intends.

4. “I don’t have to create this (ministry, assignment). I just have to create room in my life to listen.” – Marlita Hill, quote from the seminar.

If God has something to say through our dance and He already knows how He wants to stay it, our job is not to come up with choreography or to muster enough creativity to put on a powerful ministry piece. Our job is to listen to Him. The most challenging and important job we have to do is to make space to hear Him.

5. “Lord, show me who I could delegate some of these tasks to so that I can stay in communion with you about this assignment.” – Marlita Hill, quote from the seminar.

This is a prayer for the times when we’re struggling to see the bigger picture of our assignment because we are absorbed in the administrative, logistical and spiritual aspects of our ministry. The Lord, through Jethro, said to Moses,  “The thing that you do is not good. Both you and these people who are with you will surely wear yourselves out. For this thing is too much for you; you are not able to perform it by yourself.” (Exodus 18:17, 18). He then instructed Moses to choose from among the people noble and god-fearing men to serve under him to help settle disputes. So also, the Lord can advise us how to share the practical load of ministry so that we maintain our ever so critical ability to hear from Him.

6. “If you desire to assume the position of true ministry in dance, then regular communion and consultation with God must be a can’t-function-without-it part of your life…..The position we must assume is of one who continually pursues the presence and voice of God and dances out of what we have seen and heard in His presence.” p. 101, Dancers! Assume the Position

This one speaks for itself.

Did any of these quotes speak to you? Please respond in the comments. Which one spoke to you and how can that help you in your ministry? Join the discussion. I’d love to hear from you.

I want to dance like her!

pasadena prophetic movement classI love watching dance. I am enamored by its beauty and captivated when God speaks through a dancer who belongs to Him. There are so many dancers whom I admire, whose ministry has blessed me, and whose talent I appreciate. There  have been three dancers, though, who, when I saw them dance, I whispered the prayer, “Lord, I want to dance like her.”

There was something about the way they danced that spoke deep in my heart and called to me. Mixed with a talent they had honed was an expressiveness to their movement, an ability to tell a story with their movements that drew me in and made me want to understand and remember the story or the heart of their message. Continue reading “I want to dance like her!”

Position your dance for greater impact in 2016

prophetic dance studySometimes 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.

worship dance tele seminar

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.

register free teleseminar
Click to register

 

Align Yourself with God’s Purpose for your Dance in 2016

marlita hill teleseminar

Position your dance ministry for greater impact in 2016.

Join me as I host Marlita Hill, author of the revelatory book, Dancers Assume the Position.

Ministry comes through your dance and provides something specific to God, the individuals watching you, the church you serve in, and the body of Christ at-large. However, ministry does not happen through dance just because you are dancing. In this four-part teleseminar,  Marlita Hill will share from her book, Dancers! Assume the Position, to help you:

– Construct a clear picture of the your ministry as a dancer

– Identify the mindset necessary for effective ministry

– 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

– 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.

Fortify your assignment for 2016 with the support and encouragement of a seasoned teacher and fellow dancers.

Join us for this first complementary class or register for the full 4-part series.

When:
Saturdays: January 30, February 6, 13, 20 7:30 – 9:00 AM PST, 10:30 AM-12:00 PM EST

Where:

On your phone or computer (just dial or link in)

register free teleseminar
Click to register for the first class for free

Do You Recognize the Voice Speaking to You?

gospel through artsI received a fun surprise in my inbox last week. A friend recommended that I be featured as the artist of the month with Make and Believe Productions, whose mission is to use the arts to share the gospel and to do it with excellence.

There was a part of me that wanted to reply, “Actually, I’m not really an artist. I’m kind of a lay dancer, and I don’t know if my work is excellent enough for those who read your posts” and go on to explain my lack of credentials.

But that would have been an insult to my friend who recommended me and to the Lord who has given me the measure of gifting He has and Who is allowing me to use it. It would be an insult to the amazing teachers who have invested in me over the past five years, allowing me to grow as a dancer and minister and gain credentials for teaching. (Thank you, Jocelyn Richard and Lynn Hayden) So, I simply thanked her for including me, sent in my bio, and said a quick prayer of thanks for the open door.

There is a familiar voice I hear so often in my head that I mistake it for my own voice. Sometimes I interpret it as humility, an accurate assessment of my weaknesses. Other times I interpret it as my own insecurities. But the truth is, it’s not my voice at all. It’s the voice of the Enemy. He disguises his voice as my own in order to keep me holding back, burying my talents instead of investing them. Can you relate?

I remember a time when I was teaching middle school, over 15 years ago, when I lamented to my dear friend and fellow teacher that I was struggling. I was feeling inadequate and even jealous of her (she was a dynamic, creative, and confident teacher). I described to her all the ways I felt I wasn’t measuring up. I patted myself on the back for being “honest,” but she would have none of it.

She said to me, “Amy, sometimes Satan overplays his hand. This is as spiritual attack. You are in ministry in the church and at this school, and he is trying to divert you from what you are called to do. You need to pray through putting on the weapons of your warfare every morning,” and she articulated this prayer based on Ephesians 6 for me that I have prayed over and over since then:

Lord, I place the belt of truth around my waist. Let everything I say and think be your truth.  I put on the breast plate of righteousness. May I trust in your righteousness today and may I walk in righteousness, so that my heart is protected. Let my feet be shod with the gospel of peace. May I bring your peace everywhere I walk today. I raise the shield of faith. Let me have more faith today than I had yesterday. I put on the helmet of salvation. May all my thoughts be taken captive to the salvation of Jesus. May your word be a sword in my hand that I use to set people free. I will pray in the Spirit today for your people, that the gospel will go out.

I experienced immediate relief from the spiritual attack and the “insecurity” no longer seemed valid.

We each are vulnerable to spiritual attack in different ways. Sometimes the enemy uses our pride, a physical weakness, or our tendency to overschedule our time. There are a multitude of ways we may be vulnerable. But the result is that we are immobilized. It’s the enemy’s strategy to seek to steal, kill and destroy, and he’s out to hinder what God wants to do in our lives. However, if we can recognize the voice as his and/or recognize the hit as a spiritual attack, then we can stand firm in the Lord and resist.

If you are feeling plagued by self doubt, or overwhelmed by discouragement, or just pestered by mishaps, to pray through the prayer from Ephesians 6. Say it out loud and gesture as you put on each piece of armor. Better yet, don’t wait for the attack. Make it a habit to put on your armor daily. Then you will be prepared to move forward, not burying your talents, but putting them to use, whenever He gives you an open door.

Join the discussion and respond in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.

Can you relate?

How to you recognize spiritual attack and fight back, in the Lord?

Thank you for allowing me to be part of your life. Also, thank you for celebrating this joy with me. I’m grateful to be featured on Make and Believe Productions and look forward to any doors the Lord opens through it.