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planning spontaneous dance
Topic Started: Apr 22 2007, 03:43 PM (1,416 Views)
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"more is more"

Seems like a contradiction--the planning of spontaneous dance---but bear with me for just a bit.....

I suppose the ideal in the area of bring spontanous dance (and I'm broadly defining dance here to include any kind of expressive movement, whether purely dance, or enhanced with various worship extensions) would be that at the moment an inspiration strikes in the worship that one would move out and walk out the inspiration in freedom and with abandon.

However, we aren't often in that kind of ideal situation. That calls for worship leaders who understand each other and will support each other as the message unfolds--a music leader who knows when to keep going to support the visual message that is not yet fully given, or when to gracefully end that segment and move on. It is very painful to be the physical presenter of the visual message and have the music support either cut you off in mid "sentence" or after you've given your whole message to keep going and make you "vamp" with nothing to say, or worst of all....stop completely and leave you standing out in the middle of the platform with your flesh hanging out. The kind of cooperation needed for truly spontaneous worship movement takes a lot of time of working together, a like worship revelation, and a great deal of mutual trust.

So most dance ministers are left with figuring out how much of their message they can bring and not overstep the situation they are in.

Here's where I want to talk about preparing for the spontaneous. It can be done. There is usually a time when there is a run-through of service music in most churches. If you are a movement minister, it is very advantageous to be there for that run-through and allow the Lord to prepare you for spontaneous ministry through what I call the improvisational theater of the mind.

This is a very different technique than actually dancing and experimenting during the run-through time. If you are actually dancing, you are concentrating on the physical and the options that could come to you are sidelined because your focus is on that physical thing you are doing at that moment. What I have found is that if you are still during this time, and you let the music wash over you---countless quick-flashing images can start to come to you that would express themes running through the music, or ways to express a familiar song that are different from what you've done in the past. In the improvisational theater of the mind, you can have several different interpretive threads going all at once from which one might emerge or morph later into what you actually do during the song. Your mind can jump to new thoughts and then back again, the Lord can speak new things to you, ---it is the wonderful mystery of the sanctified imagination.

You also have the opportunity to experience the flow that the worship set will create. You cannot get this sense just by reading through a song list...it is established by the way the musicians handle the transitions and interpretations of the songs they are doing that morning. This is invaluable information, because it tells you where the build and the climax of the music set will be, and you can craft your additions so that what you do is compatible with that flow and supports it. Yes, there might be a song that would be good to interpret...BUT....maybe the next song would be even better, and have more impact. But you can't know that without having some awareness of the flow planned for the morning.

When we prophesy in a physical way, the language we use is derived from our experiences and our own revelational understanding of God and how He communicates. The clearer we can make that language, the more people can be blessed by what we bring to the worship experience in our churches. So some time to think through and plan our "speech" can help clarify our language....and bring logic to the progression of any presentations we are moved to make. And looking at the whole worship time as a progressive message helps us not to automatically jump up because "it's my dance song." We have the battle plan, and we can choose and shoot our arrows at the precise time they will be most effective.
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