Choreography and Ministry Suggestions for Solo Dance Ministers


  • This article, thoughtfully and prayerfully composed, is a combination of lessons I have learned over the last 30+ years in dance ministry. I pray it provides you with encouraging suggestions, creative ideas, and disciplines of wisdom. While much of this article’s content contains my thoughts, feelings, and opinions…I pray that some of what is shared here will serve as proverbial guidance for you as you seek His will.

Proverbs 1:2-5 For attaining wisdom and discipline for understanding words of insight; for acquiring adisciplined and prudent life; doing what is right, just,and fair; for giving prudence to the simple, knowledgeand discretion to the young – let the wise listen andadd to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance.

  • To dance or not to dance? Solo, that is…Therein lies the question. The first place we must begin in a discussion about solo dance ministry, is whether God has called you to minister ALONE in dance. We are ALL called to dance alone in our prayer closets, in loving adoration at His feet. But has He called you to minister in dance publicly as a solo ambassador and servant for Him? Only the Lord can truly reveal your calling as a solo dance minister, so my first suggestion is to seek Him in prayer and ask Him to confirm your calling in the mouths of 2-3 witnesses. Solo dance ministers come in all shapes, sizes, ages, and with various technical (or non-technical) backgrounds. One thing I can say for certain however, they all have that “certain something”, that sets them apart as anointed dance ministers, that not all worship dancers possess. While difficult to put into words, I will try to describe that “certain something”…

  • They grasp and hold a congregation’s attention ~ whether technically trained or not, anointed solo dance ministers have an amazing ability to grip the hearts of people and keep their attention through the entirety of a song. Their ability to communicate through movement, along with God’s powerful presence upon them, allows them to minister the message of a song with precision.

  • They communicate God’s heart and usher in His presence ~ there is always a compelling release of God’s anointing and a fullness of His presence as these anointed dance ministers express the heart of God through movement. Congregants feel the nearness of His touch upon their hearts and experience breakthrough in areas of personal need (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual).

  • They minister in dance prophetically ~ proclaiming a “timely word in due season” through movement that brings exhortation, edification, and comfort. Also, anointed solo dance ministers humbly bring attention to Him whose almighty power dispels works of darkness.

  • Do these points describe YOU??? If you’re not sure, ask someone you respect and whose opinion you value as wise and discerning. He will willingly confirm your calling as a solo dance minister (assuming that is His calling upon you) when you ask in faith. So ask!!! Assuming the Lord has already confirmed your calling as a solo dance minister, the remaining points I will address here are matters of discipline and ministry focus for you to consider…

  • Training ~ I suggest at least 3 full years of disciplined study & training in your chosen area of movement (dance, flags, mime, etc.) It is soooo important to achieve mastery of basic movement disciplines so you will attain proper posture, alignment, balance, control, etc. As well, when you minister alone, you need a WIDE variety of movements to draw from to communicate the message of the song you have chosen. And so, you MUST increase your movement vocabulary and continually hone your skills.

  • Continued Skill Training ~ I have learned the hard way, at times, that I must continually hone my skills as a dancer, even those skills I have previously mastered. “If you don’t use it, you lose it” is such an appropriate lesson to consider. I find I must continue to practice and/or take lessons for personal strength and agility, even though I teach lessons all the time. Muscles become weak without consistent use, so it is imperative that you rehearse those skills you have already mastered.

  • Theatrics ~ Since you alone carry the weight of expressing the message of your song, in order to GRASP and KEEP your congregation’s attention, you need excellent “theatrical” expression. This means you need strong facial expressions, body language that “speaks loudly”, graceful poise, and innovative movement. The person in the back of the sanctuary needs to both see and feel what you are communicating through movement.

  • Using pageantry aides ~ Especially if you have a limited movement vocabulary (and assuming you feel God has anointed you to minister as a soloist), I suggest using various pageantry aides (cloths, streamers, flags, etc.) to enhance the message of your song. Sometimes movement alone will not convey the message of a song with precision, and therefore a visual aide is necessary.
  • Use ALL of your dance space ~ I still make the mistake of dancing towards the front of the platform through much of my solo dances, and not utilizing ALL of the space available to me – ugh! Make good use of ALL the space you have…and face various directions throughout your choreography…facing downstage, upstage, right stage, left stage, and all points in between. This ensures that EVERYONE will be able to see your movement clearly and will avoid that “flat” view of only facing forward.
  • Should I use my own choreography? ~ Unless you feel the Lord leading you to use someone else’s choreography, I suggest using your own, so that the expression comes from YOUR heart/soul. If you use someone else’s choreography, you MUST internalize it and “make it your own”, altering it “here and there” with your own particular “style” that God has anointed you with. This requires a process of TIME in prayer and rehearsal.
  • How long do I prepare for each song? ~ I suggest at least 3 months of prayer, worship, scripture meditation, choreography composition, and rehearsal to adequately prepare to minister a song alone. While the Lord may lead you otherwise ~ spending much longer, or slightly shorter, periods of preparation ~ know that sufficient preparation is necessary even for extremely talented dancers. (NOTE: this point is probably the most important topic I can address in this article…for a fuller expression of ministry preparation, please make reference to my mini ebook called Become a House of Prayer ~ Dance Ministry Fueled by a Spirit of Prayer) 

  • Ministering a “vertical” song ~ When the Lord leads you to minister a song that expresses worship or prayer that is “vertical” to Him alone, you MUST bring your congregation “into” your personal worship experience. If you don’t, they will simply be watching you worship. It is essential to involve the congregation in some way (through eye contact and gestures directed towards them) so they become part of your “vertical” song of worship or prayer. This is where even a talented, anointed dancer can lose a congregation’s attention and create a “wall” between him/her and the congregation.

  • How do I avoid redundant or repetitive movement? ~ This is where increasing your movement vocabulary becomes absolutely essential! If you have mastered only a few movement disciplines, you will have a very limited amount of ways to creatively communicate the message God has anointed you to express. This is why continued skill training is so important…

  • How long is too long of a song? ~ I suggest no more than 4-5 minutes when ministering ANY song, either solo or in a group. Unless you use a large amount of creativity, and have sufficient talent & stamina to express the message of a long song, you may lose your congregation’s attention and defeat God’s purpose for your dance. Knowing when to cut or fade a song is absolutely necessary. Bringing in extra dancers, to put an “exclamation points” on parts of your song that climax, is a wonderful way to enhance a solo.

  • Do I dance the song in my prayer closet only? ~ Discerning God’s will in the place of prayer is soooo necessary when choosing a song to minister alone. There are many, many songs I have danced in my prayer closet ONLY, because they were messages God was speaking to me personally. These songs were NOT His message to my church body, and while they ministered to me in a very personal way, they would not have had the same impact on my congregation had I ministered them in dance.

  • I am certain there are many more topics I could address in sharing choreography and ministry suggestions for solo dance ministers, I will conclude with this thought…through prayerful and disciplined preparation, the result of your solo ministry, will be written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone, but on tablets of human hearts. (2 Corinthians 3:3)