There are many important elements to consider in dance ministry. I don’t want to minimize any aspect of dance ministry from the rehearsal covenant to prayer and choreography preparation. However, it’s important to think through the 4 most important things that you will need to communicate to your pastoral staff regarding dance. That’s the focus of this blog. Here they are:
1. Target Your Choreography (i.e. “Have a Point”)
Create choreography that communicates a biblical concept. Identify your choreography target prior to starting choreography. Don’t assume that you know it; otherwise, you will often default and diverge into “movement stuff.” Be respectful to pastoral staff as you sign the leadership covenant.
Set up committee members to preview the dance before it is presented.Send out the preview letter using the criteria explained earlier.Give a preview sheet for each reviewer to fill out and turn in. Have at least two people preview the dance. File preview sheets to keep for future reference.
Not only does this structure keep dance accountable to communicate the identified target, but it is also protective of dancers and choreographers. As with all church staff, there will be individuals who criticize the arts(even when they communicatewell). When a dance has been previewed, a dance ministry has other strong voices to affirm it.
Dress with modest garments and make movement choices that glorify God and allow for worship at the same time. Think carefully about garment guidelines and costume choices. Our culture is increasingly immodest. Do not include choreography choices that are inappropriately erotic in nature.
4. Pastoral Education
Educate pastoral staff and the congregation about dance ministry. Choose to be submissive to the leadership perspective above you. Win trust by listening to them and meeting their objectives. Don’t argue to win. Slowly coach them to your point of view.If the doors for dance ministry are closed, pray and be content. But continue to pray. “Making it happen” disallows trust in a sovereign God and will suck you into carnal reaction and anger instead of godly response. Hold dance ministry loosely. Don’t let it become an idol framed by your ego.
Of course, I am assuming that you are directed in your dance ministry by the Holy Spirit and by your on-going relationship with Jesus! That’s the most important essential for your personal life. And, speaking of personal life, let me list some upcoming events that I would love to share with you(and have you support me through prayer):
a. Next week I go to Las Vegas from August 1-4 to attend the National Dance Teacher Web Conference with Leslie Scott[Edify(www.YPAD4change.org)/YPAD(www.YPAD4change.org)]at the Red Rock Resort. I will focus on sharing and supporting the message about the hyper-sexualization of children in dance.
b. On Monday August 8, I will attend the first gathering for the 1st YPAD Summit to address this issue.
c. On Sundays August 21 and 26, I will continue to teach the remaining sessions that prepare dancers to choreograph at their churches. My newly released book ‘Dance is Prayer in Motion: Soul to Sole Choreography for Christian Dance Ministry’ provides the foundation for these sessions.
d. All through August pray that the materials I will need to speak at the National Conference on Sexual Exploitation in September will be completed. This includes a new logo for this issue[DA:NCE which stands for Dance Awareness: No Child Exploited], a powerpoint presentation for anyone in the country to download that can be used to educate community members, parents, and dance studio owners about the hyper-sexualization of children in dance[This presentation also focuses on the many benefits of dance for children when it is designed in an age-appropriate manner], a 5 minute video, and a brochure.
e. Finally, the NCOSE conference which will be held in Houston from September 28 through Oct 1 alongside a Worship Workshop that will be held at Trinity Church in Redlands on Saturday Oct 1. I won’t be at the workshop myself but I plan to set up a dance ministry teacher to teach 2 sessions while I am gone.
A lot is going on and I am energized and excited………so pray for me as God leads. As I enter into my late ‘60’s and anticipate the entrance of my 70’s, I want to keep my life focused and purposeful. The scripture below captures my heart.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.