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Praise Dance Moves

What is praise dancing?

Praise dancing is a form of dance that expresses outward praise to God mainly in church services. Praise dancing is also a synonym for liturgical dance which encompasses all expressions of worship and praise through dance. This type of dance has experienced a revival of sorts in churches all across the globe. All cultures and ethnic backgrounds bring their own flare to praise dancing through their cultural specific movements. For example, praise dancers in Africa will use their bodies in praise with African dancing. American praise dancers tend to use more hand movements, ballet, and interpretive dance. Most praise dancing is done with upbeat music with lyrics that describe thankfulness or feelings of joy and praise.

Praise dancing is mainly practiced by those of the Christian faith, but is not always done within the four walls of the church. Praise dancing is becoming sort of a movement that is catching on everywhere. You can see praise dancers performing as background dancers for Gospel artists, in rallies, and marches. There are praise dance schools that are forming to teach interested learners about this sacred art of dance. Even praise dance companies are springing up to showcase the brightest talent.
Praise dancing can come in many forms. There are dances of rejoicing, dances of praise, and dances of celebration; all keeping with the theme of praise dance. Dances of rejoicing are primarily done with leaps and turns. Dancers are expressing the joy that is already in their hearts towards God. Dances of praise exude the same emotions as dances of rejoicing. Celebratory dances are generally very colorful, can include many dancers, use flags and streamers in their choreography, and may include pageantry.

Praise Dance Moves for Beginners

So you want to praise dance? Great! You are joining hundreds of thousands of dancers that are dedicated to dancing for the Lord. Their expression of love for the Heavenly Father is not limited to just singing, or playing music. Praise dancers have a desire for outwardly expression that can only be fulfilled through praise dance. Many times praise dancers are beginner dancers. They may have had dance training when they were younger or had no training at all. The important thing to remember is that we all have to start somewhere. And, it is very important to for praise dancers to have some type of dance training whether in ballet, modern, or jazz. Having this type of training will help prevent injuries.
For praise dancers that are just starting out always begin with learning about gracefulness. Being graceful is essential to presenting beautiful movement. Since praise dance is sometimes mostly upper body movements for beginners, start by practicing what is called a port a bras. In ballet, this is entails beautiful effortless movements with the hands and the arms. Just like the movements in the video below.

Building upon the port a bras (carriage of the arms) you can be graceful as you raise your hands high in praise, with your palms facing in. Also, you can create graceful hand and arm movements that represent praise.

Next, you beginner praise dance should learn how to do a dancers walk. At times praise dancers will walk slowly into their position before the dance begins. To do a dancers walk begin with your feet in first position, pulling your feet through first position with your toes pointed as you walk making sure not to bounce, and keeping your upper body lifted.

Praise dancers should learn the proper way to turn. Always keep your head and upper body lifted, with your midsection tucked in. For a simple turn you can raise your hands with your palms facing in towards each other while turning. You can place your hands to your sides and turn. These are just a few ways for beginner praise dancers to turn.

How to Learn Praise Dancing

Can anyone learn how to praise dance? The answer is, yes. Praise dance can be done by any age, race, and cultural background. It doesn’t matter what size you are or even if you have a disability, anyone can praise dance. First of all, the Bible says to, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord” (Psalms 150:6). If you desire to praise the Lord with dancing let the praise come from a pure heart of thankfulness and true relationship with God. Then, if there are dance classes available outside of the church then register to take a dance class. This builds your foundation for which you will be able to build praise dance movements. You can find dance studios that offer ballet or lyrical classes for all ages or you can sign up for an introduction into dance course at a community college. Next, be free to improvise. All areas of creativity have ways to improvise to promote expression. Dancers are no different. Move in the way that the music moves you.

Learning praise dance is simple and if you are just starting out and want to learn more about praise dance, register for our online courses. 

Related Posts
How to Create Beautiful Praise Dance Choreography
Praise Dance for Dancers with Limited Mobility 
What do your praise dance movements mean?

© 2012 Katina Davenport all rights reserved 

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