I have been a Christian Dance Practitioner for many years, drawing on a varied range of dance disciplines as well as concepts such as Authentic Movement and Dynamic Imagery in my ministry.
Dance is a powerful means of expression – it makes the internal external. When that expression is witnessed and held, it becomes communication. In Scripture, The Psalms tell us to praise God with dancing, Miriam led dancing singing and praise with a tambourine and David danced before the Ark with all his might. Many references in the Bible to lively worship have meanings related to physical movement – commonly translated as ‘rejoice’. When we dance in worship we have communication from us to God (worship) and from God to us (prophecy), and we also communicate God to each other.
Because movement is non verbal it bypasses the reason or intellect, and goes straight to the emotion or spirit. This makes it moving and cathartic (it enables those watching to experience what is being expressed without participating.) Through dance we can bless and encourage our brothers and sisters and intercede for them in a heartfelt and moving way.
There are many ways to use dance in worship – a lot depends on the physical space and the style of worship, also the involvement of the minister and worship leader. I have led groups to dance in the most formal of Anglican settings and the liveliest Pentcostal services ….. and everything in between. There are many, many possibilities to suit different applications. For example, we can use choreographed or improvised (not the same as spontaneous!) movement, we can even move to text rather than music. My creative movement workshops explore ways of using directed and improvised movement to minister to others and ourselves. Then of course, we can use flags, ribbons, scarves etc to emphasise or enhance our message. In today’s modern worship we use many tools and props to express ourselves, including streamers and ribbons, staves, and flags and banners. My flags and ribbons workshop will help you understand the symbolism and significance of this type of worship, and its role in spiritual warfare.
I can also tailor a workshop depending on the intended participants – for example whether they are looking to set up or lead a group, or whether they want to ‘taste and see’ for themselves.