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.
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