Am I the only leader of a dance group with this annoying experience (from a host whose event is running late):
‘We need to make up some time, can you cut some of the time we have allotted to you?’
Or… ‘I know you are supposed to open the second half but do you mind doing the last spot?’
WHY is it that when they have to leave the venue at a specific time it’s the dancers who are cut! I’ve even had someone say to me, ‘Well it’s only dance, isn’t it?’ It has become my habit to refuse those suggestions with a very practical health and safety or logical reason.
My running order of dances tells a story building up to a dramatic final dance to Paul Wilbur’s, Song of Ezekiel. It takes me days to make sure the costume changes, props and narrations are working well and that I don’t have 2 high-impact dances together (we are not all teenagers any more). I’d have to rearrange the readings in our narration book! It’s just too complicated to change!
Regarding going on at the end I simply say, ‘We don’t plan to be here all day! Our pastors are preaching tomorrow and we have a long journey home. We will stick to the arrangements.’
Because of this ongoing problem I have made sure our introduction or between dance Narrations make it clear that dance is right up there with singing, praying, preaching or any other way to worship? Biblically it is mentioned equally or in some cases more! Dance worship should never be ‘on the back burner.’
Often, at the end of a conference, the host gives thanks to all the leaders and teachers and, many times, the dancers are left out. I don’t do it for thanks but in most cases we have been the most stressed, busy and active ministers in the conference. Leading, teaching, rehearsing, costume preparation, warm up, etc and haven’t had a minute to even sit for a coffee! (I don’t allow food or drink in costume anyway.)
After 33 years in this ministry I find, sadly, that I’m still fighting this battle to get dance recognised as a sacred Biblical command – not something to throw away if a singer or preacher extends their allotted time.
Stand firm in your calling!
YOU HAVE YOUR AUTHORITY FROM THE KING OF KINGS!
ICDF Network Co-Coordinator for Messianic Dance & Tambourine