Praise Offerings Dance Camp Day 4 highlights/reflections: Today we focused on our theme verse, Romans 12:1, and unpacked what it might look/feel like to be a living sacrifice. In journals, students wrote/drew what they thought it meant, we danced it, and then they for a chance to really apply it by pushing through the hard physical work that it takes to learn and polish a dance. For me, it’s an art/learning process to know when to push them to keep working and when to give them breaks. Allowing one student at a time the chance to sit out and watch the dance, offering critique, is one thing I have found helpful.
Today was the first day of praise dance camp. I forgot to bring a camera besides my phone (which I needed for music), so no pictures. It was actually lovely to just be present and not be trying to take pics (although I will take them tomorrow, because I love to have them later to document the time and learn from). For today, here are my reflections:
1) I love getting to lead this time. I’m sure I enjoy it as much or more than the students. It is such a gift to have time set aside to dance and worship. It gives me a chance to move/praise away any stress I am carrying, to be free, to smile, and to focus on the kids and Jesus.
2) Free worship is one of the favorite parts of camp most valuable for everyone. It was beautiful to watch the girls just pour themselves into dance.
3) Kids love dancing with props. A strategy I’ve learned over time is to start small. We began with streamers today and they loved them. Once they discover the larger streamers, flags, the billow cloths, they love them even more and only want to use them. But there is something different to learn and to say with the different props. I have to remember to be the teacher, be prayerful and firm about what we will use each day.
4) God’s Spirit is in me. He is in each of us who call Jesus our Lord. I prepare, but I can also rest knowing that His creative Spirit is in me and will lead me in our time. I don’t have to know every detail of what I’m going to do when I walk in the room. As a friend once said, “Leave room for God.”
I’ll be sharing updates each day, so watch for them.
Have you ever had your worship dance class turn to chaos?
Have you ever tried to teach a group of children who weren’t interested in what you had to share?
Have you ever wondered how experienced teachers seem to effortlessly engage children and hold their interest when it seems like a mystery to you?
Have you ever failed at something you thought you were good at?
I have all done each of those things recently. In this post, I’m going to share my experience and what I learned that is helping me move forward.
First, the background:
Because I’ve put my worship dance class lessons on paper and make them available to others, people think I’m an expert on working with children. Sometimes I start thinking this myself, which is, of course, dangerous. As it says in Proverbs 16:18, Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
Let me tell you about my fall. Continue reading “When Worship Class turns to Chaos”
Of all the praise dance classes I’ve taught children over the year, this year’s praise dance camp brought me a particular joy. This group engaged with the spiritual content with more depth of understanding than I have experienced before. Their answers reflected that they have been taught to love and worship the Lord at home and that they truly listened and received the lessons God gave me for them.
In this post, I share several that blessed me and a 3-minute highlight video that brings these comments to life. Continue reading “Praise Dance Camp highlights video”
Do you have a child who loves to dance?
Are you looking for meaningful summer activities for your child?
Would you like to see your child connect their love for dance with a love for the Lord?
Then this camp is for you.
Psalm 141 instructs us to “Make His Praise Glorious.” In this week-long summer dance camp, you child will learn to do just that. We will focus on using flags, streamers, and billow cloths to offer our praise to Jesus.
Here’s what your child has to look forward to:
Monday: Words are Not Enough. Children will build a worship vocabulary using expressive sign and worship flags.
Tuesday: Not Empty but Full – Divine Choreography Begins in our Hearts. Children will learn the difference between empty and full worship dance and how to use simple choreography techniques to create beautiful movements.
Wednesday: Colors Speak – Pay attention to Meaning. Children will learn to use props with a purpose, as tools, not toys.
Thursday: Beautiful Warriors – Our Weapon is Praise. Children will learn the biblical significance of waving banners and will learn to use billow cloths to create glorious expressions of praise.
Friday: Ministering through Dance – Putting it All Together. Children will put the techniques and lessons we’ve learned together and will share a worshipful dance to minister to their parents.
Each child registered before June 20 will receive a set of beautiful worship flags to keep.
Who: Children ages 7 and up
Where: Magnolia Dance Space 4 Esther Street
When: June 27 – July 1, 10 AM-12 PM
Cost: $75 until June 13, $80 regular rate, $85 at the door
From now until July 7, I’ve lowered the price by $10 and I’m setting all the profits aside for a scholarship fund for the Holy Visitation Dance Conference in Sherwood.
I want to give you an incentive to purchase it now, and I want to raise money for several dancers who want to attend this conference and need the Lord to provide the funds. You can help me be part of answering their prayer.
Use this book for your dance ministry team, kids’ church program, or your visual arts programs for children. With this book, children will discover:
• The Power of a Worshiping Child• How to Build a Vocabulary of Movement by borrowing from sign language to create gestures for 21 worship words
• How to Join the Worship of Heaven by putting Revelation 7 to motion
• The difference between empty worship and full worship that pleases the Lord and blesses others
• How to dance with their faces
• The Purpose of Dance in Worship
• How to use worship to stop the work of the enemy and advance the Kingdom of God.
This 41 page book contains 13 pages of color photos and contains two short videos to supplement the lessons.
You will receive:
* Manual with Ten creative and detailed lesson plans which you can use these immediately to teach children to worship the Lord using dance.
* Video: Building a Vocabulary of Movement: Contains teaching from Amy Tang on the power of using sign language to build a vocabulary of movement, live footage from worship dance class of Amy teaching Lesson 3: Using Sign Language to Tell God’s Stories, and a slideshow of the Visual Dictionary of worship gestures found in the manual. (length – 16 minutes)
* Video: Joining the Worship of Heaven – Revelation 7 Gestures: This video contains phenomenal worship gestures which you can borrow to set Revelation 7:12 in motion. It also contains teaching from Amy Tang on using Revelation as inspiration for worship dances and live footage of Amy teaching Lesson 8: Dancing the Scriptures, Joining in the Worship of Heaven from the manual. (length – 11 minutes)
The creative and detailed lesson plans contain clear descriptions of lesson objectives, materials needed, suggested worship songs, and scriptures supporting each lesson. Also included is a visual dictionary of worship words derived from sign language, and a list of suggested resources for teaching worship dance. Help children use visual arts to worship Jesus.
Click here for a preview of selected pages:
Amy’s book is a wonderful tool for training children and adults in worship dance. The lessons are so creative. Amy gives you clear details on how you can conduct your class. The pictures showing her expressions of worship are beautiful as well. It is a very inspiring must have book. From the first lesson your dancers will have something they have movement they can use. I am just loving using this book! — Nanette Levons, The Glorious Praise Dancers
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
Welcome to part three of this blog series inspired by my local dance team’s stand out performance last weekend. If you haven’t read the first two posts, check them out before diving into this one:
Ten Things Worship Dancers can Learn from the School Dance Team and What I Wish Every Dance Team Member Knew.
As praise dancers, we can learn from the excellence with which these dancers present. As dancers who know Jesus, we have an important message to speak to them. As dance ministry leaders, if we want to reach youth and keep them dancing for Jesus (instead of giving their gifts and their selves away to the world), here are five things we need to heed:
- Young people want to dance. There were 250 students in this performance. Clearly there is a need and a desire for dance leaders and teachers. If you have ever wondered if you are called to reach the youth at your church, take time to pray and listen for that call. There are young people out there who want to dance and are looking for an avenue to develop their gift. Will you help them?
- We need to invest in our own training. There are skilled young dancers out there. If we want a voice in their lives, we need to take the art of dance seriously and invest in our own training. This does not mean we can not speak to them until we can outperform them with our technique. But we need to be growing, learning, and gaining skill. It is our anointing that ultimately will enable us to have an impact on their lives, but having skill gives us credibility as well as something to offer them.
- What you are doing matters. These kids are going to use dance for good or for evil. If we have the chance to plant seeds for righteous dancing, it could change the trajectory of their lives as well as all the lives they will impact through dance.
- Get boys into the act. Women bring beauty, passion, gentleness and refined strength to dance. Men bring strength, humor, power. We are, together, made in the image of God. Dance is more complete, more impactful when you have both men and women dancing. I’m speaking to myself before I’m speaking to anyone else. I’m in my comfort zone with women and young girls. They think like I do, and they dance like I do. It’s comfortable for me to reach them. But this year I’m going to make it my goal to learn to dance with men, to learn from them with the intent that I can bring boys into dance.
- Give your dancers something awesome to wear. The kids I saw dancing must have had a ball changing from costume to costume. Their costumes were fun, beautiful, playful, sassy, exciting, and sometimes provocative, depending on the dance. Now, our standards are not the world’s standards, and we are going to teach our dancers to cover up. I said more about this in my earlier post. Even so, these kids, especially girls, want to look beautiful and feel special. In my children’s dance curriculum, I have a whole lesson on teaching kids the difference between empty (vain) dancing and full (worshipful) dancing. So I’m not talking about catering to their vanity. I’m talking about meeting their God-given desire to be lovely (for girls). You can choose modest garments that are also fun and flattering. Don’t ask them to dress in something that looks like a potato sack. Lucie Poirier says, in her book Dancing for the Endtime Harvest that we are to dance for “beauty and for glory.” For an excellent resource on praise dance garments, I highly recommend Jocelyn Richard’s e-book Garments of Glory.