Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Another celebration through dance

Our church had a dance festival, last weekend and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The children and young people had a real enjoyable time and hosted by Hosanna Dance Ministry, they succeeded in presenting an excellent demonstration of what is possible in terms of Dance Ministry in our churches, but more-so in developing our children young people.

I want to probe deeper into the possbilities that exists, for faith communities and youth organisations. A few comments would be enough for now:
1) Dance ministry, as we have seen this weekend, is not simply about entertainment, it is ministry. Ministry, relates to service, giving up of ourselves and relates to compassionate caring..its more then simply an 'item' in a concert.
2) Dance is rooted in holistic understanding of development or growth. Here the whole of a person is involved, i.e. the emotional, the body, the mind. We have come long way since the time where it was only the knowledge of people were valued. If I pass the exam, then I can become an adult, in the church, in the community, in the workplace. With the emergence of concepts like emotional intellegence, we slowly become aware of a bigger reality.. the appreciation of our integrated development, is demonstrated where children and young people dance and laugh, where they appreciate the power of music, beat and play.
3)If dance is about sexuality and an expression of the fact that we are also sexual, then we should explore this relationship. For too long our communities, espescially our faith communities did not want to ackowledge this reality. In the meantime, young people discovered their sexuality, explored it (on their own) and, in many cases hoped for some-one to guide them (or at least accompany) in making sense of these exiting discoveries. Dance provides a space for exploring this and for talking about it.
4) Dance ministries should be integrated in the centre of communities experiences, rituals and practices. In churches, we should seek to integrate it in our weekly worship events-not as a side show or (again) an item, but flowing out of and into what the community does and experience.
5) Lasly, I would hope that dance ministry should not only be about enacting the ancient forms of dance. These remain special and important. We also need to allow our newer generations, in terms of current youth cultures, to creatively explore new vistas, new styles and genres, to explore the contextualisation of the old cultural forms, with the new.

This is an exiting area for us all to explore, as it opens up new possibilities for, at a deeper level our 'spiritual'(?) development.
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