Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Dancing in the Spirit

When I started blogging about liturgical or praise dance in May of 2012, I never thought that I would receive the overwhelming response that I have received. Many readers have written me expressing their thanks for the information and for the site.

The name Dancing in the Spirit, Foundation of Liturgical Dance came to me from the Holy Spirit. Actually, I had started a Facebook group with a similar name, never knowing that I would be prompted to create an online tool to help liturgical dancers.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

How to Make Tabrets

I was recently asked to make tabrets for a church that I was attending. The pastor called them "those hoops with the strings." Most people don't know what to call them. Some refer to them as glory hoops or praise hoops, but they are actually called tabrets. 

The Hebrew word for tabret is tofe, and not "tambourine" or "timbrel" as translated in the King James Version of the Bible. I was surprised to find out that it actually is a one side drum, stretched over a circular frame, and decorated with brightly covered strings or ribbons. 

This instrument is not only beautiful and can be made in different ways, it is a beautiful accompaniment to any worship dance. 

I was not only inspired to learn more about this praise dance instrument, but I was also inspired to use them more in my dances. 

I first learned how to make these instruments in one of my liturgical dance classes, and I often teach others how to make this simple tool. Anyone can do it, and it will make a fun project for your children's dance ministry.

Check out more about tabrets here

©2014 Katina Davenport All Rights Reserved 

Friday, December 27, 2013

Why Break Every Chain was the Best Praise Dance Song of 2013

"There is power in the name of Jesus." These are just some of the words to "Break Every Chain" sang by Tasha Cobbs. The original writer, Will Raegen, opened the door for this song to be popularized by Jesus Culture, Kim Walker, and now Tasha Cobbs.

Recently, I researched YouTube to find the best praise dance videos this year and it so happens that most of of the dance ministries on YouTube danced to "Break Every Chain" in 2013. I would say that the top ten praise dance videos of 2013 are of those that ministered to this song. The question is why is this particular song the biggest song to minister to this year. Here are 5 reasons:

1. Easy lyrics

Most people like songs that they can sing along to. Songs that are too wordy and too long become rather boring. Most people that enjoy music want to participate with the song. The lyrics to "Break Every Chain" are easy to remember therefore, praise dancers can easily interpret the words to this song to convey. Therefore choreography is easier to build.

2. The right tempo

Break Every Chain has a tempo that is not too fast and not too slow. The tempo can really allow for expressions that are with the beat and in between the beat; just a little faster yet keeping with the time.

3. "There's an army rising up"

This is my favorite part of the song. The song builds at this point and the choreography gets stronger. In majority of the videos that I saw this year, the dancers seemed to enjoy this part of the song as well. I saw more expression and movement that showed that there is an army rising up.

4. Powerful

"Break Every Chain" is a very powerful song. It speaks to the heart and it speaks of the chains that are in our lives. The name of Jesus has power to break the chains of bondage. Everyone can identify with that. We can identify with our humanity knowing that the name of Jesus has power to free us from the chains that binds us.

5. It's popular

It is that plain and simple. The reason that "Break Every Chain" was the biggest praise dance song of 2013 is because it is popular. Most may have never heard the original song, or the version that Kim Walker and Jesus Culture sings, but Tasha Cobbs has brought new life in this song, making it a breakout hit for her. I hear it on the radio and I hear it sang in praise and worship services in many churches. Most people tend to gravitate towards the more popular songs of the day to minister to. There is no problem with that. Who wouldn't want to dance to a song that is ministering to the dancer first.

Here is the most viewed dance to "Break Every Chain." See it HERE

© 2013 Katina Davenport All Rights Reserved  

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

In Depth Study of Biblical Scriptures on Dance

Judges 21: 19;21

19. Then they said, Behold there is a feast of the Lord in Shiloh yearly in a place which is on the north side of Beth-el, on the east side of the highway that goeth up from Beth-el to Shechem, and on the south of Lebonah
21. And see, and behold, if the daughters of Shiloh come out to dance in dances, then come ye out of the vineyards and catch you every man his wife of the daughters of Shiloh, and go to the land of Benjamin. 

If you were to look up passages in the scripture in a concordance, you would certainly come across this passage of scripture. As you read you may wonder what this has to do with liturgical dance or praise dance. It can be quit confusing, but this scripture does have something to do with praise dance.

In the entire chapter 21 of Judges, we find that the Son's of Benjamin were looking for wives because the women of Benjamin were destroyed. The elders then advised them to look for the women dancing during the Feasts.

To understand why this scripture is a significant passage of scripture for understanding praise dance, lets concentrate on the women dancing. They were rejoicing during a celebratory time. The Biblical feast days are set apart times that God instituted for Israel to remember how He brought them out of Egypt (Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread), offering first fruit of their harvest (First Fruits), when the instructions of God where shouted down from Mount Sinai (Feast of Pentecost), Repentance (Feast of Trumpets, Atonement), and how Israel lived in tents after being free from Egypt (Feast of Tabernacles). The dances, mainly done by women at this time, were done in great joy in remembering what God had done for them. Often times praise dance is done in rejoicing, with great joy, and in great praise as we remember how God brought us out of bondage of oppression, when we have reaped a harvest, when God has given us direction for our lives, how we have been forgiven, and how the Father made us live in safety as he transitioned us into our promise land.

Job 21:11, 12

11. They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children dance. 12. The take the timbrel and harp, and rejoice at the sound of the organ.  

I have come across this scripture countless of times and I have never given this one to any of my students as apart of any study scriptures on dance. If you read the entire chapter of Job 21 you will find that Job is describing how the wicked is still prospering. He gave descriptions about how their homes are still standing, their families are still alive, and their children go on playing and dancing; even in their wickedness. I believe he was describing these things to say to God, look at how the wicked has all of their things intact, but I [Job] am a righteous man and I am in this terrible condition.

Many times we see the that wicked seemingly prevails while us, the righteous, are afflicted or going through hard times. We see them dance around with their children, joyfully. But, know that the Word promises us that wicked will not prevail over the righteous.

Psalms 149:3

Let them praise His name is the dance: let them sing praises unto Him with the timbrel and harp.

This is one of my favorite scriptures on dance in the Bible. Lets look at the entire context of the scripture beginning with the first verse.

1. Praise ye the Lord. Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise in the congregation of the saints. 
Whenever you see "Praise the Lord" or "Praise ye the Lord" it is interpreted HalleluYah in Hebrew. Whenever you say it with your mouth, in speaking or song, you are saying HalleluYah. HalleluYah means praise the Lord.

We see here that David was saying to praise the Lord with a new song. Sing with the congregation. I believe he had a revelation that the Father wants to hear something new from us.

2. Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.

Be joyful that God has made you the person, the praise dancer, that you are. Rejoice, take joy in the kingship of the Father. True kings have authority, they are heads of armies, they execute judgement, they know right from wrong, they are all powerful and the list can go on. When we get a picture of who our King is you will be able to rejoice freely in Him as creator and King.

3. Let them praise His name is the dance: let them sing praises unto Him with the timbrel and harp. 

Let them [us] say HalleluYah with movement. When we praise His name through dance we are praising His name through the movement that is inspired by our knowledge of who He is and through our relationship. Praise His name through dance; and do it with the accompaniment of music and singing. You will experience some of the most powerful times in dance ministry when you are dancing during praise and worship. As David said "Let them." Don't inhibit yourself and or others from enjoying the King of Kings and dancing before Him. 

4. For the Lord taketh pleasure in His people: He will beautify the meek with salvation. 

The Lord takes pleasure in your praise and your praise dance. There is beauty in those that are humble enough to praise Him. Whether you know it or not, it is a humbling experience to get outside of yourself to dance before the Lord while others are seeing your worship. Dance unto the Lord is not meant to be an act that puffs up your ego, but it an act of meekness.

Psalms 150:4

Praise him with the timbrel and dance; praise him with stringed instruments and organs

What an end to the book of Psalms! This chapter seems to be a finale to all of the praises, prayer, songs, worship, and prophetic messages. It gives imagery to all of the ways that we can praise the Lord, where to praise the Lord, and how to praise the Lord. From verse 4 we see that dance can be accompanied with the use of a timbrel (tambourine).  Notice that music is accompanies dance as mentioned in Psalms 149:3.

Ecclesiastes 3:4

A time to weep, and a time to laugh, and a time to mourn, and a time to dance

The first part of this chapter starts off with to every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven (v1). There is a season in which you will dance the dance that our Father has given you. There are times in our lives when we will not be able to dance. For example, there will be times when the Father might call you into a season of rest. He might tell you to be still for a season and learn of Him. Be sensitive during those times so that he can impart His wisdom in you and send you back out to dance. Also, illnesses, broken limbs, torn ligaments, and pregnancy can keep you from dancing. While it is your time and season to dance, be expedient about it. Dance while you have a chance.

Jeremiah 31:4; 13

4. Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel: thou shalt again be adorned with thy tabrets, and shalt go forth in the dances of them that make merry.

13. Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together: for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow.

When the Lord rebuilds His people; as they gather together there will be dancing. Praising with dancing will not be preserved just for the young women, but it will be for the old men too. They will rejoice in spontaneous dancing as sorrow is turned into joy. 

If you look at the entire chapter you will find the gathering of the people of Israel. Every tribe, nation, and tongue will be brought together in unity, where there were otherwise scattered. This is a prophecy that is yet to be fulfilled as all the tribes of Israel are still scattered through out the earth, but God promises that His people will be together and rejoice. Like wise, when we come together in our congregations for corporate worship we rejoice at the fellowship we have collectively with the Father. Praise, worship, and dancing will take place. 

Lamentations 5:15 

The joy of our heart is ceased; our dance is turned into mourning.

I am certain that you have come across this scripture while studying dance in the Bible. If you haven't yet, you will. This particular passage of scripture speaks to what can happen when you feel your joy is gone. In order to dance before the Lord with strength, you will have to have joy. There is a joy that comes with having a relationship with the Lord. Think about it. When you are in love you feel an overwhelming sense of joy. In your alone times you might sing or dance while thinking about that person. I know I have. The same thing happens when you have a true relationship with the Heavenly Father. You will begin to express the love you have in your heart. Praise dancers tend to express that love with dance. 

What if the joy that you once had was gone? The last thing you will think about is dance. Dance is an expression that comes from the heart. It comes from a place of freedom. Watch children dance. They are natural dancers because they are joyful and free. 

Jeremiah was making his lamentations or crying out to God in this passage of scripture and throughout the book of Lamentations.  He expressed that his joy and freedom has turned into mourning. Dancing and celebration was no longer a part of his expression. His expression turned from mourning or sorrow to great anguish. 

2 Samuel 6:14;16 

14. And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod.
16. And as the ark of the LORD came into the city of David, Michal Saul's daughter looked through a window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart.

Dancing with vigor and with power is a humbling experience. David, a King, had to humble himself enough to be able to dance before the Lord in the way that he did. Different biblical commentators indicate that dancing was apart of the sacred celebrations, festivals, and anniversaries as with any other ancient culture. David more than likely danced like a wild man while celebrating the return of the Ark of the Covenant. His dance proclaimed his adoration for the Heavenly Father, as HIS glory was being restored to its rightful place. The Ark of the Covenant represents the very presence of God. Who wouldn't dance before the Lord as HIS presence is being ushered in. 

Although dance in those days were reserved for women, here is King David dancing and leaping before the Lord. His wife, despised him for humbling himself before the Almighty. Taking that position caused her to be barren. We must take extra precaution not to despise or hinder someone from praising the Lord through dance. There should be an abundance of support and love for those that are truly dancing before Lord, and not for themselves. 

Her displeasure and judgement against her husband caused her womb to be barren. She could not bring forth children. Children are a representation of blessing and promise. Therefore, having the same mindset against any dance minister that is doing all they can to dance in all sincerity and pureness could hinder your progress in dance ministry.  

Exodus 15:20

And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.

Miriam is the first instance that we see of dancing recorded in the scriptures. This leads me to ask were there other instances of dance before Miriam. I am certain there were other instances of dancing, not recorded. She already knew how to praise the Lord (HalleluYah) through dance. It is remarkable that the Father would give us dance as a way for him to SEE our outward expression of praise which is dance. The original purpose of dance is to offer an expression of praise, worship, and prophesy. 

For further Biblical study of liturgical dance to use as a reference for your dance ministry you may want to see Dancing In The Spirit: A Scriptural Study of Liturgical Dance  

©2013 Katina Davenport All Rights Reserved 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Mourning into Dancing

Psalms 30:11

Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing; thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness 

Last night marks my return to praise dance. The video shown is a testimony of how God has been healing me. I am expecting a full recovery.

It also marks my return to equipping other praise dance ministries. Through out my college years and up till now, I have helped other dance ministries build teams, conducted seminars, and even been a guest choreographer. I felt like I was back on my assignment. To Yah (God) be the glory!!!! If you haven't heard about what I have been going through lately, read this post The Wounded Dancer 

Below is the Living Waters Church praise dance ministry from Madison Heights, Michigan.  

copyright 2013 Katina Davenport all rights reserved blue ephod, white dress, praise dance

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Honorariums for Liturgical Dancers?

Matthew 10:7-9

"And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' "Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give. "Do not acquire gold, or silver, or copper for your money belts,…

An honorarium is a payment for services rendered that are usually on a volunteer basis. This includes guest speakers at a conference, pastors, or evangelists that speak at a church other than their ministries. More and more this is becoming the norm of the church. Anyone working in ministry are feeling entitled to payments for using their talents in music and in liturgical dance. Maybe they heard of others receiving payments for dance ministry and wanted to receive the same thing.

I once read something online that troubled me about honorariums for liturgical dancers. A fellow dancer indicated that they will not dance anywhere else unless payment is rendered. This was under the direction of their pastor. The troubling part is that this person's pastor told them to ask for an honorarium. Instantly, I began to feel that this is not the intended direction that liturgical dance ministry should be going. It grieves me to hear how other dancers are charging churches to have them minister. It is understandable that ministers of dance want to feel appreciated for their ministries but, it is appropriate for a dancer or dance ministry to charge a fee for dancing?

When Should a Liturgical Dance Ministry Receive an Honorarium

Sometimes the lines are blurred when it comes to asking for a fee and when not to.

A liturgical dancer should not receive an honorarium unless the dancer or dance ministry has been asked to minister in another state or country. There could be an agreed upon fee that would cover travel or hotel stay, for example. Everyone may have a different opinion on this, but it may be improper for a liturgical dancer or dance ministry to ask for payment when you are dancing across town.

A liturgical dancer or dance ministry can charge an honorarium if they are ministering at a seminar or dance conference. It is an honorarium for their services in teaching classes, sometimes preaching, being a part of a dance panel of speakers, or conducting choreography workshops. This is the most proper way for liturgical dancers to receive an honorarium.

Hiring Liturgical Dance Ministries

There are special cases where a liturgical dance ministry might have an actual academy, liturgical dance students, or a dance company come to their church for ministry. In this instance, a ministry can hire a liturgical dance company to dance at a special event. A fee might be in place depending on the number of dancers expected to minister, travel, and other special accommodations. I have seen this happen on more than one occasion at a church where a liturgical ballet company came for a special performance during a play. They were hired to be the special guest dance ministry for the evening.

One must consider their motives in asking for an honorarium. Is it about the money or is it about dance ministry? If the Bible talks about the Apostles not asking for gold, nor silver, then why do some dancers? To me, when one begins to do that it goes contrary to the original purpose of spreading the Gospel--in this case spreading the Gospel through dance. The purpose to freely give what God has given you. Otherwise, what you have is a business and not a ministry.

Have I ever received an honorarium?

Yes, I have received one; however, I did not ask for it. The Pastor felt in her heart that she wanted to bless me for coming to minister at a special event. I would have danced for free.

Also, someone slipped a blessing in my hand because they were so blessed by my ministry. When you give, it will be given back to you. It does not always come in the form on monetary blessings, but you will receive a blessing in due time.

What do you think? Comment and let me know how you feel about this subject. 

©2013 Katina Davenport All Rights Reserved 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Wounded Dancer


I am a wounded dancer. Many of us are. We have been wounded by our past, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. In the winter of 2013, my physical wounds would be a manifestation of something spiritual and emotional.

Job chapters 1-2 vividly describes how Job lost his family, his wealth, his property, his character, and finally his health. He was stricken with boils after the trauma of losing all that he had. 

katina davenport copy right 2012 hidradenitis When I would read the book of Job as a youngster, I would try to quickly read the passages of scripture in this book. Being a young person, then, I could not relate. Now I can. I have had boils that no doctor could heal. I have tried many remedies and medical treatments. Most of them left me in worse condition. The doctors said that I had a disease called hidradenitis suppurativa. It has greatly inhibited me from dancing and caused much shame in my life. It was hard for me to socially interact with others, when I knew that I was in pain. 

Although I believe I have had this condition for more than two years at the time of this writing, things began to get worse in April of 2013. This is the main reason that I have not been online writing posts for this blog and teaching dance online and in person. I was bed ridden and in pain for months. 

What I Learned 

Isaiah 54:5

"He was wounded for our transgressions, he was wounded for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." 

We all know that Yahshua (Jesus) is a healer. I know of it personally as I have been healed of high blood pressure, liver failure, viral meningitis and other aliments miraculously. However, there was another level of faith that I had to operate in. I experienced discouragement on a whole new level as well. I would pray and expect the disease to be gone instantly just like all the other times, but each time it would appear to worsen. I began to experience depression, something I never experienced, even thoughts of death. I wanted to curse God and die. Yes, Pastor Katina was in a state of desperation. Even through my darkest of moments, the Holy Spirit would encourage me to keep going. I thought, "How can I pray for others to get healed and I am not healed?" The Holy Spirit would tell me to do it anyway and that He could use someone that was wounded.

Yahshua, who was wounded for us physically and emotionally, is our healer. He saw his trial all the way to the end of his life. He could have easily called for a legion of angels to save him from his pain, but he did not. 

Through out this whole ordeal, I had to know why I wasn't getting healed as I expected to be. I searched within my self. I forgave others, myself, and God. Although, I couldn't dance I could worship. I could sing praises.  I kept worshiping even though I did not feel like it. 

I learned that there were things in me that the Father had to heal emotionally. There were past hurts that never properly healed because I had been taught to just "move on." A person can "move on" and never heal. Regardless of the cliche, time does not heal all wounds. Only the Healer can heal all wounds. 

The Condition of the Church and Liturgical Dancers

The reality of church today is that it primarily made up of women. From my observation women are more willing to submit themselves to the Heavenly Father than men. Being a woman that has experienced many trials in my life I know there are other women in church that have experienced even greater difficulties many who are serving in leadership, pastoring, and dancing while wounded. The Body of Christ is also leading and welcoming new converts into the fold while wounded. Take a look at what has been happening. The fruit is there. There have been prominent leaders that have wounded the Body of Christ by not living right behind closed doors. There are members within the body that are wounding others, leaving wounds within the Body of Christ. 

While I am on my road to total healing and recovery, I think about other believers and dancers that are wounded in their souls. It is time now for us to allow God to heal us. Healing begins with repentance and forgiveness. We have to repent of being disobedient to God, and forgive those that have hurt us. It ends with following the instructions for daily living that God has given us in His word. 

My Return to Dance Ministry

 I am being healed daily. Returning to dance ministry has been very challenging. I have thoughts of someone seeing my scars and open wounds that I still carry even though no one has seen them other than my husband and doctor.  I am working on building my strength again. My healing started with the healing of my wounded soul. I allowed the Holy Spirit to show me the small hurts that have affected my life. It is so easy to notice the obvious things that we don't see the smallest hurt that we still hold. After dealing with those issues it was much easier to pray for healing and receive it. Pray for me as I am going through this journey. 

Let ME pray for you! 

Dear Heavenly Father,

I ask in the name of Yahshua (Jesus) that you would forgive us of sins that we have done knowingly and unknowingly. Forgive us for holding on to hurts that you have not designed for us to carry. I pray for each and every liturgical dancer, that you would heal them in every area that they are hurting. I ask that you will give them the strength to say no to things or people that are hurting them. Heal them from their past and heal them from emotional turmoil that is being done to them now. Father YOU said that you wish that we would prosper and be in good health, even as our souls prosper. I pray that YOU would allow your ministers of dance to now prosper in their souls. Send healing and deliverance now. In Yahshua's name. Amen. 

For more information about hidradenitis suppurativa visit these links 

© 2013 Katina Davenport All Rights Reserved