Fun, fun, fun

From the Networks cyberforum:

“Like the choreography of a beautiful dance, the different ministries of God’s dance partners in the church are working together to bring God’s plan to fruition. God wants to dance with us.” (Brian Johnson – ‘Come Dance with Me’)

As I think about the quote I see a weaving dance, a bit like the Maypole but messier.

My life has always included dance, predominately ballet but so many styles and my happy place is spontaneous. My grandkids have brought me back to that place. We dance around each other, make up silly moves and without a word, just by face, gesture and moves we flow together. They are two years old. This is community. No discussion just love, fun and creativity … Heaven!

This is a part of what Jesus means about coming as children. And there ya go! I had no intention of including kids in my blurb but still I did.

The next generation, I mean kids, not just young adults, are integral to where we are going. Always said that; always will.

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Ministry through dance… thoughts

“Ministry through dance”……the first thing that comes to me….is a picture of myself in my worship closet—-worshipping, communicating, giving my love expression, communing with the Lord in dance in my private time behind closed doors.  No one there, but the Lord and I — This to me is the highest, deepest, richest, ultimate most complete, rewarding and fulfilling ministry of dance.

Our entire church experienced Ministry in Dance when just a few weeks ago, Andrew and Marie Bensley came to my church and took the whole service.  It is the second time they have come to our church to minister.  They shared with words —their story in a nutshell and then talked about how Christians can overcome their difficult journeys…..with each segment they presented in words, they backed it up with a dance, sometimes with flags, sometimes without flags.  At the end they did a song of Blessing over the whole congregation.  Feedback is that the everyone just wanted to sit and chew on what had just gone on for the last hour, meditate on what they’d heard and seen and just sit and bask in the glory……Afterwards there was a line-up of people coming up to get prayer from them…..people were powerfully touched, people that came feeling stale got revived, new hope, new vision, a touch from the Lord…..that is “Ministry through dance”….

Belma

 

A Petition against the Sexualisation of Children in Dance

“Any teacher who encourages a young child to dress provocatively for a stage performance is culpable of gross misconduct”

 “..what is deeply troubling is that (dance) schools are actually soliciting obscenities.” “it is not the kids who should be held accountable. Adults decide costumes & what the pre teen kids perform”

 “Teachers are supposed to protect the innocent and nurture values that better the individual.”

On May 25, 2008, Queensland, Australia’s Newspaper The Courier Mail, published these lines in articles entitled “Dance of Innocents” and “Children Pawns of Errant Teachers”. Rather than stand by and watch, it is possible for you to take social action.

Mary Bawden, an American dance teacher from California writes:

I am writing to let you know about an issue I am deeply concerned about.  Over the course of the last decade, dance for young children, particularly little girls, has changed. Alarmingly, young girls are becoming increasingly sexualized through dance. If you have recently attended a dance recital or viewed any one of many reality shows on television, you have no doubt viewed choreography that exploits and sexualizes children, using sexy moves, adult costumes, and mature, sexually charged songs to make little girls look and act like mature women.

When the beauty of dance is used to sexualize young children, it is a departure from its intended purpose. Because of this, I have decided to partner with ECPAT-USA and start a petition that brings education and awareness to dance studios so that we can stop this trend.

ECPAT-USA, the leading policy organization fighting the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC), belongs to an international network of organizations that have offices in 73 countries around the world. They have agreed to support this petition.

I hope that you will join me in this effort by signing. Thank you!

This is the petition link: http://www.change.org/petitions/dance-studios-stop-adult-sexual-choreography-and-costumes-for-girls-under-12

What to do when kids are misbehaving or not listening in dance class?

I tell them that if they don’t listen I will be sending them upstairs to their parents.  They know I’m serious and they change their attitude immediately.   ~ Belma Vardy

Kids are too busy having fun to misbehave in my classes.

But in all honesty bad behaviour stems from boredom or activities that are not age appropriate. Make sure they feel like part of the team. Occasionally I need to talk to a parent. If it’s the child’s choice to be there it should not be a problem, just tell them that they can’t be a part of the group if they do not cooperate.

If the parent wants them to be there but it’s not their scene I suggest another creative outlet. There is no shame in them not enjoying something the parent or I enjoy.   ~ Roz Hancock

(Roz and Belma are joint-coordinators for the ICDF Network “Dance for Children”)

How to involve shy or unresponsive kids in dance?

Start young with play activities. Make sure they make friends straight away and don’t fuss over them. Distraction works!

~ Roz Hancock

I don’t force them, almost ignore them–they are usually at the back of the class.  Whatever I teach the other children, they do it because no one watches them, no one is behind them. During breaks I go talk to them, I encourage them, build them up and let them know how good they are, I build relationship with them, make them feel special.

When it comes time for the presentation–I place everyone in their places.  I call those shy kids up front and they end up leading the group and they LOVE it!  They feel energized and somehow the shyness goes away.  Everyone knows they’re shy and both parents and other children are in awe — and everyone knows “Indeed–this is God!”

~ Belma Vardy

(Belma and Roz are joint-coordinators for the ICDF Network “Dance for Children”)

Why children’s dance? and other thoughts

Why Children’s Dance?
• Because children dance.
• Because they are like sponges, they like to absorb it. They are spontaneous and expressive —without forcing them to be. They are “naturals”. Adults tend to think, are more self conscious, while children are freer.

Five Adjectives to describe Children’s Dance
Lively, inspiring, exciting, joyful, engaging, imaginative

What we do in Children’s Dance?
1. Provide a safe place
2. Have fun
3. Create community
4. Explore creativity
5. Teach healthy habits

~ Belma Vardy & Roz Hancock

ICDF Network Coordinators “Dance for Children”