Using expressive sign in dances is one of my favorite ways to tell stories through dance. The woman who first introduced me to worship dance borrowed heavily from sign in her dance. It was mesmerizing to me to watch the expressive gestures combined with dance.
For years, my worship dances consisted almost exclusively of signs and gestures. These signs and gestures went a long way in helping me choreograph simple dances for myself and others.
When I found this DVD by Lynn Hayden of Dancing for Him, it greatly increased my expressive vocabulary. I especially love using expressive signs when I teach children and new dancers. The movements are simple for and memorable to the new dancer. In addition, they are powerful in telling stories and embodying the words of the songs to which we dance.
Also, I find that when I give others an expressive vocabulary, they begin to see expressive choreography when they hear songs. They begin quickly to adapt the signs themselves to create new gestures. So, their creativity expands.
This DVD filled my tool box for choreography and teaching. The Expressive Worship and Sign DVD gives the worship dancer a vocabulary to express their worship and to tell God’s stories. Pastor Lynn teaches over thirty signs for words that we often use in worship. Ten she goes on to tell how you can use those and/or modify them, making them bigger, embellishing them, and adding dance moves like the the pivot turn, the lunge, and the soutenu turn to add variety and to suit them to your dance. The purpose is not to speak in sign language but gain inspiration for movements that express our worship.
Every time I share about one of Lynn Hayden’s videos, I want to say, “This is my favorite video,” and I want to say that here. I have several favorites. This is one of several that impacts my dancing each time I teach and choreograph. Whether you are leading others or just wanting to enjoy adding more movement to your private worship, you will love this DVD and gain great benefit from it. You can learn more by clicking here, or just go ahead and purchase it. You’ll love it. Take a minute to watch the video below in which I teach a short exercise from the DVD.
The Modern Dance I DVD gives you an introductory modern dance class for the dancer with a heart to minister through dance. It was designed to give dancers a movement vocabulary, using the fundamentals of modern dance. Beginning with floor work, moving to stretching and abdominal exercises, and finishing with across the floor work, Pastor Lynn first teaches each exercise, carefully instructing on proper form and technique, and then invites the dancer to practice the exercises with along with her and a team of worship dancers. I have used this DVD over and over in the two years that I have owned it. It has inspired my worship dance choreography. I love modern because the movements are emotive (using contractions) and earthy (using flexed feet and parallel position in addition to pointed feet and a turned out position) and fun. Because the DVD provides an introduction to modern dance, I find it provides a great model for the technique portions of my worship dance classes with children. Modern dance seems more accessible to the new dancer and to children than ballet. The parallel feet positions are easier for most children to imitate than the turned out position (and from there, I teach the turned out position.) It seems easier for children to learn to turn out after they have learned the parallel position. In addition, my older students are drawn to modern dance’s emotive and fun movements. For the worship dancer who wants to express his or her heart to the Lord and to tell stories of God’s work in their lives, and for the emerging dance teacher, this DVD is a powerful and effective tool. Click the image below for more information or buy now to order immediately You will love this DVD and gain great benefit from it.
This weekend I went to watch the local high school dance team perform. They had advertised in the local paper. We’re new in town, so I don’t exactly have a full social calendar, the ticket price was right, and I love dance in most forms, so off I went. Their performance inspired me, made me think, and convicted me as well. So, I’ll be writing a 3-part blog post this week:
Part I – Ten Things Worship Dancers can Learn from the School Dance Team.
Part II – What I Wish Every Dance Team Member Knew
I’ve been studying choreography as part of the Dancing for Him course this past month and have compiled my ten favorite choreography tips and how I used them in the most recent dance I choreographed:
1. Begin with prayer. The Lord knows the moves that will minister to others. All creativity comes from Him. Pray about which song to use. Once you have chosen a song, spend time praying through the lyrics, asking the Lord to give you a picture of what He wants this dance to look like.
2. Keep your dance to 3 to 4 minutes, especially if it’s a solo. Unless you are very experienced and/or have a large group of dancers, it’s difficult to keep enough variety to hold the audiences interest longer than this. Continue reading “My Seven Favorite Choreography Tips”