2nd Performance!!!

Ok. So before we even get to my performance, I need to say….there was a problem. A technical difficulty with the music. If you read about my first performance, you know that this happened before. This time I wasn’t handling the music. This reoccurring theme…must stop. Of course, the enemies of God’s praise doesn’t want me to dance, but Glory to God I will press through!

This was the first time I danced with a praise garment and it was wonderful! Although the sound system amplified the music and muted the singing, I hoped that my dance displayed the meaning effectively. This performance came about within three days:

1. got the call on day 1 and narrowed down choice to 2 songs

2. picked one song and worked on understanding meaning  and putting together the foundation of the choreography

3. changed the song 2x and went back the original song chosen, practiced dance 5x

DAY OF DANCE. practiced 5x and prayed…this is the result:

I really appreciate Bibleway’s Sister Butler for this opportunity and the praise robe, Sister Deidre for praying with me right before I danced, and the Sister who recorded this for me. I Love You, lovely ladies!! This experience taught me that you really should be prepared AT ALL TIMES, because you don’t always know when you’ll get a phone call to minister. But when you do get that call you have to be ready, since you don’t want to tell God you couldn’t complete an assignment because you didn’t have enough time…I bet Simon Peter wasn’t expecting God to show up in his fishing business when He told him to cast the net on the other side and finally caught so many fish that the net broke! (Luke 5:1-10)

Why I Bellydance, being a Christian

belly girl

As a Christian dancer, most people think when I dance to praise to Lord, that I do what’s labeled as praise dance, which usually  incorporates beautiful flowing white or creme robes, props such as a flag, a pole, or a scarf. Although I do use props, you probably wont see me in a robe doing traditional praise dances to God. Instead I use a variety of dances to offer my gift to the Lord.

So I dance a myriad of styles and when people hear belly dance among those styles, they wonder: Is she really saved? How could she possibly dance sensually and claim she is praising God? Can a Christian dancer belly dance too?

When Miriam danced with tambourines and the women joined her (Exodus 15:20), do you think she was doing hip hop? What about ballet? Ha! Those are new dance forms compared to ancient history. They danced to rejoice at the great victory God just showed them by delivering them from Pharaoh of Egypt and his great army, drowned in the sea.

I believe the women in biblical times danced the dances that were native and indigenous  to their land and people. These dances are called folk dances. Now the Israelis in Israel have folk dances today, but are these the same dances that were performed in Moses time? I’m not sure, just like the Modern Hebrew language we have today has been reconstructed in the 1950s, with much historical study, so could their dances be.

My theory is that Oriental Dance, or what America coined as belly dance, is the OLDEST DANCE from the middle eastern lands that we have. I believe it has been passed down from many generations and now shared with us. I think oriental dance is a form of folk dance that is closer to what Miriam and her female companions danced than what we see today.

In that respect, I can use Oriental Dance to praise God too. Of course, America, has altered its appeal, dress, perception, and environment, and I am very careful not to play into that ideal. I dress modestly, know the dance’s purpose, and only use it in a non lusting environment. Most true belly dance performers, are not strippers, but dance in family environments, special performances, and, at times, pull several people from the audience to dance with her.

Although I do not foresee belly dancing going to the alter of a church anytime soon, I will continue to hope the people can understand and celebrate its purity and beauty and see it as the oldest form of dance we have that connects us with the ancestors.

(image: from MEE cd cover)

Transitioning from Performer to Teacher…

DFchange

This is going to be a new journey for me.

Moving from only studying and performing to giving back the Dance to others: Becoming a Teacher.

I have always had a ‘teaching’ spirit. Whether it’s showing someone how to do something, analyze work, improve memory, or learn a new language.

Now, God is using that gift  to teach art to others and in the process, I have learned five things that might help others making a similar transition:

1. Do your research, thoroughly. Know what you are teaching, because if you don’t it will show! Be honest with your students, (they can smell BS a step away) and give them the respect and knowledge they deserve.

2. Plan out how you want your class to be to the minute. This way if you deviate, you can modify to get be on track or stay off, but having a plan helps keep you organized, in control, and sane!

3. Consider the most asked questions about your dance style and have the answers ready. Remember when you were a student and wondered about some things? Most likely there will be students that will have a slew of questions about the moves.

4. Know exactly how a move is executed. You will be describing them to a classroom of people that have unique learning styles, backgrounds, and comprehension levels. If you keep the explanation very basic and simple everyone will be able to understand it, without taking a lot a demonstrating during your class time.

5. Be Ready to Sweat! Not only will you be doing the same moves PERFECTLY over and over for illustration, but you will need to stay in observation mode most of the time. You will be checking for accuracy, technique, skill, and mastery of your students, so stay alert.

If these tips have assisted you or you think of any other helpful things, please let me know!!

In the Bible, various animals have symbolized different things, both good and evil. The insect I have chosen to post above, is of a dragonfly, which are known for their acute vision abilities and represent a change. Thank you Lord for this artistic life transition and I pray, like the dragon fly you grant my acute perception in my classes.