Choosing a song is one of the most important aspects of ensuring that you will minister effectively. Wrong choice of song can cause your performance to have a low rate of efficacy and be detrimental to the reputation of your dance ministry. There are four major aspects to think about when choosing a song. As a dance director and choreographer, I have had many songs recommended to me that, regretfully, I had to decline, due to some important missing components of choosing the right musical piece.
Firstly, you must ask yourself, “What type of event am I dancing for?” The theme of the music must match the purpose of the event. For example, if you are dancing for Resurrection Sunday, you will want to choose a song in which you and your team can depict the importance of the blood, the cross, or the power of death losing its sting. Although you can make a song’s theme fit into the message, you want to find the ‘best fit’. Don’t settle for just anything- strive to be a ministry of excellence. You should review a variety of songs.
Secondly, the song of selection must have a climax. The word ‘climax’ refers to a part of the song in which there is a heightened peak or elevation of voice, instruments and sometimes tempo. This climax of the music is important because the songwriter is telling a story and there is a ‘turning point’ of the song that can be captured through dramatic movement. The song should be a progression and at the peak, there is intensity. Just as a movie or story has a plot, a climax and ending, the same is true for the song of choice. In rare instances, there are songs without peaks that may be appropriate for specific events.
Thirdly, does the song minister to you personally? A song should first minister to the dancer and then the people. When this happens, the song becomes more valuable to you as a minister of dance/mime and you will be more dedicated to making sure that the message of the song is communicated clearly and more effectively.
Fourthly, is the song appropriate? The song needs to be clear about ‘Who’ you are referring to. Songs in which people are left to decipher whom you are talking about- are best not to use. Psalms 149:3 states, “Let them praise His name in the dance”. If the song does not address Jesus Christ as Lord, God or any other name that pertains to our Heavenly Father, then that song needs to be reviewed. Without acknowledgement of God in the ministry of the dance, it is no longer ministry- just dance.