Monday, July 16, 2012

How to Create Beautiful Praise Dance Choreography

 I am often asked how do you create praise dance choreography. Creating choreography to the latest song or even to your favorite song doesn't require mauling over the song for hours. It requires a few simple steps.

Remember your Dance Technique

Learning dance styles such as ballet, modern, or jazz can give you ideas for simple combinations. Knowing basic to advance techniques and mixing them together can bring dynamic movements together that look polished and simple to the untrained eye. That is why I stress the importance of having a foundation of basic dance techniques so that you can build your choreography from your foundation.

If you are just beginning to dance or haven't taken a dance class in years, it's okay. There are many resources available to help you achieve the dance technique you are looking for, even from the comfort of your home. My advice is to always begin with learning ballet . Ballet will give you the foundation of flexibility, strength, and professional appearance. Do you have to do ballet in every single liturgical dance piece? No, the point is to have a reference of movement to build. Then you can add your own style, flair, or whatever the Holy Spirit gives to you.

 How does the song make you feel?

Understanding the meaning of the song can help you come up with interpretive movements. Everything from the lyrics, the music, and the timing of the song can help you come up with dance phrases or patterns for your routines. Building upon the dance techniques that you have already learned, combined with your interpretation will help you achieve the choreography you need.

I find that writing feelings about the song really helps to get to the heart of the lyrics. It is a great way for you (liturgical dance ministry leader), and the dancers to connect to the song. They will really be able to connect to one another if you allow them to share their feelings about the song.

Be Creative

Once you feel confident in your dance techniques and interpretation you can now become more creative in your movement. I really enjoy improvisation. Improvisation for obtaining praise dance choreography involves the use of dance techniques, the interpreting the emotions of the song, and creating new movements. New movements can be created by creating certain shapes with your body or really acting out a phrase. For instance, I was asked to do a prayer dance. This song speaks about the Lord's prayer in one of the phrases of the song "here on earth as it is in heaven." I literally used movements that represented the earth by creating a turning movement while touching the ground. To represent the heavens I reached high in releve and swayed back and forth as tree limbs do when blowing in the wind.
I used my knowledge of turning and releve from my ballet studies to create different kinds of movement that gave a visualization of the lyrics in the song.
Using these tactics have always helped me when choosing the choreography for dance ministry. I know they will help you.

Related Post
Praise Dance Moves

© 2012 Katina Davenport all rights reserved 


  1. New at praise dancing, but love to learn
    Trying to create a dance for the song Emmanuel, what is the movement when I get to the part Emmanuel, Emmanuel

    1. My suggestion is to look up the word Emmanuel in an online Bible concordance and find the meaning, and think about what that means to you. Pray about what "God with us" would look like, what does God being with you feel and look like? He will show you.

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