ICDF Networks Up Close
Visit the ICDF Networks Blog for more thoughts from the Network Coordinators.
Johanna Cardinal, from Quebec, Canada, writes about the ICDF Networks:
"When the piano music starts and my hand goes on the ballet barre, something special happens inside me. My passion for ballet is sparked once again, fueled, and like a well-used machine, my body goes through the movements it has remembered since childhood. I'm in my 'zone of passion'. Ballet gives me the 'vocabulary' to speak the 'languages' I need for worship and dance... be it freeform or technical; it's all good. If you feel the same way but are replacing my passion for "ballet" with another word, then you know what I mean. In ICDF Networks, we share different "zones of passion". Where is yours? Maybe we have one for you, or if not, maybe one is waiting to be created. Ballet anyone?
If what I have shared 'speaks' to you, I would love to hear from you. As the newly appointed ICDF Networks Liaison (past ICDF Coordinator), I along with the ICDF Network Coordinators are here to serve."
Debbie Bright lives in Hamilton in the North Island of Aotearoa New Zealand, where she is wife, mother, grandmother, dancer, teacher, researcher, conference presenter, writer and publisher.
"Like me, there are probably many people around the world who feel as if they are the only Christian doing what they are doing. I see this network as a way of linking Christian academics, whatever their discipline and whether they are working in Christian or secular institutions. I can see a number of possibilities for this network: letting each other know what we are doing (I’d certainly love to hear), discussions in cyberforums, comments on Twitter and/or Facebook, producing an electronic journal (with optional refereed articles)... I welcome suggestions on what members feel they need and ways that the network could help to meet those needs."
Peter Hothersall lives in West London. He is a former competitive dancer, dancing in Standard, Latin and Latin formation team at championship level. He assists at a local dance school and leads workshops on using ballroom dancing in worship.
The Ballroom Dance network aims to support ballroom dancers across the spectrum. We want the network to be a place of prayer and fellowship for social dancers and medallists, competitive and professional dancers, as well as those who use ballroom in worship.
It can be tricky to balance dance and church, and while we don't want to replace church, we do want to be a contact for prayer and support using the Internet and by meeting together. We would also like to get together socially and attend as many competitions as we can to support members as they dance.
We also believe that God has been raising up ballroom as a form of worship. Ballroom can express the joy, power and intimacy of our relationship with God beautifully and effectively... We aim to promote the use of ballroom in worship through workshops and ballroom worship events.
Andrew Park - Interim
"This network aims to connect Christian creative artists reflecting on and engaging with the concept of being and doing church in new ways... individuals and groups involved with diverse urban or ex-urban creative mission... being discipled by Jesus, discipling others, and demonstrating God's love that overflows every human barrier, whether of social, political, economic, cultural or even, dare we say it, 'Christian religious' construct... being friends of Jesus... being his loving works and workers of art... being and seeing the Good News proclaimed imaginatively to ALL, including the marginalised, disenfranchised, and otherwise privilege-denied!"
Sandra Godde writes, "This is an email network of Christian dance artists who are seeking to affect their culture through their artistic endeavours and/or by their professional positions in the dance arena. This includes professional and semi professional dance artists who are involved in ministry, professional companies, independent dance artists, mission work, or educational roles. The purpose is to network, fellowship, share stories, resources, and support one another. Members have usually had at least 3 years full time training as dancers and/or are very experienced performers, and are keen to unite with other Christian dance artists on an email listing. Newsletters include a featured artist or group from the list, upcoming performances and productions, audition or employment opportunities, and inspirational devotional meditations.
This fellowship network is for visionaries who can envisage the arts taking a forefront position in the work of God in their own country. It is for those who can see and will act on the creative possibilities of dance companies, ministry teams, organisations, training colleges, and projects emerging in the future, bearing the signature of God in their work and extending the Kingdom of God by engaging their faith within their culture. It is also a challenge for those who are in relationship with a living, redemptive God to lead in creativity, inspiration, revelation and prophetic declaration in their area of artistic skill and gifting, demonstrating art that reflects both the beauty and truth of God's world."
Belma Vardy lives in Burlington, Ontario, Canada. She has been travelling internationally working with children since 1986 & has produced a number of children's worship dance videos/DVD's which can be found at www.celebrationofdance.com
"Hi, I am Roz Hancock and I live amongst gum trees on the outskirts of Sydney with my husband and five home educated 'children'.
In Matthew 21:15, 16, Jesus said, 'Have you read, out of the mouths of babes and nursing infants, you have perfected praise?' God wants to use children. He wants us to release and allow and encourage them to be dynamic little instruments in His Hands.
Do you have a heart to minister with children? Are you a dance teacher or leader of a children's dance team? Do you want to start? The Children's Dance Network is for all who are or would like to be involved with teaching and leading children in Christian dance.
We will hold regular (every six months) networking cyberforums so that we can share ideas, teaching methods, learn from one another's personal experiences in teaching children, share dances, share resources.....and most of all share our hearts. We desire to be available to mentor those who would like to serve in this area of ministry within their church, other Christian organisation, school, or community."
The ICDF Dance Therapy & Healing Network is made up of people throughout the world who facilitate healing through the use of dance movement. Network members are involved in ministry/work that combine dance/movement with healing in the context of our shared Christian faith.
Some members of this network are dancers or dance groups using dance ministry workshops or presentations and others in the network are dance, music, art or drama therapists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, counselors, social workers, psychologists, psychotherapists, nurses, teachers, pastors, missionaries, youth and children's ministry workers.
To facilitate effective prayer, members are encouraged to send in any information and prayer requests at least once a year. Information about training & resources in this field can also be shared with or obtained from the network.
The ICDF Dance Therapy & Healing Network is preparing a journal for publication, incorporating past and present network articles relevant to the use of dance in healing in a Christian context. All members are invited to submit articles to the Dance Therapy & Healing Network coordinator to be considered for publication.
Beth Bluett de Baudistel runs a School of Excellence in Dance in Toowoomba Queensland and commutes to Sydney each week to direct LivingArts a Christian Performing Arts School.
After a career as a professional classical ballet soloist and contemporary dancer in Europe and Australia, Beth has now has had many years training dancers all ages in French, Russian and English methods of classical ballet and various American methods of modern dance. Running a dance school involves dealing with the complexities of:
running businesses; dealing with public; caring for students; relating to parents;
advising aspiring young professional dancers; acquiring government grants;
conducting youth ballet performances; employing professional guest artists;
and running ministry groups...
These are all things that would be good to share about in the Network.
Beth has found that by 'giving' her business/ministry to God, she has been provided with wisdom needed in all sorts of complexities and problems, including devising some very helpful ‘Terms and Conditions’ for dance schools. These protect teachers from unwarranted criticism, and guide dance parents, students and staff to work harmoniously with each other.
On returning from her dance career in France, Beth wrote a Christian Ballet Curriculum, now greatly revised and updated, with a Jazz and Contemporary Curriculum and Pre Dance Curriculum added, is released under the trademark Living Dance International. She is now offering this and teaching teachers as she travels. The Network will provide an opportunity of talking about curriculum and seeing what different ones are available.
"God has given me a heart for dance teachers. I know the joys and difficulties they can face. We can encourage each other and pass on helpful information in such a Network. Jesus' words about dealing with children are very apt for dance teachers – we must 'not lead one of these little ones astray'. Our schools need to be 'a light set on a hill' in our communities.”
"Hello everyone, My name is Linda Wells and I live in USA where my husband and I moved in 1998 to work with Operation Mobilisation. I was an interpreter for the deaf in the UK and have many friends in the deaf community there. I have seen God heal emotionally, spiritually and physically through dance and especially when it is used in conjunction with Sign Language.
We cannot allow anyone to be isolated from the Gospel or Body of Christ. Sign/Dance can also help hearing people connect heart and head as well as see the deaf ministered to and included in worship. In this way is acts as a bridge of blessing to all.
The Network gives members an opportunity to share their experience of using sign combined with dance and movement in both worship and evangelism."
Marie and Andrew Bensley live in Somerset, England, and have 6 cats! Their ministry website is www.kingdomdance.co.uk
"Despite the fact that flags and banners have been used in worship in many churches for some years, there are still many Christians for whom this is a newly discovered means of praise, and many more who have no idea how flags and banners can be used in spiritual warfare, prophecy, intercession and healing. The Flags and Banners Network brings together those who already have an interest in this area, as well as those who simply want to learn more. We have found on our travels that there is a particular need to teach the appropriate use of flags in churches, as there have been some people whose careless and inconsiderate use of this medium (often due to unbridled enthusiasm!) have brought it into disrepute, or at the least thoroughly put off fellow Christians who might otherwise have appreciated the creativity flags can bring. Our vision is to open people's eyes to the positive virtues of using flags and banners."
Darlene West lives near the Rocky Mountains in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
"God inhabits the praises of His people! Flags are another creative expression of worship, another instrument with which to worship God. Because our Father wired everyone uniquely, some people find it very difficult to enter into worship unless moving in some way. Flags are one creative way to worship that brings many into a freedom they’ve never experienced before.
The appropriate use of flags is essential. As well, our heart attitude is very important. In flagging worship, our hearts are focused on God while our bodies are offered as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing in His sight. We worship with flags for an audience of One, while honouring those around us.
In our yearly CyberForum our hearts are knit together when we realize we are not alone in our experiences (good and bad) with flags, whether we live in a large city or a little hamlet. Lord, bind us together with cords of love that cannot be broken.
I am personally living my dream, designing flags and teaching others how to use flags in worship, warfare, intercession and in procession. Thanks, Darlene."
Andy Raine, from Holy Island, Northumberland, UK is one of the founders of the Northumbria Community. I'm a reluctant traveller, although I do quite a bit of it - I love to be at home with my wife Anna and our two children.
"This Network is a forum for all men involved in Christian dance. We can hopefully provide some understanding of what men characteristically bring to the dance, what we enjoy, how we learn, and what can be achieved when men move together... in dance, in friendship and in prayer. Some men work with other male dancers but lack the opportunity to give public expression of their faith through dance. There are also some who feel isolated because they find themselves 'painted into a corner' as the only man in a group of women dancers, a situation which is fine for a while but leaves them longing for some male company and perspective. Others are looking for good dance material, ideas, music and reports of men's teams or dance-groups. One song we often use to for warm-up exercises on our men's dance days says, "Show me a place where I don't have to worry... show me a place where I don't have to hurry - that's where I belong!" On average a woman will take two steps to every one a guy does, even if we cross the floor together. Let's hope we can take some long, strong strides forward and arrive each in our place to stand ready to move at God's command."
- Dancing as worship: Men on the floor??
- Read an interview with Andy Au and other articles from the Men's newsletter
Vera Chierico and her American/Italian husband Paul live in London, England. They have 3 children and 4 grandchildren. Since 1994 Vera has taught workshops or toured with the New Jerusalem Dancers, a Messianic dance company, in 20 countries.
"Messianic dance can also be known as Davidic, Israeli or Hebraic. The title is not as important as the fact that they all have Jewish roots. They are also communal in nature and usually danced in a circle. In Messianic and Davidic dance the emphasis is on dances where the steps are repeated and can be used in many different songs from not only messianic but all cultures so people can experience "the one new man" - Jew and Gentile worshipping together for G-d's glory. The repetition makes it easy to focus on the worship and the words of the song. The words are normally taken straight from Scripture and singing Scripture as you dance makes the worship so uplifting.
The network aims to share ideas and choreography for Messianic Dance and tambourine, especially in ways of encouraging worshippers with little or no dance training to use Messianic/ Davidic dance in their worship, including most importantly men who find this dance style easier than most. It also aims to encourage people to search the Word to discover G-d's Biblical plan for Israel and the Jewish people, and to obey the command to 'pray for the peace of Jerusalem' (Psalm 122)."
Ralph and Mindy Seta live in Nevada, USA, where they belong to a Messianic congregation. They have a ministry called Messianic Dance Camps International and teach Messianic Israeli Worship dance classes all over the world. They have produced several instructional DVDs to support their teaching.
"Hello everyone, my name is Linda Wells and I live in USA. I work with Operation Mobilisation a Mission organisation with 4,000 full time missionaries. We have worked internationally in various cultures the last 25 years and have recently launched a Dance Ministry called Dancelink.
God has clearly shown me that dancers in fact clear the heavenly realm as they dance, thus enabling other giftings in missions to see breakthrough physically and spiritually in their land of service. Psalm 149 also says: "Let them praise Him with dancing" (V3) and V6 "May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double edged sword in their hands". There is GREAT power in praise that can defeat the kingdom of darkness.
The Missions Network enables members to share opportunities, theory and experiences of using dance and arts in mission. Dance Warriors for the Nations...come and join us!"
Sharon Ereaux lives in the western suburbs of Sydney, Australia where she teaches several forms of movement meditation and studies at Bible College. She is a mother, a writer and an artist.
"My passion for Christian movement meditation arose from the dark valley times of my life. I needed God and His Word to be more real to me than ever before. Movement Meditation combines various aspects of dance, exercise, stretching and relaxation. It is a powerful way to connect with the truths of the Bible, to go deeper in relationship with our Lord and be restored into greater wholeness, for body, soul and spirit.
Movement Meditation is a valuable tool for building up believers as well as for drawing in unbelievers and aids dancers and non-dancers alike. As an alternatives to yoga, tai chi or Zumba, our Christian practices are not just good exercise, they also provide a feast on the living Word of God, the only true message of hope and peace. The Movement Meditation Network seeks to bring together, resource, encourage and inspire those interested or working in this field to ensure the quality and the spread of Christian movement meditation around the world."
"I'm Rebecca Jeavons; I live in Sydney, Australia. My first love is dancing for the Lord but my second love is to watch a good game of Rugby Union. Go the Wallabies!
This Network is for people who love praying for others not just in word but in movement! Through regular newsletters members are encouraged to pray for the needs of the Christian Dance Fellowships around the world and for the overall work of ICDF. There are also regular opportunities to find out about what others are doing through prayer movement around the world."