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Thursday, January 29, 2015

So You Got Me Teaching Dance : Part One

Praise dance is about expression. 

The best way to express yourself is to find a song that truly touches you ...then dance from your heart.

That sounds simple doesn't it ?  

Only it's not that simple 
especially when you are trying to teach kids.

Kids these days are getting mixed messages all the time even in the church.  They see mom and dad and know that they ain't perfect and they see the "fakes" at church.  Parent's tell kids one thing, live another and threaten the kids if they don't keep up the charade.

And people in the church wonder what is wrong with kids... 

I'll tell you what's wrong..... WE ARE !!!

We want our kids to be in a relationship with God, we demand they act right and we threaten them with HELL ... all the while our relationship with God ain't all that good, we don't act right and we seem to have no fear of going to HELL ourselves.  And we think they are going to listen???

You may ask, what does all this have to do with praise dance ???  


Kids praise dance is not about kids dancing 
and parents being proud. 

Praise dance comes from praise in a persons heart for the God their praise is glorifying. 

And praise dance from children is no different.  

So, why am I speaking so strongly? ... Because the majority of kids that I have dealt with are kids from the streets with street smarts. They have learned to look straight through the "masks" we try to wear and get to the true you.  They don't trust easy and they despise "fake" Christianity.  Don't be mistaken though, the kids in the church can see straight through too but they are more likely to not speak about it.  

So how do we bring the two together?  Let me answer that in the next section.

So, Lord, you've got me teaching praise dance, now what?  

Some of the kids I was teaching clearly did not want to be there. How was I supposed to reach them? Still others had skills but no respect for anyone, especially not a short, overweight "white" woman. They didn't trust anyone and they tried everything.  Talk about a tough crowd.  These kids could be ruthless with their verbal jabs at one another and everyone wanted to correct everyone else.  


I needed to start off with upbeat music and the choreography had to be their age or better.  I was going to have to push them but always remember to praise them for any positive changes I saw in them. Before I could get them to express a praise for God, I had to teach them how to take praise and eventually how to give it.  But most of all.........  I HAD TO LIVE IT.  I had to live a genuine walk to the best of my ability and when I failed I couldn't hide it or excuse it away.

These children got the benefit of my practice for I had to do these very things with my own children. I had to be willing to tell my own children I was sorry and truly apologize when I was wrong or out of line.  I had to teach them how to let go of the hurts of the past and realize that God has never mistreated them.  I had to teach them how to see God's presence around them at all times.  I had to break down walls I'd been taught to hold up and open up myself... they had to know that God and God alone deserved their praise. They had to know that I would fail them but God who loves them more than I ever could will never fail them.  In essence, I could not teach them what I did not know.  

I had to walk the road before them, 
letting go of my past and taking hold of God and not letting go.  

From this place their praise began to flow. 

As an example I'd like to share with you "Still Her Little Child", a Ray Boltz's song performed by Kathryn.  This is my oldest daughter, who is now 23.   She choreographed and danced this song.  It gives me chills and brings me to tears every time I watch it.  Here she shows that she has learned to express her inmost feelings in a way that honors and glorifies God.

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