Saturday, January 2, 2016

African American Praise Dancing (information & videos)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post provides information about African American Christian church based praise dancing (liturgical dancing). Nine videos of children (ages 3-12 years old) performing praise dancing are showcased in this post. (Praise dancing is also performed by teenagers and by adults.)

The content of this post is presented for cultural, religious, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those who are featured in these examples, thanks to all who are quoted in this post, and thanks to the publishers of these examples on YouTube.

Praise dancing (liturgical dancing) is choreographed dancing that is performed during Christian religious services. African American praise dancing is performed by one or more people, usually female, and usually to recorded praise and worship music or other forms of Gospel music.

My guess is that the term "praise dancing" comes from the growing popularity of "praise and worship" type/s of (African American) Gospel music.

Here's more information about praise dancing
From praise dance central ministry - a blog about praise dancing
"Lesson #1:
What is a Praise Dance?
PDCM’s definition of Dance:
A Praise Dance is a form of dance that glorifies God by communicating the divine message of the good news of Jesus Christ. A Praise Dance is a unique and God ascribed dance (Ps. 150:3-5). This means that God has ordained the dance to be a physical expression of our acknowledgement of Him (Ps. 150:2; Col. 1:16) and our relationship with Him in joy and gladness (Ps. 22:3; Ps. 30:11; Zeph. 3:17).

What is Dance Ministry?
Dance Ministry is simply the process by which we use our gift of dance to share the gospel or the good news of Jesus Christ to the lost and to encourage, comfort, and edify the saints in the faith."

...”Types of Praise Dance
Praise dance can be performed using several different genres of dance. Modern dance seems to be the most popular, but other styles that are used include ballet, jazz and hip-hop, among others...

A typical praise dance costume might include a leotard worn underneath a loose top or cape along with a long, flowing skirt or loose pants. Praise dance skirts are easily recognizable in dance wear stores because they are extremely long and full.
Sometimes a praise dancer will make use of colorful streamers, flags or banners. These props enliven a dancer's routine and build excitement among the audience. Sometimes tambourines are used to further elevate the spirit of the dance.

Praise Dance History
As referenced in the bible, dance has always been an important part of worship. Many religions valued praise dancing as an integral part of their worship services. However, the Restoration forced dance out of the Christian church. It was not until the 20th century that praise dance reentered the church.

Praise Dance Future
Praise dance seems to be becoming more and more popular in many Christian denominations. More and more churches are incorporating praise dance into their services. Praise dance teams are becoming ministries in churches just as choirs and prayer teams.

However, many Christians still object to dance within the church. Some people believe that dance should not be a part of a serious worship service, even though it is a form of religious expression. Some Christians even view praise dancing as immoral, going as far as to ban it from their church."
Although it's not mentioned, I believe that these comments and descriptions refer to Christian churches in the United States. The prohibition against dancing in church, and/or dancing at any time are vestiges of the USA's Puritan heritage. However, based on the videos that I've seen of African Christian church services and religious concerts for example, those attitudes about dancing don't appear to apply to those congregations.

I think that the closely related dance genre of religious mime helped gain more acceptance among African American Christians for praise dancing. Mime may be a sub-set of praise dancing as it also is a choreographed dance performance by one or more people to recorded (mostly Gospel) music. Central differences between miming and other forms of praise dancing are that mime performers "pantomime" the lyrics to the song that they are dancing or moving to while (other) praise dancers don't mouth the words to the record they are performing. Also, African American mime performers usually wear white paint on their faces and wear white gloves to emphasize their pantomiming the words and gestures of the song's lyrics. In addition, it seems to me that among African Americans there are more males who perform religious mime than perform (other forms of) praise dancing. Furthermore, it's my experience that both miming and (other forms of) praise dancing are considered more acceptable by African American Christians when they are performed during church related services or events and not during the main Sunday church service.

Click for the blog "Gospel Mime".

Also, click the tap "Black Gospel Mime" below for other pancocojams posts on that subject.

These examples are given in chronological order according to their publishing dates on YouTube with the oldest dated example given first.

Example #1: Greatly Anointed Praise - I'll Trust You

Myisha Frazier, Uploaded on May 17, 2010

Contact info: Search Facebook for Greatly Anointed Praise
D'Mya Dawson; LaShawnda Taylor; Hip Hop Church of LA; May 16, 2010

Greatly Anointed is a dance company that obtains dramatic/ praise and worship ministry. They are a dynamic group of young ladies that bring forth worship throughout the Los Aangeles community and hopes to branch off and share their ministry in dance around the world..These ladies have ministered at, Gospelfest at Knotts Berry Farm, Black Expo, Praise It Up, and ministered at various churches and venues.

Greatly Anointed is birthed and directed by La Shawnda Taylor and her assistant Rushanda Banjamin. Their goal is to teach and share the Gospel so that these young ladies and others can grow in christ. They also live by the word,
"We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength." Philipians 4:13

Example #2: Anointed 4yr Old Praise Dancer

Tony Shumate Sr, Uploaded on Jun 15, 2010

4yr old praise dancing under the anointing unto the Lord.

Example #3: Praise Dance "Mary Did You Know"

caddik1, Uploaded on Dec 20, 2010


MsMSMAGNOLIA, Uploaded on May 22, 2011


Example #5: Tyler Perry Father Can You Hear Me Dance

JalessaJ's channel, Uploaded on Jan 4, 2012

Zar 5, Mikyla 8, and Jalia 4 doing spiritual dance, girls learned it in 24 hours....many videos to come from the girls whom are cousins all of them are sooo talented!

Example #6: My God Is Awesome Praise Dance-Charles Jenkins

Anointed Praise, Published on Sep 11, 2012

Facebook Page:
Little Anointed Vessels Ministering My God Is Awesome Father's Day 2012 (ages 5-9)

Example #7: Take Me to the King praise dance by Kayla!

KMCGmom's channel, Published on Dec 16, 2012

Sending encouragement to those that are going through. My daugther (5 yr old kindergartner) wanted to learn a praise dance and her song of choice: "Take Me to the King" by Tamela Mann. Her wish is for everyone to love one another and for everyone to be happy. I decided to post this in tribute to the famlies that loss loved one this past Friday in Newton, CT.

Example #8: Take Me To The King Praise Dance (4 & 5 Year Olds)

Tanayshia Lisa, Published on May 18, 2013

Students at CLEc Academy in Philadelphia show off their talents.

Example #9: Chosen Vessels of Praise - Children's Dance Ministry

Third New Hope Baptist Church, Published on Sep 13, 2013

Third New Hope Youth praise Dancers

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1 comment:

  1. It occurs to me that Alvin Ailey's now classic dance set "Revelations" serves as a prime example of praise dancing. Also, the popularity and acceptance of those dances probably has helped praise dancing become more acceptable in African American church functions, if not during the actual Sunday church services.

    Click for a pancocojams post about Alvin Ailey's "Revelations".