Foundation for Liturgical Dance Ministries
Introduction:What is Liturgical Dance
© 2012 Katina Davenport
Liturgical dance, often called praise dance, is an expression of worship through dance. It exemplifies actions and meanings behind songs of praise and songs of worship. As liturgical dancers we often see things in a more demonstrative way. We can choreograph and put together movements that express the heart of each and every song.
Being a liturgical dancer has become more popular as ministries are now allowing for this more expressive type of worship. Many would see this as a way to express their talent or to become opportunists for exposure. This is not the plan or purpose of dance ministry. As God gives us the gift to dance we return it back to Him first, then if there is an opportunity to minister then we do that under His leading.
Basic Principles of Dance
As the knowledge of praise and worship through dance increases it is important to note the basic principles of dance in general.
Dance is the bodily movement of a series of steps set to music. The elements of dance are time, space, and energy. The use of time is following the metric rhythm of the music so that each movement goes with the time signature or timing of the song. Space is the placement of dancers on stage or dancing area that can make movement easy or difficult. Spacing is dependent on the vision of the choreographer and the space of the stage or dancing area. In other words spacing is how close or how far other dancers are from you. Energy is the force of the movement or lack thereof. Energy can be sharp movements, slow, soft, dull, or explosive.
Understanding these elements will allow for more creativity and understanding of dance as it relates to dance of a spiritual nature.