- Lesson One: What is Dance Ministry

PDCM’s Teaching on the Ministry of Dance

First let’s define Dance. What is Dance?

PDCM’s definition of Dance: Dance is a language and it communicates the expression of many things such as emotions, desires, thoughts, and beliefs through the movement of our bodies.

Webster’s Dictionary: Dance is a series of motions and steps usually performed to music. It also means to move rhythmically usually to music using prescribed or impoverished steps or gestures.

What is Dance Ministry?

Dance Ministry is simply the process by which we use our gift of dance to carry out the act of ministry (service) to encourage, comfort, and edify the saints in the faith. Nothing more, nothing less. Sometimes we like to give something a greater spiritual meaning than necessary. This introduces error, confusion, and a host of other problems that the enemy can use to distract and divide us from our sole purpose of winning souls.

Why do we dance?

59 comments on “- Lesson One: What is Dance Ministry

  1. I appreciate this site. I have been called recently to dance for the Lord. Although, more recently, the dancing is expanding to the different types. This site is helping to explain the Types. i am hoping to find out information on the “stepping”

  2. Thank you so much for this site. I will share this info with others. I work with the dance ministry at my church. I am still learning and growing in the things of God and praise dance.

  3. “Also the song should reiterate what is being preached since we are responsible to help prepare the hearts of the people for the Word of God”

    Recently, I’ve heard this isn’t scriptual. Plz help me with this. I was told that worship, whether dance or song does not ‘prepare’ or need to be done before the Word is preached.

    • Hi Kjones. That is right. It is not scriptural. God’s word stands alone and it does not need a cheerleader. In my opinion we gather together to worship the Lord in the sanctuary or in the church building singing praises to His name together. When we go to the church building most of the time we are bogged down with cares of this life, what went on throughout the week and our minds (some of us) may be off somewhere else. I know I speak for others when I say that when I am singing love songs to the Lord with my bretheren or when I am being blessed with a testimony of a song or a dance all of that stuff kinda disappears for a while and helps me focus on why I came to church in the first place. While ministries like dance and the choir and etc. encourages us in the Lord it also helps or prepares our mind to focus on the what is being preached (to those who need it). It is not necessarily for that purpose but it helps.

  4. Hi I was just wondering how can I find out about the dance ministry workshops and how can i get my hands on the dance ministries videos…

    Thank you

    • Hi Jennifer! You can find out about ministry workshops on the internet. If you type in key words like praise dance, or worship dance it should provide you with that information.

    • I for one appreciate PDCM and the write up on praise dance. I am a 46 year old young man have been called to the Evangelistic Ministry of Praise Dance in 1989. I have been lead by Holy Spirit to dance @ different places not only confined to the church. People have come to know The Lord through my worship of dance as I’m lead by the Holy Spirit.
      I now attend Raise Him Up Dance Minister located @ 18 W 18th St bet 5th and 6th Ave. 6 floor. Although I have been Ministering in dance for 20 years I am learning so much being in a biblical praise dance school. with other believers that understand their calling in dance. Dancing is for everyone that like to dance but praise dance is for those who are called to minister through movement evangelistically. B Blessed

  5. This is very good site. The information you have shared is so true and is a blessing to me. It is always good to received confirmation. Thanks and keep up the good work for the LORD!

  6. Dear Praise in Motion,
    I really do your website, this is the only one I have found that has given me this much iinsite on mime ministry. My question that I have is do you always have to paint your fsce when mimeming, and does the whith represent purity, and why was balck chosen as the dominant color.

  7. Hi Moria,

    I am not from Praise in Motion but I hope I can be so some help in answering your question. You don’t always have to paint your face and I really don’t know why some choose to paint it black. Maybe it is the way they want to express themselves. I know that I have painted my face white numerous times and that was only because it brings out the facial expressions more and people in the rear of the room can see the expressions. Many have harsh views on painting the face, but if the reason is explained to the people before ministering (like it is only used as a tool to bring out the facial expressions, nothing more and nothing less) they will not have to be open to their own interpretation and then start throwing bible verses to explain why it is wrong. So painting the face is optional. It can be useful when ministering to large crowds and that is why we do it. I hope this helps.

    PDCM

  8. I thank God and you for this site. For sometime now i have been doing workshops and classes thru partner dancing (Ballroom and Chicago Stepping). Ive found that there are so many similarities that pull me back to ideas of letting go, allowing ourselves to be led and at the same time to be leaders, trusting, having faith and the list goes on and on. Its all pretty much new to me but i receive new revelation all the time. My question is how do you think two people dancing together would be viewed as a form of dance ministry. I feel that there is a very thin line and i dont want to cross it.

  9. This site is just wonderful, full of knowledge for dance ministry and put in simple wording, it is so inspiring for one that want to do dance ministry, lead by the holy spirit no doubt. Thank You, God Bless

  10. I’ve truly learned sooooo much from this. Our Dance Ministry just went down the drain and I’ve really been praying to God about giving me and answer as to why..I finally have my answer. Thank you SO MUCH! Thank you Lord!

  11. i want a list or can someone tell me where i can find what the praise dance signs mean and learn new ones. for example: when we use the word GOD our fingers are shaped sort of like a (L). i want to learn the right way, expressions while dancing.

    THANKS FOR ALL THAT YOU DO AND MAY GOD BLESS

    • The L is the sign for Lord in sign language. You can find Religious signs from a book titled, ‘Religious Signing’ by Elaine Costello.

  12. Hi,

    I am currently taking a dance class in college. I have always had a strong love for dance particularly in the Jazz/Hip Hop genre. I don’t know for sure if God is calling me into some type of dance ministry or if it is just something that I enjoy doing.

    My question is, if you are currently in a dance ministry or a believer who is a dancer how did the Lord call you into it? How did you differentiate doing something you enjoy and the Lords calling?

    Thanks!

    • Hello. Dance was something that I always loved doing. When I became a Christan everything changed even my dance. Instead of dancing for the world I began dancing for God. It started in the pews during praise and worship and people were blessed by it. Then I started to dance with the worship team and a couple of girls joined me. I would not say that God “called” me to it, but it was an opportunity for me to bless and encourage the people of God (AKA to minister). Remember sis, the Lord’s calling for all of us is to preach the gospel to the lost. We also have the responsibility to minister to one another and this is what I do through dance. Sometimes we like to over-spiritualize things and that is when it becomes hard to determine if we are doing it or if God is “calling” us to do it (I am in no way referring to spiritual gifts and callings). There is nothing sinful or wrong with ministering (encouraging, comforting and blessing others) by doing what we love (sing, dance, art or whatever talent God has bless us with). If God has given us a natural talent we should count as a privilege to share with others. God bless.

      PDCM

  13. This was very helpful, thank you for takung thre time to explain dance ministry. To God be the glory.
    Positive Expectations!

  14. Ok I have a question. So are we all anointed? I’m just confused a little bit about the truth and anointing part of this. But this is very helpful thank you so much.

  15. hi My name’s Ronnie from the shacah crew im very blessed with this words and verses it incourage me alot. specialy i m a christian hip hop dancer and since hip hop have a bad name and before i feel like im puthing the world in the church and there are certain moment of question and prayer about what shoud i do.

    thank you very much.
    Ronnie

  16. This article you have written on dance ministry is challenging and encouraging( at least thats how i recieved it ) I have been struggling on something so bad lately. I always want to dance in service becuase thats just how i feel about the Lord. I never do it becuase i am afraid it attracts attention to me and distracts people from worshiping. But when i worship at home i go all out. I am a tricker and its hard to keep from grabbing attention when i trick. A few of the members at my church are in the christian ballet troupe “Ballet Magnificat!” and sometimes they just take off worshiping in the spirit and it ALWAYS blesses me and also makes me want to move. I also breakdance and now that i am off of the bboy battle scene i know the Lord wants me to use it for his glory. And just knowing that is so much more fulfilling. I really dont want to ever use my gift from Him to take glory from Him. I want to be used mightily by God though. I am waiting for the Lord and seeking his will on this one. My question was originally “how do i know when i am dancing being led by the spirit and Dancing just because i want to?” but i sorta answered that myself talking about it. My new question is “how do i do what i love to do without attracting attention to myself?”

  17. THANK YOU!!!! This was a well written description of what God’s dance ministry should look like. I will share this information. Again, thank you for allowing the Lord to use you to write this to help others. May God continue to bless you!

  18. Hi, I’m seventeen and recently been selected to Lead in dance in my Assembly. This site was very helpful to me, i commend and thank God firstly and the persons responsible. Thank you for helping the Body of Christ, not just in your Assembly, but all over the world……. Trinidad and Tobago.. Again I say Thank you….

  19. Thank you so much! I found so much helpful information. There were things that I always knew, but I wasn’t quite sure how to explain it or get it across to my dance ministry in a way they could understand, Thanks again & God bless! please continue to share there is so much we all could learn from one another as one body!

  20. This article is beautifully stated. When we worship and minister it is for the Glory of God. I have a wonderful friend,she is a loyal respectable woman of God.Evg. Thomas states: “Minister the Dance” not “Dance the Dance” One thing I will add, let our worship be unto Him, no fake, no copy, but the real thing. As we worship, do not let anyone tell you, you are doing it wrong; because when it is the Holy Spirit dancing with you, how can anyone be wrong. This is you and Him, and the blessings and manisfestations of Yahshua will be on His people. Keep dancing into His Glory!
    Shalom

  21. This is an excellent tool for those in the body of Christ seeking to worship through dance. Thank you for the extensive knowlegde, wisdom and instruction that this forum has provided!

  22. Hi, I really appreciate your tireless effort PCDM in giving us gospel dancers the real dimension of Ministry. Earnestly speaking in my two years of ministry it now that I know were am heading to. Don’t forget the fact that these information you’ve given is also Ministry. THANK YOU! GOD BLESS.

  23. This is SO very helpful for me. I honor God for allowing me to use my gift of dance to minister to his people. Continue to provide helpful tips as the Lord leads you.
    P.s. Giving biblical reference is extremely helpful as well.

    Thank You Again! (:

  24. Thank you sooo much for all this insightful info just through reading this, I am receiving the confirmation I have been seeking. God Bless you.

  25. Wow,at last information on dance then to top it off ministring through dance.I thank you for explaining it in simply detail and also for encourging others to move forth in glorfying God.May God Bless each of you for your added comments they all have helped me .

  26. This is really a blessing. I dance and just as you wrote people would ask me to dance to a certain song but I will tell them I can’t just dance to any song it has to be a song that God has given to me and as well as one that I can relate to. I truly believe when you dance that you should put all focus on the God and allow the Holy Spirit to manifest in your worship. I have found and this since I been dancing for the past 4 years that when you are dancing so that the Holy Spirit can flow your dance is much beautiful and and lives are being impact thru your ministry. Thank you for this lesson I’m share with some others. This is wonderful!!

  27. Ok! I took everything you said into consideration and I still don’t think that Dance is a Ministry, If you feel to dance within a church setting that’s your thing.
    1. I’m still yet to find out how does it glory God.
    2. How does it convict your hearts? How does it minister to you and i’m not talking about the music behind the dance i’m talking about the DANCE?

    • Hello,

      With all love, if you don’t think dance is a ministry then that is simply your opinion. We like what we like and as humans that is just the way we are. No matter what I say, I probably won’t get you and others who don’t approve, to see it as saints simply giving back to God our natural talent. Singers do it, musicians do it and many others with other talents (mediation, communication etc.)do it and no one has a problem.

      You said: I’m still yet to find out how does it glory God.

      This is how: Scripture teaches us that whatever we do, do it to the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31-33;Col. 3:17). So, are we wrong in doing so? Are we going against scripture? No. Are we going against preference, personal opinion of what should and should not be according to the way things has always been done in church? Yes. This is where the real problem is.

      you said: How does it convict your hearts? How does it minister to you and i’m not talking about the music behind the dance i’m talking about the DANCE?

      Dance does not have the responsibility to convict anyone’s heart. It is the Word that does it. We are dancing to music (not dancing in just moving our arms and legs aimlessly. Some do and the dance really has no meaning. When they do this, it leaves a bad impression on dance ministry as a whole and it is viewed as nonsense and something done that was not necessary. When this happens, I too often have the same questions you have.) So, when we dance to music, demonstrating what is being said or sung through movement (this is the art of the dance). People are blessed when we as dancers bring out what is said in demonstration. Some come to us and said “I have heard that song many times, but the way you guys brought it out in the dance gave a new meaning. You told a story and it was my story and I was blessed and encouraged.” We are not just dancing for the sake of dancing. We are conveying a message. This is how it ministers, beyond the music. I hope this helps.

      Also, I think another problem is that dance in the church has been over spiritualized. It is not complicated. We are just giving glory to God and encouraging the saints. You say, how is one encouraging the saints. I have included some links of dance ministries that have blessed me. It is wonderful to see the saints use their gifts and talents for the Lord.

      Lamb of God – Wonderful dance and demonstration of God’s love for us.

      This dance also:

      Other Ministries and their links

      Look at these children and teens use their gift to glorify God! The fact that these kids are learning a discipline (the dance), not on the streets, using their bodies to dance for God is encouragement enough.

      PDCM

      • This is a very good site, i am blessed by the comments. I am a dance minister in Nigeria and have been doing this since 14yrs now, to tell u d truth anytime i minister n church (wit d group or alone) the atmosphere changes, His presence is always felt and testimonies abound. GOD has called me out of d crowd and given me this precious gift and am not going to waste it, am married wit kids now and i stil dance to His Glory. So if u have been given d gift use it well and u will see Him making a way out for you where there seems to be no way. Thank you.

    • Hello Damian,

      I saw you post and wanted to just drop you a line concerning it. I understand where you are with this issue. I hear the same things from many people who do not understand the validity of the Worship Dance Ministry.

      Praise and worship dance is about using our bodies to express our love for God in a holy, anointed way. It is also about preaching the word of God in motion.Consider it like this in the church setting:

      Singers sing the word of God
      Musicians play the word of God
      Preachers preach the word of God
      Teachers teach the word of God
      Actors act the word of God
      Dancers dance the word of God

      It’s a matter of using the gift God has given us to magnify him and to spread the message of the kingdom of God throughout the earth. Dance paints a picture in motion of the message we are ministering. It’s not about the dancer, it about the King that we seek to glorify.

      We are actually told to praise the name of the LORD in the dance in Psalms 149:3 & commanded to praise the LORD with the timbrel and dance in Psalms 150:4.

      Even though this may be difficult for you to understand, I would just encourage you to take a step of faith with the LORD, and let Him meet you in the dance. Just find a place where you can be alone with the LORD and begin to sing to him, tell him how wonderful he is and thank him for all the awesome things he has done for you. Allow your body movement to flow with the praise of your heart. You may find yourself basking in the glorious presence of the LORD, and then you will truly know and understand the power of the dance.

      Richest Blessings to you in Jesus Name.

      Apostle Linda Mahoney -Minister of Dance

  28. i have been seriously thinking about dance ministry and especially because that is what i love to do.i’ve gotten to see some music with new eyes n it’s true that we can give God our all by dancing.thank you for this site because it has blessed me a lot.BLESS YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  29. When I got born again I made up my mind not to stop dancing but use it to bless the name of God .thank you so for bringing out the meaning of dance .God you

  30. i love this sight i have learned so much.the lord is using me in a prophetic teaching ministry which iam the paster of and alot of young people are coming there and i too am young.now i realized that the lord is calling me to dance.but when i dance it is not me who is doing it. certain songs i listen to and even if there is no music playing but iam private worship my hands just start to clap are they are just thrown up in the air worshipping sometimes i worship so hard i get tired and thirsty but it is a wonderful feeling just dont know what to do next it happens all the time in worship some times if iam lying down my whole body would just start to dance it is very powerful sometimes.any advice on what i should do?i usually let God direct me and he did straight to this sight and please would a saint give me positive advice on how to follow throw this calling.God bless

    • Hello Godsfriend,

      I love your blog name! Well, He got you too lol. That is just how God works. We are nothing and we can’t do anything without Him. I totally understand where you are coming from, especially when you said it is not you who is doing it. For example, God will show me an entire dance. He will give me every movement. Many times they are movements that I have never seen before. That is why I always say, dancing for the Lord is totally different than dancing in the world. There is no right way or wrong way. What I mean by that is this – usually those who would dance before the Lord would take dance lessons at a local ballet company or studio. While the technique is nice and can be useful, it is not the only way or the prescribed way to dance before Him. A lot of dancers for God get discouraged and they sit on their gift and calling because they can’t do pirouettes. I always say that ballet is not necessary, neither is any other style of dance. All that is necessary are a willing mind and heart and God will provide every movement and the movements will be holy and glorifying to Him. Don’t ever let anyone tell you dancing before Him is wrong. If God gave it to you, you are responsible for giving it back to Him. Some sing, some play instruments, some draw and others use whatever they are skillful at to praise God. We dance. Keep dancing. Continue in constant prayer and God will direct you. He will tell you when and how to use what He has put inside of you to bless and encourage someone else.

      Blessings,
      PDCM

  31. Just be faithful and trust the Holy Spirit. He knows what to do when it is in God’s timing. He will also bring the right people into your path when it is needed what needs to be done. He will also remove those that are obstacle in the way that God is ministering through you. This is you and Him and He knows your needs for His purpose and plans. You just keep following His lead and keep dancing under His Realm of Glory. God will never shame you if done with a truthful heart, a humbleness that follows and do not ever be prideful because He will reveal to you the true worshippers. Keep ministering the dance and be a blesser for His glory!!!

  32. I enjoyed reading the comments about this dance ministry. I believe I have been called to dance for the LORD. However I need some help getting started. Is there any dance ministries near Meridian ,Ms that I could take part in? I am an older lady.. age 56.

  33. Hey how are you.

    My question is? I just started the dance
    Ministry at my church about 3 months now .
    I have never dance before.

    But that something I felt lead to do but it feel
    So hard to learn and remember the steps.

    Can you tell me a way I can get it or there ain’t no easier way.

    And also can you give me so advise as a new dancer please.

    Thank you

    Marva

    • Hello Marva,

      You remind me so much of myself. You are in a wonderful position where you have no choice but to depend on the Lord. You will be a great witness for God testifying about the vanity and futility of talent and ability concerning the things of God. God’s kingdom is designed differently from the kingdom of this world because the world – how it operates and what it values – is the very antithesis of the wisdom of God. God is in the business of choosing the foolish things, the weak things, the base things, and things which are despised to confound the wise and bring them all to nothing. His purpose in doing so is that none of us can glory in His presence and think that it was our wonderful talent and ability that wrought such a great work of artistic expression in the form of dance (1Cor. 1:20-29). With that said, I am not extenuating the importance of practice, learning new dance vocabulary, talent, ability, or doing all that we can within our ability to perfect that which God has assigned us to; they all have their place and serve a purpose according to the will of God. There are many who are trained in different types dance forms, but just because a person is trained according to the dance forms of this world does not mean that God has called them to Dance Ministry.

      If God has called you to this ministry He will equip you. You did not just stumble upon this site. God has me here to help you and teach you and confirm what He has already taught you in order to strengthen you and encourage you. We are here to build each other up.

      My advice to you starting out is to daily, in the privacy of your home, worship God in dance during your prayer time. Just begin to move your arms and get to know your own range of motion. Do it standing still, just move your arms and bow and add on to it. Don’t worry about how it looks or if you’re doing it right. There is no right or wrong way. We put those stipulations on our dance and the dance of others because we want it to look like what they do in the secular world because that is what is and has been accepted. One of the greatest mistakes we can do in Dance Ministry is to think that “real or true dance” is in the form of ballet, modern, jazz or other dance forms that originated in the world. Can we praise God in these forms of dance? Yes we can if and only if we know how to execute those dance forms properly. If not, it will look silly and amateurish. It will turn people off and they will not receive the ministry of dance and God won’t get the glory because we have subjected ourselves to perpetrate a fraud in trying to give God and His people something we don’t possess. My sister, let God give you His movements because it is only what He gives you that will please Him and bless His people.

      Be blessed and feel free to contact me anytime. If there is something you want to talk about privately, just type a big ole PRIVATE in your message and leave a way in which I can contact you (i.e. email) and it will not be posted.

      Sonia Kong, PDCM

  34. Hi!! I absolutely adore th movements in the previous coments i love dance! and God has called me to international ministry. yet im still in home town. he sent me researchying and tyoing up letters to send out about my ministry! but i have yet to master balet and jazz and all those different types due to finances but its like he downloads those techniques to me in our special time. can you relate?

    • Hello, yes I can relate. It is funny that you say that you are not trained. Most of the saints God calls to His service are not trained. This is because the glory needs to go to God and not our developed abilities. I wrote a post about this: “Help God has called me to dance ministry, but I am not trained”…something like that – I wrote it a couple of weeks ago in May. I encourage you to read it because it is our testimony and it is a truth every Dance Minister should realize.

      I just want to encourage you to keep dancing for God and by what you describe about the PR of your ministry- I don’t know if you are new to ministry or if you have others with you. I don’t know how active you are as a ministry in your church and community. This advice is not only for you but for all of us whom God has showed “the vision of greatness” to. When God shows us something it is not for right now. However He will use this beginning time to cause us to “preach in the kitchen” that is, to minister and serve God right where we are and learn from mistakes and share our growth with others. Stay clear of promoting yourself and let God promote you and provide ministry opportunities for you by your faithfulness and effectiveness. One thing you never want to do is to invite yourself. God will never advise us or instruct us to do opposite of what His word teaches (Prov. 25:6-7; Luke 14:8) If God has truly called you, then your gift and ministry will be “noised abroad” and it “will make room for you.” One thing you may want to stay away from is trying to get others to “see” you; sending out letters about your ministry is only effective if you are actually doing something right now, right where you are in your home town. God will never call us into something unless He has mastered in us what we need – by exercising our self (unto godliness, in our gift, in knowledge of His Word, in how to work and deal with different personalities with the ability to maintain godly character- God must do it in us before He can do it through us). God will never call us into something unless he has expanded our boarders out of something. Questions to consider and to pray about: What are you doing in your home town now that promotes the gospel right now? Is your ministry active in the community? Is your ministry just you or are there others with you? Are you writing letters to collaborate with other churches and ministries for outreach purposes with the goal of making a difference in your community to reach the lost and to fellowship with other saints? or are you writing to simply let people know that you exist and you desire to be of ministry service? Let it be the first couple of questions and not the last. It is by the networking system of sharing, involvement with others, and working together with others that God will pave the way through relationships and by the impact of your ministry work on the lives of those whom God has ordain you to minister to. This is what God has used in His word (look at the ministry of the apostles and Christ’s ministry and how God used people and a networking system of help to accomplish the spreading of the Gospel) that will open the doors to the rest of your destiny. God bless you.

      Sonia Kong, PDCM

  35. Hello…Yes I can relate to what your talkng about. I am still learning and continuing to grow in this ministry. This video has inspired me to share with the praise dance ministry. Thank you so much….!

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