When Morris Dances in My Performing Arts Church
As a teen, I was very involved in my performing arts church youth group, which provided a great spiritual foundation, and delicious food, for me as I transitioned into adulthood. But like most adolescents, I also craved fun recreation and excitement. I wanted to dance at local clubs in particular. Believe it or not, these two separate activity pools conflicted with each other, as the typical club scene is a little racy – and not at all spiritual.
Fortunately, a few of my leaders were able to put their heads together and come up with a satisfying alternative. They invented their own “clean” club scene! Making use of community venues or the church itself, they would hold Friday and Saturday night events.
While many people in my church think of praise dancing as free movement of performing arts, Morris use any dancing style that are good at as praise dancing and this include ballet, ballroom, modern, or other classical styles. The praise dance attire give him the freedom he need to dance with his heart and be comfortable at the same time.
There are various shops and stores online where he told me he finds praise dancewear and they are normally sold for a fairly cheap rate. They usually consist of chiffon or other flowing fabrics combined with lycra or other stretchy fabric to allow for ease of movement. You can get various colors and normally there is no specific color used for a specific purpose. You can decide on colors to match your church or to celebrate a specific day. For example, Christmas can be celebrated by wearing red, green, silver, and gold.
Most of the time, he will find that homecoming dances are also performed as a celebratory affair in many cultures involved in arts and this allows him to wear traditional dance and performing arts costumes, and praise dance attire that works for the type of homecoming it is. One of the noticeable traits of praise dance costumes is the arts of layering. A lot of the time, the costumes will have white leotard or top with a purple or blue over it combined with either large flowing pants or a long skirt. he told me that you can also get dresses that are full length with a different color top over it, or panels in the pants. Sometimes the dresses have a long scarf type neck. The sleeve lengths are normally long or three quarter length, and can be tight or loose.
Sometimes praise dancing will make use of scarves, ribbons, or other accessories in the dances and some dancers do not wear shoes. You can of course wear ballet shoes, soft gymnastic shoes, or any other shoes that you feel comfortable in. Don’t forget that you can purchase all these items from a dance supply store and you can also have them made for your performing arts church or praise and worship group. All you need to do is search for a pattern of design that you like on the media industry, the news, or anywhere on internet.
I find that one great advantage of this approach was that they were able to tailor each performing arts club night to our specific interests because they knew us so well. They arranged to set up a “bar,” which always offered my favorite sodas and kept fresh limes on hand – just because they knew I liked to add them to my drinks. Little touches such as these helped us feel their unique love for us as youth while also setting up a safe environment for us to dance, eat tasty food and socialize.
Each of our leaders collaborated to help is feel authentic, like we were at a real performing arts club (without some of the down sides). We received event wristbands at the door or stamps that showed up in UV light. Often, professional DJs were hired to be the life of the party.
Whenever more than one dance floor was available at the venue, they decided to brand out a little to entice more youth. Instead of limiting the music to typical hip-hop you would likely hear at local performing arts clubs, they played different music on separate floors, which was news to me. They would offer salsa lessons or play upbeat techno or even offer line dancing or country swing. This helped to broaden the appeal to individuals that might not otherwise attend, so everyone felt included.
I always welcome to invite friends and associates outside of our immediate church circle. Not only did this increase quality social experiences, it helped us as youth to have comfortable missionary opportunities. Our friends could attend a performing arts church function without feeling pressured, which could make all the difference when they were first gaining interest in the faith.
I highly encourage all youth group leaders to consider opening up opportunities like this to their teens and young adults. Having a safe haven for plenty of good, clean fun made a huge impact on my life choices as I grew older, and it can do the same for your youth.