When is a Ministry Dance Complete?

Pentecost Praise Dance and Christmas Eve Worship Dance

I’ve been thinking lately about what makes a dance “complete.” When is it ready to minister? How do you know? What activities are critical to have in place before we minister?

What prompted this was rewatching a dance I ministered at my church last year at Pentecost. There are some beautiful moments where I see the joy of the Lord on my face and see His beauty and anointing on the choreography. There are other moments when I can see uncertainty on my face and, honestly, I feel nervous watching. myself dance because I can see I was uncertain about the movements.

In contrast, I had a sense of completion after dancing to What Child is This? on Christmas Eve at the same church. I knew I had completed my assignment, and I had a sense that the congregation was blessed. I was fully present to the congregation and to the Lord as I danced.

The responses I received to both dances were quite different. I actually had someone come up to me after the dance at Pentecost and say, with a chuckle, “I liked your dance. It reminded of those hippies at Woodstock.” I’m not kidding. This was a new believer. I knew right then that my dance had not hit its mark with him. Another person asked, “Where did you learn to dance?” and still another, “What type of dance was that?”

I’m not saying the Pentecost dance was bad or even that it was without effect, simply that it was incomplete.

In contrast, on Christmas Eve, I could sense the congregation was moved and experienced joy when I danced, that they entered more fully into the Christmas story, having seen an embodiment of the incredible story of Christmas. I did not need to receive verbal feedback. I sensed the dance had done its work, or rather that the Lord had worked through it.

So, what makes one dance complete and another incomplete?

Here is what came to me, as I reflected:

  • The movements have become part of us. We are sufficiently rehearsed that the choreography is in our muscle memory. Or we have spent enough time in personal worship so that inspired movements come to us in the moment.
  • We have prayed over the lyrics and they have become part of us. When we move, we are connected with the words and the message of the song and so can lean into the movements as a way to communicate these.
  • We have prayed for the congregation, considered their needs, even received a word or picture from the Lord about what He might want to do through our dance.
  • We have released the results to the Lord. We don’t need to please or impress people or prove ourselves. Our hearts are focused on pleasing him and we give it our all, not worrying about what others will think. We are free now to dance for the joy of it, trusting Him to do as He pleases with our offering.

You can watch both dances here:

I’d love to hear from you.

  • Do you see these differences in the dances?
  • Can you add anything to my list?
  • Do you think that it’s possible for every dance we offer to be fully “complete” before we minister?

New Choreography: Christmas Eve Dance

What Child is This

If you read my last blog post, you saw a version of the worship dance to What Child is This by Alberto Rivera. I loved learning that choreography from Pastor Lynn Hayden of Dancing for Him ministries and was so grateful to have an opportunity to minister that dance last week to a community that I serve here in Pasadena called Centennial Place. However, based on the conversations I had afterward, I sensed that there was something missing from my presentation. You can read the blog post to learn what I sensed that was.

Continue reading “New Choreography: Christmas Eve Dance”

What Child is This Christmas Dance

And what I needed to relearn about choreography and ministry through this dance

Scroll to end of article to watch the video

I had the opportunity to share this dance (scroll to the end of the post for the video), choreographed by Pastor Lynn Hayden at a housing unit for those who have previously been homeless. 

I said I would share it with you and do so, hoping that through it you receive something from the Lord. I also share it because, as always, there have been lessons for me to learn.

This was an interesting experience of dancing for me. I loved learning this choreography so much. I loved the choreography and the gentle beauty of the instrumental song. (Alberto Rivera, from Christmas Spirit album). I think that, because of that, that I may have relied too much on Pastor Lynn’s preparation (prayerful choreography) without adequately doing my own spiritual preparation. I did pray over the event, I prayed as I danced. I included the people at Centennial in my prayers in the morning, but I carried some presumption that it would minister because the dance and song have been in my spirit. I enjoyed resting in Pastor Lynn’s choreography.

Read More and watch video

Ballet Tutorial #5

All sequences, straight through

Thank you for joining me for this series of tutorials. Use the video to dance all the sequences straight through. You can listen to the music I’ve included, or mute the video and play your favorite worship song. I encourage you to dance the entire video through twice, doing each sequence on both sides.

What’s next? Consider purchasing my new video series Playing with Ballet.

Ballet tutorial #3

Fondu and dégagé sequence

This is the third video in a short series of ballet tutorials in which I teach a sequence from Lynn Hayden’s continuing education course in ballet. I chose sequences that I found particularly beautiful and worshipful.

Fondu in French is translated, “melt” or “molten.” There is a sense that we melt into the movement when doing a fondu, and it makes me think of melting into the presence of our God. Developé is to develop and when we practice developé, we develop strength and balance.

I hope you enjoy the beauty of the movements, and I invite you to move along with me, to your ability, listening to your body so that you move safely.

Ballet Tutorial #2

Ronde de jambe sequence

Ronde de jambe sequence

Welcome to video #2 of the ballet tutorials. In these videos, I teach some of my favorite sequences from Lynn Hayden’s continuing education series in ballet. I find this ronde de jambe sequence especially worshipful.

These sequences come from series 5 of Pastor Lynn’s continuing education course in ballet.

What are you doing to strengthen your technique? Please share in the comments.

New Ballet Series for Worship

Balancé across the floor

What are you doing to strengthen your technique? A dear mentor of mine once said, “Get training and take care of your body so your body doesn’t get in the way of what your spirit wants to say.”

This year I took a continuing education course in ballet from Pastor Lynn Hayden. As part of that course, I created a handful of ballet tutorials that I’m excited to share with you so you can enjoy a taste of the beauty I enjoyed in that course.

This is a short across the floor combination that you will love. You are welcome to weave it into your choreography or just enjoy playing with it.

I was also inspired to create a short series called Playing with Ballet, which will be available on my site soon. I’m so excited to share this with you. Keep an eye on your email inbox for details about that!

If you aren’t already signed up to receive the whole series, click here. (Of course, if you have, no need to do that again. 🙂 )

Live and Move – Hybrid Dance Conference

  • Would you like to be immersed in God’s presence during artistic worship?
  • Do you want to learn more about living, moving and ministering to the Lord (through the arts)?
  • Would you like to be better equipped as a praise dancer to minister His word through movement?
  • Would you like some incredible, creative, worship movement ideas?
  • Would you like to learn flag moves and expressions, choreography technique, and so much more?

Get ready for an amazing, powerful jam packed 4 days of information and instruction that will catapult you to new levels in praise and worship dancing!

Continue reading “Live and Move – Hybrid Dance Conference”

I Offer Me – Worship and Wellness Workshop Recap

Saturday’s workshop  was so wonderful, and I can say that without boasting because I was just one among a team of teachers. Cynthia’s movement devotion was so beautiful and powerful. 

Yesterday I had the most wonderful start to my day by replaying the video and moving and praying along with her again. And the testimonies by Barb and Nanette will inspire and encourage you, especially if you are have received a difficult health diagnosis recently. Finally, you’ll go away with some new choreography that I teach to a song that will touch your heart deeply.

I’ve created a 4-minute recap of the workshop for you to enjoy. I think the recap alone will minister to you. You can watch it here:

If you were unable to attend the workshop live, you may still receive from the workshop. The recording will be available through the weekend and the offers and giveaways mentioned will be good through Sunday night. To be entered into the drawing for a wellness basket, email me before 12pm PST this Sunday night.

If you would like to register and attend, you can click here: REGISTER

Thank you for yesterday, thank you for everything. I showed up yesterday looking for Spiritual Discernment. I received it watching, participating and listening to all of the Messengers God used to minister to me. The message/instructions was very clear on how to take care of His God’s Temple my body. I trust Him to help me through this new way and process. I appreciate you much. – Yvonne