Praise dance workshops are growing in popularity all over the United States and internationally as many church denominations become more open to dance as part of worship during services and beyond.
Praise dance, also known as liturgical dance, is a genre of dance performed by Christians, usually women - though many dance troupes also have male members. Dress is extremely modest, and the moves are simple, fluid, and usually expressive or used to interpret the lyrics or mood of a particular religious song. Like any style of dance, praise dance can vary greatly depending upon the church denomination and region of the world. It is usually reverent and creative praise dance attire such as colored dresses are worn. Props such as flags and streamers may be used. Often an accompanying live worship team performs the music although recorded music is also common and acceptable.
Why Visit Praise Dance Workshops?
A workshop accomplished several goals. First and foremost, if you are new to the world of praise dance and will be either heading up a team or would like to get involved with one, a workshop can brief you on the basics, provide you with some choreography and music ideas, and allow you to meet other teachers or participants that you may use as a resource later on down the road.
Workshops can also be helpful for long-time worship dancers who are looking to update their skills, stay in shape and up-to-date with the latest in the world of praise dance.
Finally, workshops are good for entire teams to attend together, young and old dancers alike. This allows dancers to get outside of their comfort zone. Many dance teams get set in their ways as they spend a lot of hours together in rehearsals and performance; it is often beneficial to create fellowships with other dancers in the same genre, learn to grow spiritually both as a team and individually, and participate in classes and activities that can be brought back to your team at home, which will keep you fresh, relevant and reverent.
Finding Praise Workshops
You can find praise dance workshops all throughout the United States. Try the workshop listing on ChristianDance.com to start, or check with local churches you know have large dance ministries. The California Dance Network also connects Christian dancers together in that state, and many regions of the U.S. have similar websites and programs.
There are many workshops out there that claim to teach unique and God-led methods of praise dancing. How can you be sure you are investing your time and money into one that will serve you well? Check on the Internet to see if there are any dance websites or message boards complaining about a past event put on by the workshop ministry you plan to attend. Word of mouth is the best way to find out the pros and cons of a particular conference, so keep your eyes and ears open when browsing the Internet or interacting with others within your extended praise dance network and personal friend circles.
A quality praise dance event that includes learning opportunities also should not have an outrageous cost attached to it. Acceptable fees are under $100 in most instances, unless they are providing everything from airfare to room and board, in which case the cost will be much higher.
Finally, check out the schedule ahead of time to see if it will be applicable to you and/or your praise dance team. Do they offer a diverse selection of dance classes? Modern praise teams are not pigeon-holed in traditional liturgical dance moves alone - many teams also minister through ballet, modern, lyrical and hip hop dance. Attend a workshop with diversity when at all possible. Also, be sure your skill level will mesh well with the teaching, and that you are age and gender appropriate for the workshop you are hoping to attend.
Lastly, research the background of the instructors and directors - you can only reach as far as their experience level; ensure ahead of time they have the skill set you desire.
Workshops can help you hone your talents and develop them further. Meet new people and learn new things at a workshop devoted to praise dance.