Do You Let Yourself Be the Student?

Ministry leaders and dance teachers, when was the last time you let yourself be the student?

How often do you take the place of the student?

How often do you have to learn someone else’s choreography?

Team members, do you ever feel like you can’t keep up, don’t learn fast enough?

Do you ever fear disappointing your teacher/leader?

Something so valuable happens when we step into a role we don’t normally have. In this post, I share an experience from this past week when I experienced this role reversal, how it affected me, and how such a role reversal can help us be better teachers, leaders and students, if we’ll let it. Continue reading “Do You Let Yourself Be the Student?”

The Course: Teaching Worship Dance to Children is Online now!

I’m thrilled to announce that the online course, Teaching Worship Dance to Children is open for enrollment now. Praise God. I released a preview version of the new videos for this course and got great feedback (see the testimonials below). I also got some great ideas for improving the class. I listened to your feedback and added more live videos, suggestions for classroom management, and shared my favorite places to purchase garments for children and patterns as well. So take a look:

In this online course, you’ll receive:

All these materials are included in your online course!

Teaching Children who Love to Dance to Worship when they Dance: Five short videos (46 minutes total) with study notes with ideas you can to help children worship wholeheartedly when they dance. $20 value

And a Child Shall Lead Them – Audio Class: Two one hour audio lessons with slides and study notes taught by Amy Tang and Jocelyn Richard titled, And a Child Shall Lead Them. In this class, you’ll learn how to set a foundation for worshipful children’s dance, how to use And a Child Shall Lead Them – Ten Worship Dance Lessons for Children in the classroom to help children keep the right heart attitude for worship, to build a vocabulary of worship, to dance the scriptures, and to dance with their faces. You’ll also hear tips on how to start a dance class in the community. $20 value

• And a Child Shall Lead Them – Ten Worship Dance Lessons for Children, e-Manual with supplementary video downloads – The e-book version of Amy’s worship dance curriculum, including the e-manual and 2 supplementary videos (27 minutes total),  will be available for you to download immediately. (Already own it? There’s an option to purchase the course without the curriculum.) This is a digital version of the book and videos. $29 value

Bonus Materials: $18 value

The Lord’s Prayer  Video – This (6 minutes) video will teach you gesture for the Lord’s prayer along with everyday movements to help children (or adults) remember it and have fun with it. This devotional dance is also a fun activity for dance classes and workshop.

Tips to Keeping Your Classroom Running Smoothly So You Can Teach – Amy Tang shares tips on how to keep children engaged, focused, and happy in class. She shares from her own experience teaching worship dance class and teaching in public and private schools along with some tips from other experienced teachers.

Suggestions for Buying or Making Garments and Props for Children – Amy Tang shares her favorite vendors for children’s praise dance garments and props, a couple of patterns for creating skirts for children, and a couple of simple tricks for dressing children beautifully without purchasing new garments.

•Access to the Teaching Worship Dance to Children Private Facebook Group – Here you’ll have the opportunity to build relationships with and learn from others who are teaching worship dance to children. I know I’m not the be-all-and-end-all when it comes to teaching worship dance to children. I’ve simply put what I’ve learned and what the Lord has given to me in a format to help others. You all have a wealth of wisdom and experience to share. While this page will give you access to me, it will, more importantly, give you access to each other. You can post ideas, suggestions, and questions, and resources. I will respond to questions asked and will look forward to you all answering as well. I think this could end up being one of the most valuable aspects of the course.


All the course materials can be watched online and accessed anywhere that you have wifi and can be dowloaded onto your computer, so you can keep them forever.


testimonials kids worship danceRead what others have said about Amy’s teaching materials for children:


God bless you and your amazing work! I am so glad I purchased the dance curriculum… what a powerful tool! And, might I add, Jocelyn is right, you have already done the work. I feel as if you are right here coaching alongside as I implement with my one worship dancer … she is 8 and has such a heart to dance for the Lord.. a true worshiper! More importantly… I am learning and being equipped as I study your course outline… Thank you, Amy! – Bobbi Andrade


Your teaching is so clear that anyone watching would be able to receive the tools they need to use your concepts. Your ideas were great. I love that you included some video as well. – Nanette


All the material sounds like great tools to use while working with children. I really felt the portion on Teaching children to dance devotionally is a SEED that will help them grow and instill in them a personal connection with HIM that will last a lifetime. Beautiful work! – Denise

It’s extremely helpful. It helped me learn how to “worship” and just not “dance” and how to teach same to children. – Merthene


Don’t change anything. I can tell that the lessons are always prepared in Love and of The Spirit to Worship The LORD. – J’Sue


The practical lesson ideas were so helpful for getting me started. I also love the various ways you’ve described that will help children dance for worship rather than just for fun. – Maria

These worship dance lessons are spelled out for you, she has professional photographs in this ebook for you. All the work is done, all you have to do is pray and get your children together and worship the Lord. — Jocelyn Richard, The Praise Dance Life


Purchase the Full Course: (You’ll receive an email with acccess to the course within 12 hours of making payment)

Price: $52



Purchase a hard copy of the manual with your course:

(You’ll receive an email with acccess to the course within 12 hours of making payment)

Price: $62 + shipping


Already own my children’s praise dance curriculum?

(You’ll receive an email with acccess to the course within 12 hours of making payment)

Purchase the rest of the course separately:

Price: $32

(does not include course e-manual or its supplementary video downloads)


Making Dance Team Male Friendly

men in praise danceToday’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.
Biblical basis of dance
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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?


Dealing with Difficult Team Members

difficult praise dance teamsThis is the fourth of a five part series on dealing with team related issues. If you haven’t read the previous issues. Make sure to do that.

All of the questions so far have related to team leaders. Today’s question is from a team member. It’s a question many people can relate to, whether on a dance team or in a small group. The details may differ, but the heart of the question is the same:

How do you deal with team members who dominate discussions?

How should you respond when someone rides roughshod over your questions or ideas?

Should you speak up during practice? If you don’t, will your ideas ever be heard?

I drew heavily from Lynn Hayden’s book, Team Terrificus in answering this question. I highly encourage you to get it, if you don’t have it.

Here’s her specific dilemma:

You are on a dance team and there is another member who interrupts when you’re talking to the dance leader and turns that leaders attention to them.  You don’t get to finish what you were saying. Other times, you get a vision for the ideal that your leader is explaining, so you ask a question so you can get a better understanding, when a team member interrupts with her own ideal of that vision. The leader runs with the ideal never letting you finish that particular conversation. How do you handle this?
Having a team member who has a tendency to dominate can try your patience.  Not taking offense when you are overlooked takes genuine humility from the Spirit.
You can help your leader by saving your own questions and suggestions for a time after practice. Sometimes, when the leader is sharing his/ or her vision or choreography and one person interjects to ask a clarifying question or to share ideas, it opens a floodgate of questions and comments that might eventually have been addressed. If you can hold off until your leader has finished or even wait to talk to him/her after rehearsal, you help create a more peaceful atmosphere in rehearsal.
Also, do a quick heart check to make sure your frustration isn’t coming from pride. Can you lay down your desire to be heard? Trust the Lord to bring about His purposes through you. I’ve seen this principle hold true in many areas of my life. When I’ve had a burning desire to put forward my own idea, plan, take on an issue, but the door has seemed closed to do this. When I have taken the issue to God in prayer and laid it at his feet, He has surprised me by. To me, this is an example of James 1:xxx, “Humble yourself under the Mighty hand of God, and He will lift you up in due time.
If, over time, and after you have prayed about it, the issue persists and so do your feelings, take your dance leader out for coffee or lunch. Share with you how this person’s behavior is affecting you and how you feel about it. Be respectful and be vulnerable. It is possible that what you are feeling she also has also noticed. It may be that by you humbly sharing your heart about it, you will validate what she already sensed but needed confirmation on in order to act. Ask her if there is anything you can do to help.
Read tomorrow to hear some practical ideas about how to encourage men to participate on the team. These ideas have come from more experienced leaders than I and from other men themselves. You’ll go away with some ideas you can use.


Helping the Child who Loves Performance over Worship

performance vs worshipHave you ever had a student on your team that didn’t seem to get the heart of worship?

Have you had a student who struggles to catch on but isn’t willing to work to learn?

Have you had a student whom you have questioned whether she should continue on the team?

Read on to hear about my experience with a student like that and how God led me to respond.

You have a team member, a young girl who loves to dress up and dance in front of people, but she doesn’t really seem to get worship yet.  She resists working hard in rehearsal. As a result, when dancing, she didn’t know her part well. She has to watch others and appears nervous and self conscious. Even so, she is eager to be on the team.

I had this happen several years ago and was encouraged to discourage this child from participating on the worship team. I considered that, but because she really wanted to be on the team and because her mother, who was also on the team, had such a heart for worship that she really sought to impart to her daughter, I felt I needed to try to work with her.

My experience with this child prompted me to be more deliberate with my whole team in calling them to worship and minister and preparing them to do this. I clarified my expectations of dancers in our covenant (see earlier post).

In addition, I increased the time I spent praying for and with my team and the time we spent preparing spiritually for dance presentations. I asked everyone to be reading scripture daily and meditating on the words to the songs. I was more intentional about keeping the vision before the team, a vision to minister and worship so that God can work in people’s hearts.

I also guarded my own thoughts towards this child. I would say to myself over and over, “___________ is going to be worshipful and graceful when we dance.”

On the practical side, I adjusted my rehearsal times so that the children’s rehearsals were shorter than the adults, and sometimes were separate. I spoke to her mother and asked her to make sure the girl had a book to read if she needed to stay for the adult portion. Sometimes I gave her a task to do to be helpful during this time, like holding the camera while we recorded portions of the dance. And, finally, I had a mother who offered to bring a simple healthy snack to rehearsals. Giving the children a short break and food to eat, helped her stamina.

dance team solutions
Click image for more information.

This child really grew in her understanding of worship and ministry. In addition, she began taking a dance class outside of dance team, which helped her technique. The biblical principle for me was love, which bears all things and believes all things.

A fantastic resource for team related issues is the book Team Terrificus, by Lynn Hayden. She asks questions like this and many more that will help you solve team related issues by practicing the fruit of the Spirit and common sense wisdom.

How about you? How have you responded to children (or adults) on your team who seem to enjoy performing, but do not yet have a heart for worship?

Please share in the comments section (at the beginning of the post).

Read tomorrow to hear how do deal with a difficult teammate.