In many Christian churches, dancing is one of the ways in which church members worship. Praise dance can be choreographed or free-form, but it is almost always an organized activity that allows its members to express their spirituality through movement. It can be performed in casual clothing or costumes, with or without props, but its focus is on worship and expression.
Open your praise dance with prayer, scripture reading or other form of worship. Focusing on the spiritual side of your activity is what separates praise dance from other types of dance.
Warm up for several minutes by walking, performing jumping jacks, jogging or otherwise moving in your dance space. Praise dance, like any form of exercise, requires a period of warm-up. You may perform this step to music.
Listen to the praise music of your choice and try to find the beat. Most songs have a 1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4 beat, though some have a 1-2-3, 1-2-3 beat. If you can't find the beat, follow the sound of the drums or the strumming of the guitar.
Move from side to side, swinging your hands or arms. Many people choose to pray or sing to the music to maintain their sense of worship. Let the music lead you --there is no wrong way to worship.
Stretch and warm up in comfortable clothing.
Review basic dance moves that will be included in the dance. This may include walking or hopping forwards and backwards, leaps or combination steps. This may be incorporated in your warm-up.
Find the beat of the song. Choreographed praise dance requires more planning and discipline than free dance. The beat will help you choreograph each step of the dance in a manageable way.
Choreograph your dance in pieces, usually 10 to 30 seconds at a time. Practice until each dance member feels comfortable in his or her position.
Perform your dance in the location of your choice, incorporating costumes with flags, streamers or other props if you choose.
- ['Praise music (live or recorded)', 'Empty room or cleared space', 'Comfortable clothing or costumes', 'Flags or streamers', 'Bible or inspirational literature (optional)']
Remember that in many churches, praise dance is more about religious worship and less about perfect technique. The emphasis in praise dance is almost always on spirituality.
Like other forms of exercise, praise dance should only be performed if you are physically capable of strenuous activity.
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