Introducing Vibeke Kiiskila, founder of Unity Dance Center and host of Worship Dance TV. I had the wonderful pleasure of spending some time talking with her about my journey in worship dance, embodied prayer and creative ministry. You can listen into our conversation here:
Attendees of Healing Care Ministries Essentials Seminar and HCM International Spiritual Direction Cohort often ask me for an outline of motions for a mirroring demonstration I do to the song “You Know Me” by Stephanie Gretzinger. I’ve been asked to videotape it but I hesitate because it is often a profound experience of the participant being felt and known by God. I feel videotaping is an intrusion of that experience.
Mirroring is done to face-to-face and is most powerful with high levels of attunement and empathy from the “minister” to the one being ministered to under the power of the Holy Spirit working through you. It is often used in Dance/Movement Therapy but I have found it to be a powerful tool in spiritual direction and in teaching embodied prayer.
Postures of Prayer & Praise are “outer representations of an inner reality”
In Luke 10, when the lawyer stood up to put Jesus to the test, he asked him how to inherit eternal life. Like a learned rabbi, Jesus turned the question back to the lawyer, who answered:
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind. And love your neighbor as yourself.
Jesus confirmed his answer as true, with a command and a promise: “Do this and you will live.”
When I teach on embodied prayer and worshiping with your whole self (including the often-excluded body), I am often asked where to begin. “EMBODIED” — a 7 day exploration of postures of prayer and praise — is designed as a starting (or restarting point) for those wanting to engage their bodies in prayer and worship.
Perhaps you have never used your body to pray or worship?
Or perhaps you’ve danced like David before the Lord and are looking for a new way to explore the movement of worship that flows freely from your sinew and bones?
Or perhaps you’re looking for an embodied way to spend an intentional week of prayer and worship before the Lord?
We are nearing the end of our Create-A-Day 2015 posts. As we wind down, I want to leave you with a shadow dance to “O Magnum Mysterium” sung live for CHRISTmas Eve 2013 at Northland Church in Longwood, Florida. Such BEaUty!!
“O Magnum Mysterium” written & arranged by Morten Lauridsen
Original Text: O magnum mysterium, et admirabile sacramentum, ut animalia viderent Dominum natum, jacentem in praesepio! Beata Virgo, cujus viscera meruerunt portare Dominum Christum. Alleluia.Continue reading
So, I can’t even begin to tell you how much I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE this CHRISTmas dance to The Little Drummer Boy! First, Mickye Castillo’s Freedom in the Dance (FITD) Ministry is a powerful and anointed dance ministry out of Dallas, so that alone tells you this will be good!! But then…. they added a drum corps to the dance!!
It’s our last Facebook Friday for the year!! And we have two groups featured today!
Our first group is At His Feet Ministries and is administered by Kristina Collins, Founder & Director of her ministry of the same name. Here’s the group description:
This group is for the arts! If you are a dance instructor, choreographer, dancer, artist, designer and you would like to network, advertise conferences, exchange advice and ideas, and get to know other artists, stay in fit condition in the journey God has you on… We welcome you to participate, and encourage each other. If you have art share it! A conference coming up… share it! Health tips… share it! We just want to expand the tent pegs!
A little about AHF: At His Feet Ministries is a non-profit 501-C3 organization founded by Kristina Collins. Rooted in the arts, AHF is a unique ministry geared towards creative outreach. Through music, dance, drama, art and teaching, AHF strives to train, equip and release the creative giftings of God into the hearts and lives of many.
As we have focused on Advent resources, let us keep our eyes fixed on Christ
Matt Durbin (c) 2010
If any of you want to walk My path, you’re going to have to deny yourself. You’ll have to take up your cross every day and follow Me. If you try to avoid danger and risk, then you’ll lose everything. If you let go of your life and risk all for My sake, then your life will be rescued, healed, made whole and full. Listen, what good does it do you if you gain everything—if the whole world is in your pocket—but then your own life slips through your fingers and is lost to you? Luke 9:23-25 The Voice
Continuing our focus on books for creatives, artists and worshipers, I want to look at a variety of books today all geared towards those in worship dance ministry or who use dance as a personal way of worship. There are many, many books for dance so I want to consolidate some of them here.
First, Lynn Hayden of Dancing for Him Ministries has a full variety of books and instructional DVDs. I featured her awhile back, and you can refer back to that post here.
We have created this group so we can all come together and share our best praise dances. Feel free to post any praise dance video groups. Please share any tips that will benefit for groups that are starting out. Those tips will be saved on this page for future reference.
Our bodies often cry out to be heard, recognized, nourished. Yet sadly we ignore their cries and live disembodied lives bound by ill-health, dis-ease, and unhealthy desires!!
On BODYPSALMS, Dr. Celeste Snowber shares poetry with a distinctly body-oriented (and body-listening) spin! According to Celeste on her site:
“Bodypsalms are openings for us to deeply listen to words that hold the intention of our own depths, and call us back to living in our own skin. I write these in the tradition of the psalms, which extend from lament to ecstatic living, but are both an asking and listening at the same time. I have written them or they have written me out of the particularities of my own life, but I firmly believe that we live storied lives and we find each other in our collective stories.”
Imaginare Performing Arts Ministry is a creative arts ministry based out of Puerto Rico and Florida that uses a combination of dance, acrobatics, aerial dance, and physical theater to portray the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“Anointed to impact this generation,” their performances are powerful and prophetic!
It’s another Facebook Friday! Let’s network together and make His praise glorious!
International Christian Dance Fellowship is an organization of Christian movers and dancers that exists to mobilize the movement arts in ministry and mission. It is an international networking and resource for people involved or interested in dance and movement expressing faith. Find out more at http://www.icdf.com/. They have two groups on Facebook:
This is a great example of an illustrated sermon. The story of Mary and Martha is told through dance. And dance alone. No lyrics, no words, no dialogue. Yet it beautifully illustrates the scripture passage found in Luke 10.Continue reading
Disturb us, Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we have dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.Continue reading
Praise Dancers for God is a great place to network with other dancers and see what other folks are doing in the worship arts. People post links to workshops and seminars happening in the arts and dance! Another great place to network with like-minded worshipers!
Dr. Pamela Hardy created the Eagles International Training Institute to mentor and train leaders of worship art ministries around the world. Below is Pamela ministering through dance with Yvonne Peters to Grace Flows Down. You’ll notice about 4:13 in, the music switches from the recording to live music by the event’s worship team. It’s obvious that the Holy Spirit’s healing power and anointing was flowing and the participants did NOT want to leave the beauty of the moment:Continue reading
I consider Embodied Prayer: Towards Wholeness of Body, Mind and Soul by Celeste Snowber a must-read for any creative Christian who uses his or her body in their art form (dancers, actors, actresses, etc) and for those interested in praying through movement.
For many of us, we check our bodies at the doors of our churches like a coat-check at a restaurant. We engage our minds and our hearts in worship, but our bodies are in exile in the pew. We sit quietly and pray when our bodies long to reach out to Him who hears the words we can and cannot say. As a very kinetically-oriented person, this book awakened my mind to the Hebraic understanding of the body; my soul to the knowledge that I am a temple of the Holy Spirit; my heart to an awareness of God’s joy as I worship Him through movement; and my body to the possibilities in all of this!