Leading a Congregation in Movement

leading corporate movementThe Unity in Motion DVD is for the dance ministry leader who wants to take his or her congregation beyond being spectators to invite them to participate in movement. Pastor Lynn gives practical instruction for leading in a way that makes it inviting and easy for a congregation to follow. The exercises are also great to help a dance team learn to dance in unity and create spontaneous, unified movements.
Here, I share a 7 minute tutorial of concepts from the DVD.

Continue reading “Leading a Congregation in Movement”

Create a Powerful Group Dance from a Simple Solo

Group shapes from the Melt My Heart DVD. Click image for more information.
Group shapes from the Melt My Heart DVD.

The Expressive Worship and Dance DVD presents and teaches a beautiful group dance that can be used for ministry and for personal devotion. You can take this dance and use it exactly as it is to create a ministry piece. Or you can take and adapt parts of it to fit your context. You can even use it as a solo or simply dance it in your own devotions, an invitation to the Lord to soften your heart and form His heart in you.

Not only do you learn a complete dance from this DVD, you get many ideas for how to take your own choreography and adapt it for a group, making it full of variety so you can minister.

Pastor Lynn shows how she takes a motif, which is illustrated in the chorus of the song and shown in the solo choreography, and creates many variations on this. In doing so, she creates a group dance that contains powerful variety. By adding group shapes, unison movement, by varying stage position and group formations, and by using cannon in the choreography, the original movements are adapted to add interest and impact to the dance. Here, I teach the solo part to the chorus: Continue reading “Create a Powerful Group Dance from a Simple Solo”

Fabulous Choreography DVD for the Solo Dancer

Solo praise dance choreographyIf you get asked to minister through with short notice, do you have a solo ready to go?

Do you need help choreographing a powerful and meaningful dance for Resurrection Sunday?

Do you find yourself going to the same familiar movements when choreographing?

I had the chance to dance this past weekend at the concert for the Dancing for Him Conference I attended in Santa Maria. I’ve been busy with several projects and did not feel like now was the time to choreograph a new dance, but I knew it would be a blessing to be able to participate in the conference. So, I agreed to dance and revisited a solo I choreographed last year.

This dance is a signature dance for me in that it’s to a  song whose words resonate deeply with me by an artist I love. It’s full of the expressive kinds of movements that I feel bring the words of a song to life. And I know it very well.

Do you have a dance like this, one you can pull out on short notice and dance with confidence and peace? If not, I encourage you to take the time to choreograph one. It will allow you to be ready in season and out of season to minister.

Below you can watch my dance. You may recognize this one, as I shared it last spring at a farewell ceremony at the church my family was leaving. Of course, I revisited the choreography last week. I prayed about it and danced to a verse that I didn’t use the first time I danced to it. But the song was still so familiar to me, not just the words and the choreography, but the heart of the message.

When at this conference, I purchased a fabulous choreography DVD that I want to share with you: Worship Expressions and the Solo Dancer.

gestures for worship dance
Click image for more information.

This DVD is like getting three DVD’s in one. In the first part, Pastor Lynn teaches a solo dance to the song My Hope. This is a contemporary worship dance that ministers. She demonstrates the dance, facing forward. Then she teaches it, facing backwards, or our sakes. And then she walks us through it as she faces backwards, talking us through the choreography. This makes it easy to learn, although it still takes attention and practice.

In the second part, Pastor Lynn gives Do’s and Don’ts for the dancer choreographing a solo, which are demonstrated by conference dancers.
After the Dos and Don’ts, there are a plethora of expressive movements to phrases that go with common expressions in worship songs. I loved that these were demonstrated in many ways: First, simply by individuals. Next, individuals embodied phrases while using techniques from dance composition to add interest and variety. After that, groups demonstrated worship expressions. Then, to make the expressions all the more powerful, groups combined many different expressions and group shapes. They were breathtaking.
I have all of Pastor Lynn’s DVDs and I can honestly say this is one of the richest and most dense of all Pastor Lynn’s DVD’s, equipping both the solo dancer and the group choreographer with a multitude of ideas. 
Here’s a short tutorial I created from the DVD:
So, if you want to build your movement vocabulary, be inspired with more ideas than you can imagine right now, and gain practical wisdom for choreographing a solo (by the way, there are powerful ideas for group choreography as well), I encourage you to purchase this DVD. It will be a blessing and will bear fruit in your dance.
You can purchase it here or click on the product description for more details.

Price: $26

Do Technique and Choreograph Stifle Prophetic Dance

prophetic dance techniqueHow do you hold together Spirit led, heart felt worship dance with dance technique and training?

Several worship leaders asked a version of this burning question. Their wording differed, the issue was the same.

I chose this scenario, perhaps an extreme example of the dilemma. I hope it helps.

You have a team member resists technique training. She has always danced prophetically and spontaneously. She says technique and choreography stifle the Spirit. How do you respond to her?

The biblical principle here is integrity. Separating worship from hard work and skill creates a false dichotomy. Seek to always maintain a connection between technique training and worship and ministry.

Spend time with the team sharing your heart about technique and its value in dance ministry. Emphasize that our focus, in practicing technique, is on helping each person to grow, not on attaining some level of perfection.

I Corinthians 10:31 says, “In all you do, in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

In Ecclesiastes 9:10, it says,  “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.”

From these passages, we know that God wants us to do our very best in whatever we do. Technique training equips us to do this. Emphasize that it is a gift to be able to improve in technique as a dancer. It enables our body to better demonstrate what the Spirit moves us to communicate. In addition, it gives us credibility to bring God’s messages before more people, when we have honed our skill.

As it says in Proverbs 22:29 it says, “Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.”

By using praise songs for technique practice, you will help keep the team members’ hearts worshiping even when learning technique. By teaching how different movements and steps can be used to communicate the heart of different worship words or expressions, your team will see technique as a tool to help them more faithfully embody worship. In these ways, try to win your sister over to the value of technique without confronting her straight on.

If the dancer still seemed uncomfortable with or resistant to technique and choreography, invite her out for coffee or for lunch. Listen to her  heart for dance ministry and ask her about her experiences dancing prophetically, seeking to understand.

Ask her if she feels called to be on the team, understanding that part of the mission and vision God has given you involves helping the team grow in skill. Assure her that, when choreographing, that you pray and listen to the Spirit.

If you sense a true heart for worship and desire to serve, invite her to lead some spontaneous times of worship in team practice. If you sense that her prophetic calling was genuine and powerful, give her opportunities to dance spontaneously for portions of songs, asking her to prepare by listening to and praying over the music, but give her the freedom to dance her part spontaneously.

prophetic dance DVD
Click image for more information
Divine Choreography DVD cover
Click image for more information.

For more help, take a look at the Prophetic dance book and DVD by Lynn Hayden, of Dancing for Him, as well as her Divine Choreography book and DVD on .

There are so many gifted and wise worship dancers who read these articles, so please, chime into the discussion. Add your input in the comments section (which is at the beginning of the post).

How do you hold  together Spirit led dance and technique and choreography?

What part does each play in your ministry?

What else would you tell this leader?

Read tomorrow’s post about a worship leader who had a girl on the team who really didn’t grasp the heart of worship, affecting not just her participation in ministry, but affecting the whole team.


Pasadena Workshop Recap

praise dance workshop pasadenaThe Worship in Motion workshop this past Saturday was very powerful. It was an awesome privilege to teach with Marlita Hill.

It was also very moving to work with a group of women who came wanting to go deeper in choreography and worship and who came with hearts open to share and to learn.

The Lord showed Himself faithful to minister through the teaching and through the group activations.

I’ll share quickly my favorite takeaways:

1. God knew what you have a don’t have in terms of skill, experience, finances, (everything) when He called you, and it’s enough. So, no more apologies!

2. The Word is Living. He speaks. He has a tone. He has a message that He wants to communicate through our dance. So, we must get in touch with Him, we must take time to hear from Him if we are to speak for Him. There is no short changing this step.

3. The context (of scripture, of a song, of the people to whom and place at which you are ministering) must shape how you interpret the word. Pay attention to context. For example, love doesn’t look the same in every context. So, if you are communicating about God’s love, listen for the context in which He is extending it. His love is multidimensional, and so there are a multitude of different ways to embody it through dance.

4. We do not need to be perfect, just wholehearted. So, engage your whole heart and your whole body and trust Him to speak.

There was more, but I’ll let the video recap speak now. Hope you see and hear Him in it.

Did God speak to you through this recap? I hope so. If so, please share how in the comments. It will encourage me and others.

Join us next time!

Four Things I Learned from our Advent Dance

I posted this last year after the team I lead at Sherwood Presbyterian Church had the privilege of dancing in worship during Advent.

If you are preparing to dance in worship this advent, I think the lessons I learned will encourage and help you. So, I’m reposting this.

We danced to a song called, “And a Child Will Lead” by a friend and one of my favorite artists, Douglas Eltzroth. It was such a joy and an honor, and the Lord taught me some important lessons in the process. Here they are:

1) Sometimes Less is More: Continue reading “Four Things I Learned from our Advent Dance”

Begin Where You Are and Resist Criticizing

Beginner Praise Dance ChristmasDon’t despise the days of small beginnings.

I choreographed the dance below three years ago and it is dear to me.

Warning: There is a huge garment problem right at the beginning. Don’t let that hinder you from being blessed by this dance.

In fact, in a way, that garment snafu is part of my point in posting this video. There are many things I could critique about this dance regarding the garments, the group choreography, even or especially, our hair. But it this dance is dear to me, and it still moves me.

Watch it, and you’ll see what I mean.

Continue reading “Begin Where You Are and Resist Criticizing”

Sharpen Your Tools – Complementary Seminar tonight

Proverbs 22:9There are two sides to worship dance: 

There is the intimate side of worshiping God through movement for the joy of it and to express love to Him.

And there is the more public side of leading others in worship and dancing in ministry, using the art of dance to to bring God’s message to people.

For the first aspect of worship dance, training is not necessary. It can enhance our joy in worshiping Jesus, but anyone can worship, regardless of their training. God gave us all bodies and He is pleased when we use them to express our love and commitment to Him.

For the second aspect of worship dance, training is important. It enables us to better communicate God’s word. It allows us to hold the attention of those to whom we hope to minister so that they can receive the message we have. And it gives us credibility which opens the door to serve.

Jocelyn Richard and the Certification Program
Jocelyn teaching at one of the live training seminars.

Today I want to share about a very valuable way to get training, to grow more skillful in the art of dance, more knowledgeable in the bible, and more wise in business so that your impact is greater. Continue reading “Sharpen Your Tools – Complementary Seminar tonight”

Pasadena Workshop Praise Report

Worship Dance workshop pasadena

Thank you so much to all who prayed for the Worship in Motion Praise Dance Workshop in Pasadena this past Saturday. Your prayers made a tremendous difference.

The Lord blessed the workshop, blessed me, and blessed those who attended.

Here are 5 ways I saw His hand as well as a 90 second video recap of the afternoon. Continue reading “Pasadena Workshop Praise Report”

Come Worship and Be Equipped

Pasadena dance workshopAn early worship dance mentor said this to a group of worshipers at the first praise dance workshop I ever attended.

Her words have been seared in my mind. I was a worshiper before I was a dancer, and dance has been a way to express my worship. I know the Lord looks at my heart much more intently than he looks at my skill level.

For many years, getting training was not a priority for me. I loved worshiping the Lord in private (no credentials required for that) and taught simple movements to children to express the heart of songs.

But these words stayed with me, and at the right time, the Lord opened the door for me to gain more training so that I could more clearly and creatively say with my body what my spirit wanted to say to the Lord. In fact, I’ve completed the Dancing for Him Level 1 Dance Teacher’s Training course. Continue reading “Come Worship and Be Equipped”