If you read my previous post, Ten Things Worship Dancers Can Learn from the School Dance Team you know how inspired I was by the talent, energy, and commitment at our local high school’s dance performance this past weekend. At the same time, I was also grieved at times and felt convicted that, as a praise dance ministry leader, I (and you) have a message that those girls need to hear. What grieved me the most was how sexual several of their garments and choreography were and how bold they were about this. Now, I didn’t expect to see circle skirts and palazzo pants at a public school dance team performance. While what is appropriate for the stage and studio is not always appropriate for the sanctuary, the converse is also true. I expected to see bodies. But what chagrined me was how outright seductive many the costumes and much of the choreography was. It was not just immodest, it was exploitative. During one dance, I wanted to search out the girls’ dads and say, “Are you okay? I’m so sorry you have to see your daughter doing this.” I don’t think the girls fully realized what their clothing and movements were saying. You could tell they were having so much fun and felt beautiful. I want those girls to know that they are worth more than that, to tell them to respect their own bodies and not offer them to everyone. I want them to know that the King wants them for His daughters. He wants more for them than that. Here’s what they need to hear from adults they respect: Continue reading “What I Wish Every Dance Team Member Knew”
Have you been thinking about purchasing my children’s worship dance curriculum? Now is a great time to buy it.
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.
I was recently challenged to really consider the people I’m called to serve, what their needs are, and how the gifts and experiences God has given me can benefit them. I started writing and, right away, it was like God was pouring into me what He wanted me to offer you. So, take a look at the questions below. If one of them speaks to you, I believe the Lord has given me something to offer you. Read more to find out what that is.
2. Do you have years of dance training that you want to learn to use to honor the Lord?
3. Have you been trained in the art of dance, its biblical basis, and are you experienced in leading others?
4. Last but definitely not least, are you a parent with a child who loves to dance who wants to nurture their love for dance in a Christ-centered environment?
1. Do you know and love Jesus and have a longing to dance but doubt you are qualified? Let me first say to you that you are not too old or too young to bless the Lord by dancing before Him. You don’t have to have years of training to join the dance. You can begin right where you are at. What you think is clumsy and awkward is a beautiful offering to the Lord, if it is offered in love to Him. You are more graceful and beautiful thank you know. Your dance can soften hearts, move mountains, and invite the presence of the Lord.
I specialize in choreographing simple movements than anyone can use to worship the Lord. That’s how I was invited into the dance. A woman, who used simple everyday movements in her choreography, invited men, women and children of every age and skill level to join in worshiping the Lord through dance. So, that is my passion, to activate others who have a heart for dance and don’t yet have the movement vocabulary to express it.
I’m working on a project right now called “Worship in Motion – Devotional Dances.” These simple dances have been designed so that anyone can do them in the morning hours to offer their bodies to the Lord.
Also, if you live near me, watch for local workshops. I have one this weekend. Learn more here. Whether you want to learn to worship the Lord in private or have a desire to lead the congregation as a worship dancer, you will go home equipped with new vocabulary, biblical understanding, and tools for worship.
2. Do you have years of dance training that you want to learn to use to honor the Lord? I can teach you the biblical basis for dance and the heart of worship dance. In my worship dance curriculum “And a Child Shall Lead Them – Ten Worship Dance Lessons for Children,” I instruct teachers, leaders, and 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 that include teaching by me, live footage from my classes, and photos of signs and gestures that you can incorporate in your own choreography to tell God’s stories. You can take this curriculum, add dance technique teaching, and have a rich, Christ-centered worship dance curriculum.
In addition, if you live local to me, I would love to partner with you in dance workshops. I would love to partner with someone who could offer more dance technique while I teach the biblical aspect of dance, dance ministry, and simple movements to use in worship.
3. Have you been trained in the art of dance, its biblical basis, and are you experienced in leading others? Praise God. I invite you to come alongside me as I invite others into the dance. I love to connect new worship dancers with the people and resources to help them grow. I know I don’t have it all, and I love to work with others who have skills and knowledge that can help me and others. I would love to partner with you in equipping women and children to worship through dance. (By the way, I know worship dance isn’t just for women and children. It’s just that I feel especially called to this group of people because who I am, how I dance, and what the Lord has put on my heart.) Let’s share resources and ideas. Let’s get connected if we aren’t already on Facebook. Comment on my blog, share your wisdom and expertise and invite others to your website. Let me know if you would be open to being interviewed for my blog.
4. Last but definitely not least, are you a parent with a child who loves to dance who wants to nurture their love for dance in a Christ-centered environment? Get my worship dance curriculum, “And a Child Shall Lead Them – Ten Worship Dance Lessons for Children.” I wrote this book for people like you. While I have sold many of these to dance ministry leaders, you were on my heart and mind when I wrote it. This book was written for parents to use at home to lay a biblical foundation for dance with their children and to invite the joy that comes through dancing Jesus into your home. The lesson plans are laid out for you. The movements are simple. There are pictures and videos to guide you. And you can even hand the book to your older child and let them go.
If you live near Sherwood, Oregon, of course, take a look at the classes I offer locally. They are a joy. Here’s what one mother said and it captures what I pray happens in the classes I teach: “I cannot begin to tell you how much my daughter enjoyed the dance class. She came home dancing every week! It was so worshipful and wholesome….the perfect way to experience dance in a Christ-centered environment.”
If one of those questions described you, let me know. Share in the comment section, let me know more about what your needs are. As the Lord opens doors, I would love to serve you.
Over the past two years as I have taught worship dance to students in my community, It has been a joy and an adventure and has opened the door for me to impact many more people than I ever imagined. I’m sharing the benefits I have experienced so that you might consider whether God is calling you to teach worship dance to children outside of your own church family:
1. It funds my dance ministry in my home church: Teaching these classes funds the dance ministry God has called me to. I have had the privilege of purchasing flags, streamers, scarves, and dance garments for my team, adding beauty, color, and pageantry to our dances.
2. It funds my training as a dancer and ministry leader: I have been able to take a class in a studio in town. In addition, I have been able to take several classes online with Jocelyn Richard and Dancing for Him Ministries. I plan to take Dancing for Him’s one year class This year.
3. It stretches me as a choreographer: I have choreographed 8-10 full dances and many portions of songs that I would not have had the impetus to choreograph, had I not had a class to teach.
4. I get more time in the studio: When I’m teaching my classes, I’m dancing too. It keeps me strong and healthy.
5. It has opened doors to other ministry opportunities: I have gained skill and experience to share with others. Through each class I teach, I learn more about how to effectively work with children. I taught a teleseminar with Jocelyn Richard this summer on teaching worship dance to children, “Raising Up Worshipful Children.” Because I’m teaching so regularly, I have more to share with other worship leaders.
6. It has given me the chance to take the gospel outside of the four walls of my church: We have danced several times at three different nursing homes. We share the gospel through music and dance. We are working on taking our dances into a local women’s prison. These are fantastic training opportunities for the children, and they stretches me too.
7. I’m providing a much desired service in my community: I cannot tell you how many parents have expressed gratitude for having a Christ-centered dance class. They are grateful that their children are learning the purpose of dance – to glorify God. They are grateful that when their children dance, they dress modestly and beautifully. They are grateful that their children come home full of praise for Jesus. There are so many children out there with a longing to dance. We can teach them the joy of worshiping Jesus.
So, what about you? Could God be calling you to take your gift of dance outside of the four walls of the church and into the community?
Do you believe that what He has given you is of value, something that others would pay for, thus providing for other ministry that you do without charge?
Pray about it and consider teaching worship dance in your community. You will be surprised at how God can use you to raise up more worship dancers and how He will bless you through it.
I have a resource for you that will give you what you need to get started: And a Child Shall Lead Them – Ten Worship Dance Lessons for Children is a collection of the most important lessons I teach children. The lessons are scripted, contain clear lesson objectives, suggested songs, and lists of materials. So, all you need to do is to pray and gather your children. To learn more about this resource, click here: curriculum
Around the same time that I taught my first worship dance class in the community, Jocelyn Richard began coaching me on dance ministry. She asked me what I wanted her to help me to do. I shared my top two needs–to grow in technique and to raise funds for garments and for my own training. When I shared about the home school worship dance class I was teaching, she suggested I charge for the class as a way to fund my dance ministry. I resisted at first. Sure, I had eleven students, but that was because my class was free, I assumed. If I charged, I doubted anyone would come. I didn’t have a strong technical background either, so could I charge people to take a dance class from me? She told me to teach them what I do know, not what I don’t know. I knew how to use simple movements and sign language to praise Jesus. I could teach them that.
So, I took the plunge and told the parents that I felt called to dance ministry, that I needed funds to continue my own training and to purchase garments, and that the money I earned would go back into this dance ministry. I offered the class at a rate of about half of what the local dance studio charges for their dance classes. Seventeen students register for the next session of worship dance class! I have continued to offer this class over the past two years. It has been a complete joy and delight to me. It has brought blessings I didn’t expect.
I’ve been working with children in my church to dance in worship for almost 15 years. I love dancing as part of a worship service at my local church, dancing with my church family, those I know well and with whom I serve in many other capacities. There is a richness, completeness and fullness to this kind of worship dance. However, two years ago, by what was an accident of mine, the Lord opened the door for me to teach worship dance to children outside my church, in the community. It was the beginning of an adventure I did not expect that has been a joy to me and allowed me to grow as a dancer and impact many more people through dance than I had hoped or imagined. Here’s what happened.
Two years ago, as I was preparing to gather a group of children to dance during advent, I sent an email out to the families in my church. In it, I outlined the commitment I was asking, shared my vision for this dance and for worship dance in general, and asked parents and children to pray and consider whether they were called to be part of this dance. I mistyped the name of a mother in my church and ended up sending the email to a mother in my homeschooling community, who does not attend my church. She immediately emailed back and said her daughter would love to dance, would have no trouble purchasing the skirt and making the rehearsals, and asked if she could share the email with a friend of hers who had daughters that would love this opportunity. When I received her email and realized what I had done, I gulped. I was touched by her eagerness to participate and willingness to make these commitments, but I had concerns: First, I was concerned about pulling families from their home churches. It would mean missing services at their own churches, and more significantly, risked feeling more like a performance since the girls wouldn’t be surrounded by the people they knew and worship with other Sundays. Secondly, our church is small and the space we have to dance in is small, so I didn’t know if I could add several more girls.
So, I countered with another offer: I would offer a worship dance class to girls in our homeschooling community, and we could end the class with a presentation at a nursing home. When I suggested this at a meeting of homeschooling moms, many mothers expressed enthusiasm, and so I offered that class in January, for no charge. Eleven children and two mothers signed up for the class. It was a complete joy to teach, the girls loved the class, and the mothers were so grateful to have a Christ-centered environment for their children to learn to dance. We culminated the class by dancing at a local assisted living facility and visiting with the residents afterwards.
To learn more about the classes I teach, click here.
Next post: How I Went from Teaching as a Volunteer to Receiving Pay that Funds the Ministry.