What do you do when you are asked to choreograph but feel your plate is already full?
Is it okay to reuse choreography from a dance?
How do you take a solo dance and turn it into a group dance?
This year, while I have been far more silent on my blog than I would like, I’ve had the joy of being very active in choreographing and dancing, in teaching live classes, leading an online study group, and choreographing for another church.
If I someone had presented me with all the assignments at once and asked me if I could take them on this year, I likely would have declined a couple of them.
However, with each opportunity that came my way, I felt the inner “yes” and went ahead, and for each assignment, I have been given what I need to complete it. More than that, I have experienced a synergy between the assignments that has been a joy and a delight.
So, I want to share my stories with you so and give you some tips that will enable you to, under the Lord’s leading, complete more than you think is possible. I also hope it will help you see how the Lord is constantly at work, weaving together the details of our lives into His larger tapestry. Continue reading “When You are Juggling Choreography Assignments”
Adding depth and interest to your choreography is simple, but it is not easy. I think each participant at last Saturday’s choreography workshop with Marlita Hill in Pasadena would echo that sentiment.
Going into the workshop, Marlita assured that we would learn how to turn simple movements into creative phrases that fill the space, song, and stage and communicate God’s heart. She also said we would learn how to communicate our choreography to others so that they can easily and effectively follow. We did both of those things.
Marlita walked us through a series of exercises that taught a slice of Laban’s Analysis of Movement in a way that was simpler than anything else I’ve heard before. It made complex choreography teaching accessible. But it was not easy.
We worked hard. Each exercise called us to work harder, dig deeper, and stretch further. The results were very satisfying. Each of us walked away having choreographed a short dance that told a story about who we are.
In addition, one of us had the opportunity to teach her dance to the rest of us. Marlita coached her on how to teach dancers to turn (Who among us hasn’t asked our students to turn, and then stepped back and watched the turns go in varying directions, losing our unity at that point?), travel, and replicate timing in a way that preserved the integrity of the dance and the team unity.
So, thank you to those who prayed for this workshop. We felt your prayers and they were effective. And thank you to each woman who participated, who took risks, dug deeper, and shared their movements with us.
Watch this 3-minute video recap. Just watching this short clip, you’ll get ideas for how to take your own simple movements and add depth, interest, and power.
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”
Do you ever get a worship song just days before you need to dance to it?
Would your worship leader like you to dance more often in praise and worship than you feel your team can prepare for?
Do your team members need a chance to spread their wings and lead?
If so, you will love learning how to use what Lynn Hayden calls “planned spontaneity” to choreograph a powerful and unique dance in a very short time.
In the video that follows, I explain how I planned out a worship dance for a team of five or more dancers – planning out the props, colors, formations, and basic flow – that, with leadership from different team members, they could implement with just these simple instructions. Continue reading “Choreographing a Dance on Short Notice”
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”