Today’s question about how to make dance team friendly to men was perhaps my favorite for several reasons:
First, the person who asked was already doing it and had such respect and love for the men on her team.
It’s something every dance team needs.
It is something I feel convicted to grow in.
It takes me beyond my own experience, and so encouraged me to draw from others, including men.
Here’s what she asked:
“I love my brothers in the men’s group. I guess my concern is that I would love to have songs that would minister to them and be more masculine and strong in Christ. One of the issues I have with young men is letting them know that it’s ‘manly’ to praise God.”
Asking this question reflects your love and concern for your brothers in Christ and your desire to adjust your leadership to minister to them. You are wise and you are considering others better than yourself (Philippians 2:3).
As you already know, it is manly to worship God. All the priests God called to minister to him in the old testament were men, and we know that “David danced with all his might.” 2 Samuel 2:16.
Choreograph movements for your men that show strength, rather than flowing movements. You can use contrasting movements between the men and the women, the men using strong, angular movements, while women use round or flourishing movements. The contrast will also enhance your choreography. It will also more fully express the image of God, whose image is reflected in men and women together (Genesis 5:2)
Choose songs that express the greatness of God as our leader, our Almighty, or songs that express sonship, rather than songs that talk about our love affair with God.
Also, look for men who can take leadership on your team and give them the opportunity to do this.
Use active word studies in your rehearsal time. In these, have your your group demonstrate other dance words found in the bible that call for a variety of movement types.
The Hebrew word Karar (translated dance or dancing and found in 2 Samuel 6:14) means to whirl like a battering ram. Nathar (translated undo or make loose is found in Isaiah 58:6) means to jump, shake, untie, and terrify. And Tnuphaw, (translated wave, wave offering, move, lift up, or strike and found in throughout Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers) while it indicates a waving motion, is a wave that is a weapon, driving out the enemy. See the Dance, Dance, Dance! book and DVD by Lynn Hayden for more explanation of these words and many more examples.
Having men on your team actually gives you the impetus to do what is good for all of us to practice – varying our choreography and song choice, sharing leadership, and digging deeper into God’s word to understand and embody the movement He describes.
Please join the discussion. Respond in the comments section (at the beginning of the post).
If you are a man, what else would you like to see in praise dance teams in order to include more men?
If you have men on your team, what do you do that works well with them?