Improve Attendance at Praise Dance Practice

dance leaders questionLast week I asked you to share what team related issues you are facing. I got some great questions, many of them expressed by multiple people, showing that they are common challenges for team leaders.

Over the next week, I’m going to respond to five questions. I’ve sought to  guide with biblical principles as well as to share from my own experience.

This first question was the most common question I received, so I’ll start with it?

1. How do you get children to attend praise dance practice regularly? 

The biblical principle here is faithfulness. It’s calling each other to let your “‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No,’” as Jesus instructed us in Matthew 5:37. Having both parents and children sign a written covenant before joining the team and/or before beginning rehearsals for a special occasion really helps with attendance. Faithfulness is important for children and parents. As God is faithful, His children need to grow in faithfulness. This means keeping the commitments we make to each other.

dancer's covenant
Having a covenant with our dancers calls them to faithfulness and helps them to know clearly what that looks like.

In our dancer’s covenant, I detail how many of the rehearsals a dancer must attend to be take part in a dance. (For example, they must attend 8 out of 10 or 9 out of 12 in order to participate. I leave room for them to miss a couple, understanding that life sometimes necessitates that.) I ask them to prayerfully consider the commitment before agreeing to dance. I also sign this covenant.

I make other commitments to them as well. I commit to pray for them, to prepare for our rehearsals and to teach biblically. So, they understand that we are committing to each other.

I also communicate with parents about my heart on this matter. I emphasize to the parents that I want the children to know the dance well enough to be free to truly worship. If there is a child who misses rehearsals early on, I’ll make a point to check in with them, seeing if anything is wrong.

In addition, I try to think practically, making sure my rehearsal times are family friendly times. When it’s possible to piggy back rehearsal time to a time when adults are at church too, that helps. This shows respect for the family schedule and the parents’ time and is what I appreciate as a parent “And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.” Luke 6:31

I’d love to hear from you. Please share in the comments section (at the beginning of the post).

If your team has a dancer’s covenant, how has that helped with team attendance?

What other strategies/approaches would you suggest to a leader to help with attendance?

Watch for these upcoming posts:

Thursday: Holding together Technique Training, Choreography and Spirit-Led Worship

Friday: Helping the Child who Loves Performing More than Worshiping

Saturday: Dealing with the Dominant Team Member

Sunday: Making Your Dance Team Male-Friendly