Today’s post is the GRAND FINALE for choreography rabbit trails that take you away from creating meaningful ministry choreography. Remember to keep the main thing, the main thing. And, by way of review, what is the main thing? It’s the choreography target for the ministry dance that you are crafting in movement:)
Rabbit trail warning 8
Prepare carefully for the first rehearsal. It’s a waste of your time and participants’ time if you don’t come to the first rehearsal with a completed inductive analysis of the text and a structural way to label what you hope to do. A conceptual target and a structural plan will up the chances of successful choreography design for any ministry project. If you’re not up to this kind of preparation, perhaps choreography is not your call. Obviously, you, along with the group, will pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance, but don’t use that as an excuse not to be ready for the first rehearsal.
Rabbit trail warning 9
Craft genesis praise poses, genesis phrases, and genesis explorations carefully. Unless you are off conceptually in your genesis descriptions, be content with what participants create. Use or don’t use the genesis material as God leads. You will grow artistically as you choreograph and participants will expand in their dance choices as they begin to understand the genesis vocabulary.
In genesis sessions, I always have my digital or phone video camera juiced up and ready to go. If I don’t tape the results of genesis, the participants will forget what they design, and I will too. After the first rehearsal, review the recording to see what works and what doesn’t work.
Rabbit trail warning 10
Do not wait to put the entire dance together until the fourth rehearsal (or later). Do it at the end of the second rehearsal. This system will protect you and your dancers from stress as you continue the preparation process. Dancers worship Jesus when they know the choreography from start to finish. The learning curve is at the beginning of the process. As rehearsals progress, there will be an increasing attitude of worship along with movement clarity.
Rabbit trail warning 11
At a movement roadblock, think about the identified conceptual target and return to it for movement inspiration. Otherwise, you will start creating “movement stuff” (you know, the stuff that you use in every dance when you don’t know what to do). As you look to look to the Lord of the dance, the choreography will unfold. Watch God work in your heart and in the hearts of participants. Enjoy the worship and the dance that God has given you. As you look up to Jesus, rely on Him, and give thanks for His leading. Make sure that you initiate the preview committee to come in to see the dance before it is presented. And listen to them with humility and respect.
At the end of the rehearsal process, the dance must translate from soul to sole to be prayer-in-motion; this fuses together a presentation level of conceptual communication and technical excellence that demonstrates the reality of faith in Jesus. Based on the six steps of Soul to Sole Choreography, Christian dance ministry can access the heart and can serve as a portal into the soul. Through celebration, worship, healing, and teaching, the non-verbal language of dance will morph into the literal embodiment of faith.
Ann Stevenson once wrote, “Dance, as we have known it, is a beautiful art form that can pierce the heart, convict and convince, either for good or for evil.” Make sure that you invite the Lord Jesus into the choreography process or you will use dance ministry to create rabbit trails instead of a ministry dance that transforms hearts.
My prayers are with you.