Thursday, July 21, 2005

Liturgical dance costumes

Until 2 days ago, I had never heard of the phrase ‘liturgical dance costumes’. It’s nothing too difficult to understand, and is fairly self-explanatory - costumes worn by dancers for church/christian events. I have been roped in to dance for an event my church is organising next month, and we had a meeting on Tues night to discuss the details. Seeing that the costumes would take a while to be made, we had to decide on the design of a costume pretty soon. So we turned to Google for some ideas and lo and behold, discovered a plethora of fine Christian dancewear – designed to not only protect a dancer’s modesty but also to hide the natural waist:

1.

Ah what festivities! I can already hear the trumpets sounding. This is the perfect outfit to wear to exude triumph, aided in no small part by those extra hanging flaps, designed to look exactly like flag decorations. Also, please note the versatility of this costume, as it also allows you to wear again if ever you had to double as medieval court jester in a pantomime. Glorious!

2.

Instead of sticking to just white, liven up your costume with splashes of colour! Notice the gradual shadings from light to dark, further accented by extra panels to give you a poofy silhouette. Don’t be surprised if Cirque du Soleil comes knocking on your door to borrow this for its marquees.


3.

The fullness of the skirt has been duplicated for the top as well, because why have only one ruffle when you can have two? Please also note the flattering V-shape of the blouse, which succeeds in bringing your bosom to the region of your waist. This modest yet perfectly feminine ensemble also features a full skirt, perfect for twirling in.


4.

Keep people guessing in this full-skirted gown! Are you an optical illusion? A nun minus her habit? The cross of Jesus? The best part is: there is no wrong answer! Guaranteed to add the perfect inspirational note to your performance.


5a.

This is a personal favourite. Look Ma, no hands! Nothing quite says soar like the wings of an eagle in this poncho-styling angel collar top. When teamed with the full circle skirt, the effect would be a charming halo of a delicious dust ruffle.

5b.

The angel collar also is available in a more exciting metallic fabric for that extra sparkle and sheen. Highly recommended for roles which require you to play the angel atop the Christmas tree.

47 comments:

Cowboy Caleb said...

I'm sorry, but the truth is that they are all hideous and I almost went blind reading your post.

Ha ha.

JellyGirl said...

Hehe. I can't decide if I would piss myself laughing or die from embarrassment if I were made to wear any of these costumes in public.

Woof! said...

pls don't wear them :D

JellyGirl said...

Woof, dont worry, I don't have any plans to. :)

lancerlord said...

The 4th one doesn't look so bad leh. OK ok, i know i got bad taste. I wear one and blind Cowboy's eyes. :)

Cupcake Queen said...

Eeek... even the models look freaky!

JellyGirl said...

LL: Well, I will admit the red cross dress doesn't look so bad when viewed against the others, but what I really want to know is - you would wear this dress?!

Ondine said...

When I first looked at them, I thought they were some customes for a church play or something. Looks suitably biblical. I think even nuns wouldn't be caught dead in the outfit. Stick any dancer in it, they'll spit and curse and perhaps purposely destroy the costume so that it can live in eternity in costume hell.

Praise Dance Cordinator said...

I am looking to order Praise Dance uniforms for my church. I am 50 years old and have been teaching and praise dancing for years. The outfits are not what I am lookng for. You must get up-dated. It is not about looking glitzy, it is about being humble and ministering to those through your dance. Simplicity is sometimes the best.

Anonymous said...

I am a liturgical dance leader and minister of dance at my church. My comment is, although the first uniform is not that attractive, the others are what liturgical dancers are wearing and look quite beautiful while dancing in them. If am disturbed that you and the others posting are making a mockery of this.

Anonymous said...

The praise and worship dancer should wear attire that is modest and will not be a distraction. All of the uniforms can be used effectively for the appropriate dance/song. Don't focus heavily on the outside appearance because God looks at our hearts and our desire to serve him. Don't worry about those who are making mockery, it is for them that we dance and pray to God to move on their hearts so that they may be saved!

Anonymous said...

First i would like to say this is about worship not on how you look. I am over a group of girls between the ages of 5 to 12 i love these uniforms it shows that im not up here to show off im up here to worship. so the first couple of comments are not called for.

Anonymous said...

I am praise dancer and the uniforms are not that bad, and all of the negitive comments are foolish because whoever wrote them can't understand God or his purpose so if this is to make fun of praise dance uniforms then shame on you because in the end God will get the last laugh

Anonymous said...

I think that everyone should be ashamed of themselves. of your Liturgically dancing the only thing on your mind should be worshiping and reverencing God. he's the only one thay matters. No matter if the clothes are glittery or not. someone said the costumes should be modest. I f they stand who cares? If a person can;t dance in something with glitter because of another person's flesh than that person needs Jesus. it's not about the costumes it's about weather or not a praise dancer is annoited. that's the question that should be asked.

Anonymous said...

I usually don't get involved in posting comments. Everyone has there own taste and feelings when it comes to clothes and that's Ok, but one thing should be the same and that is the reason for wearing whatever is chosen to dance in. Of course understanding a certain amount of modesty is expected when it comes to revealing too much, which these clothes meet. The glitter or no glitter does not offend the annointing. I pray that the focus is on ministry. For those that choose to make fun, why even respond, they are only doing what they know to do. There is so many other positive things they could be doing than to take time to make offensive remarks on a web site. It leaves me wondering how they really feel about themselves.

Anonymous said...

In a world where showing your body off is the norm, these outfits are a welcomed sight. These are for praising God and ministering to the people, not rump shaking and drop it like it is hot. Dance ministry is serious and holy and we have to be careful not to take the things of the world into the house of the Lord. I like them all.

Anonymous said...

Hello. I have to be honest. These are all hideous, and the worst part is that they are truly what is out there. I did find a website that has more youthful looking and provide ease of movement. It is true that most ministries end up making their costumes because the selection is deficient.

kingdomgarments.com

Anonymous said...

If you want truly anointed garments that are modest, and sanctuary appropriate for worshipping the King of Kings you need to contact "Fit For The King"
in Columbus, Ohio. charmeuse@msn.com makes custom fitted worship & arts dance garments.

Anonymous said...

I have been a worship dancer for 15 years now and can't believe that most of this stuff is still around. Unfortunatly, if you are looking to order off the internet, most of the outfits are immodest or hideous. Secular costume companies just really don't "get it". My recommendation is to find sourself a good seamstress- PRAY that the Lord sends one to you. Meanwhile, the lady on Ohio mentioned in a previous post is truly excellent. There is also a woman in Charlotte, NC who makes good basic dresses (flattering on pretty much all body types) and does sillk flags and things as well. I think her e-mail is c_e_brooks@yahoo.com.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I am a worship dancer too and I have always hated these costumes. I can understand why people make fun of them. Yes, our dancing is for the Lord but there is no reason to distract the entire audience from worshiping by wearing something hideous. Don't get me wrong, I have had to wear this kind of thing because there is nothing else out there but I wish there were!!

Anonymous said...

After reading all the comments made some were mean (but honest). We must remember that if we represent the King we must list our comments in love and exhortation. To comment on the garments: we must first remember that as we minister the attention should be on God not our garments. When picking garments for a ministry piece your garment should be in unity with the song and what your ministry piece is trying to convey to the congregation. As stated before you do not want the congregation to focus solely on the garment and miss the message God wants you to convey. So, make sure you take all of that in consideration when picking a garment. Also, it may be the best idea as someone stated previous to pray and ask God to send you a seamstress (a Holy seamstress) to make your garments. Just some food for thought.

nattash said...

i am the praise dance president for my youth at church and i can tell u that these costumes are no where near what i would wear, we wear costumes that are stylish yet still appropiate, america this is not as good as it gets there are some truly beautiful costumes and if any one is looking for some may i suggest these websites: dancewearsolutions.com, reflections of dance.com, dancedistributors.com

Anonymous said...

Places like Dancewear Solutions and Dance Distributors are putting things out there that look good in the catalog but are a really big disappointment when you get them.
They cling to the body and sometimes you can see through them.
They don't have a real true understanding of what the church needs because they are not anointed.
If you want really anointed garments(not costumes) made by really anointed hands then you really should try Fit For The King.
Her garments are truly fit for the presence of The King. You can contact her at: charmeuse@msn.com

killingmyfleshdaily777 said...

The problem with those of you who post such stupid comments, is that you don't understand what praise dance really is and what the uniforms symbolize. Get God, and then ask him to give you a clue!!!!!!!

Praise Dancer said...

As someone with almost 25 years experience in dancing for the Lord, I agree with the first comment that all these costumes are hideous. Many people (dancers and non-dancers, men and women) would find them deeply offensive.

Bizarre outfits are one of the reasons why dance in the church gets such a bad press. And, contrary to some of the other comments, if you look at many of the videos posted on YouTube (try searching for praise dance, worship dance, liturgical dance, etc) you will find that it is definitely not a thing of the past.

As far as the last comment is concerned, I certainly do know what praise dancing is about and don't feel the need to wear anything symbolic. I just let my dancing speak for itself. In any case, most people who see a garment that is meant to symbolise something will have no idea what it is meant to represent.

It is quite possible to dress in a way that enhances your dance and is modest but doesn't make you look stupid.

I've found that most people who feel a need to wear elaborate "praise garments" do so because they are have no ability as dancers and need to disguise their shortcomings. They should find another public ministry and just dance in private.

Anonymous said...

Some serious issues amongst the fun here. Just my penn-orth:

1) Costumes ARE important in worship dance - bad costumes can kill an annointed dance and detract from honouring God's glory for the ONLOOKER.

2) I find this blog amusing because I ordered some liturgical dancewear from the site the pictures are shown from!! LOL. And it is interesting to see these items through other people's eyes! Most of the items I ordered were great - but two of them I do not look good at all - I look like an overdressed Christmas tree fairy!! A waste of my money as I could never wear them to do a worship dance in.

3) I agree with the person who said that simplicity is best - my favourite costume is a beautiful A-line blue velvet dress I bought from a charity shop for £8.

4) Modesty also is important. I have seen women dance in trousers with the knickers showing through, and once on stage a dancer did a twirl and we had full view of her legs right up to her knickers.

4) The purpose of worship dance is TO MINISTER TO other people - it is not just about internal worship (though that is part of it) - so what is worn is important. We shouldn't look like kids out of a junior school play or like Christmas tree fairies!

5) I would rather see women dressed in some of the items here rather than the tight trousers and tight T-shirts with boobs bobbing about that I have seen at some Christian festivals. On the other hand, some of the costumes shown above are rather over-the-top and too elaborate.

Thank you all for your contributions and I hope you have found mine interesting.

pianist/dancer said...

This is a hot issue I see.

I believe it all started with the writer needing costuming for dance that was to be done in a church setting. You've obviously been asked because you have dance experience. If you've ever taken a dance class then you know what can be created with scissors, tights, and leotards. In college my second major was dance. We did not have the money to buy what we wanted for our choreography and we usually didn't like what was in the costume closets so we sewed, shopped second hand and cheap stores, or borrowed. Take your cue from any dance company or dancer, not from the companies producing costuming for the church. Most small companies and dancers, lack funding to purchase costuming and the ones I've worked with alter and sew non dance clothing to make what they want. You could also try coulottes (sp) they move well and are popular clothing again so you should find a good inexpensive selection. I found mine at a department store on sale and dance in them every week. They move well and have lasted several years now. Hope you have a good experience with this endeavor.

On to the other issues this initial querry caused. There is a difference in dance and worship dance as there should always be. Dancing for a church should never be taken on lightly. You will find very few in the church who have an understanding of dance in general, its history, etiquette, choreography. I volunteered for quite a few years choreoghraphing worship dance under a choir director at my church who vastly appreciated the arts. She knew the potential of dance in the church and at the same time was saddened by the realities of personalities that keep it from working. There are not that many willing to bastardize their art for the church so you end up with a church product with largely unskilled volunteers. My women's choir professor always encouraged us to throughout our lives be involved in the arts in our communities. I've yet to hear the same hearfelt encouragement from a church to it's members to keep themselves learning by being involved in their communities arts or otherwise.

Keep praise what it is...intensely personal and not a show, be respectful of your audience, and to the unskilled please take a class and find the beauty that is within you. Dance classes are not sinful places. And if you have a MAN in your class or teaching your class don't run, he may be completely straight. If your fear makes you run then you've successfully kept yourself in your church cocoon. Just what Jesus would've done?

Anonymous said...

some are ok.

Mrs.O said...

Now look here i'm a God fearing woman. But this stuff is really, REALLY UGLY. I would never in my life put myself or my girls that that crap. Your collection is completly well, horrible. No body wears that anymore. I tried to paste one of ya'll dresses on here but i see that even my computer know they ugly. You owe me some money. Why, because you broke my computer, and my eyes are bleeding to death. God Bless You.

Anonymous said...

Now I'm a God fearing woman, but that some ugly dresses. Like I mean there REALLY ugly. It's rediculous how nasty they look. You owe me money cause you broke my computer and my eyes are bleeding. I would never NEVER put myself or my praise dancers iin that mess. That's exactly what it is,a MESS.
BUT GOD BLESS YOU 4 TRYING. HA!HA!HA!

Rough Rider said...

I don't know what all of the fuss is about these dresses I mean they don't look all that good but hey cut them some slack besides the fourth and fifth ones aren't all that bad.

Anonymous said...

Why do we judge? Some like these costumes and others don't . What is the problem? I always like to look at them to get ideas for my dance outfits. Also if you sew Valerie Henry has created sacret dance costume patterns. I have made a few of them. especially the coulotte.Check it out.I like them.Valerie is a dance leaders of the christian embasy in Jerusalem, an awesome woman. Blessings Friederike
http://www.vhdance.org/patterns/womens/childsdress.htm and http://www.vhdance.org/patterns/ideas.htm

Lydia said...

MRS O,
for someone that is God Fearing your language is certainly not. God Fearing people would portray the image of God himself. If we ask ourselves WHAT WOULD JESUS SAY about these outfits, do you think the words would be what came out of your mouth? It is hurtful, unmannerable and ungodly. These people are trying, and sweetie, one mans food is another man's poison. Not everybody has the same dress sense.
God is interested in your heart, hows yours, Is it to deliberately hurt people?

And for all the other comments, lots of emphasis is placed on clothing when it comes to worship, the word says, come as you are. From experience if your heart is right and you are truelly worshipping in spirit and truth the annointing will flow, irrespective of what you wear.

GOD BLESS YOU

Masquerade said...

LOL I have to say I LOVED this post. As a dance major I, too, am often 'persuaded' to choreograph for churches and it is quite difficult to find costumes that are pretty, and FUNCTIONAL (because honestly, the way I choreography those poor girls would be tripping all over themselves), and yet modest enough to please the most 'traditional' of the church family. I'm glad I'm not the only one finding this rather difficult.

Oh - and ignore the person that posted before me. They're just jealous because you're madly talented and they can't even clap on the beat. ;)

Masquerade said...

One more thing - you might be interested to know I blogged my own opinion as well. :P

mdcraig62 said...

This discussion has been raging for THREE YEARS on this blog!! People who genuinely like these costumes ought to be thrilled: there is a surfeit of these kinds of outfits on the internet and in catalogues. For those who would prefer NOT to use their local church as a platform to pay homage to "Dynasty" through dance, your options unfortunately seem to be more limited.
Furthermore, since when does "modesty" mean hiding the natural shape of the body? Obviously, one shouldn't appear at a conservative family religious function dressed like Britney Spears and prepared at a moments notice to "drop it like it's hot" as one observer put it. However, that being said, there is a generous and expansive grey area between tawdry and reverent.
And further still, I don't recall any passages in the bible when some lively dish got smited because she was girating in gold lame`, or not as the case may be. That being said, I have seen clothing designed for poodles that is less rediculous than some of these get-ups. And a good fashion rule to close: If it is already unfathomably ugly, don't for the love of the GOD you claim to be dancing for, DON'T add sequins.

Anonymous said...

Fit For The King Sacred Arts Garments has wonderful, well fitted, dance garments that are modest and appropriate. The lady has 17 years experience sewing special garments for praise and worship dancers, trained and untrained. I get things from her all the time. email her: charmeuse@msn.com
Take a look: www.freewebs.com/fitforthekinggarments

Anonymous said...

hey im a worship dancer n i think that the costumes are nice espeially the red dress with the cross on it,well i think that the costumes are really nice but its not the costumes that really matter,its the heart attitude that you dance with and most importantly the message in the song but overall i know that these costumes feels cmfortable in and can dance freely in it.i would say that i love it,good job for the designer.

Anonymous said...

To the person who designed the costume i think it is really nice and its beautiful and besides its not about the costume that you wear during the dance. Its the heart that god runs after and those people who have been saying negative comments and saying that they are gods followers i dont think they really mean what they are saying coz what they are saying reflects who they are.

Anonymous said...

yea he si rite it ugly

Anonymous said...

yes these garments are hideous. but where have you been? there are some beautiful garments out there if a person wants to find them. go to:
garmentsbyinspiredesigns.com or esthersrobes.com, or
joyshoppe.com.
i have seen the others mentioned, however, i have never bought anything from them because the person never called me back when i tried to contact them. so, i moved on.
there are some nice things in the catalogs that don't look like clown suits. presentation is everything. you can be modest and appropriate and still look nice.

Anonymous said...

Okay I will be honest, I hate all of these costumes and I dance at my church. I agree that when you dance you should be focused on God and bringing Him glory, but do we have to look so hideous while doing it? Can someone please design modest dance costumes that aren't embarrassing or frumpy and maybe not let the dancers overheat in it? PLEASE! I don't think God expects us not wear something that doesn't even look good on the models! I think He is okay with us looking good too...but that's just my personal, humble, opinion.

Anonymous said...

hello it seems as there is much fuss about what praise dancers are wearing. There are several comments that I have read in this blog that I agree with and others I don't agree with. The websites recommended I have looked at and are completely different from what I am accustomed to dancing in due to the nature of the world selling girl's and women's bodies just for dance. Modest in my eyes needs to show respect for yourself and others while reverencing the Godly view He has for us.
The costume must be able to fit what the song and dance style is and at times the costume is not what you want to wear but is most appropiate for the situtation.
For myself I have been dancing for a few months and now finding the correct outfit/dress is the hardest part for all worship. I must Honor my body and God before I think about other's opinions. Truth be told I don't like to hear comments that are negative about the whole situtation because it can hurt. I realize that since I started it is what happens when that music starts and the whole reason why I dance the way I do. I know always that staying covered important because the men can see what you don't and that staying covered is also honoring myself.
Many don't understand and that is ok. My advice is to honor God first and leave all else behind you because God's opinion above all else is the most important.
reguardless of what anyone says about this comment- I will focus on God, the reason He has me dance, and the rest is out of my control.

info said...

We got tired of seeing the same old litugical garments and created a line of our own that is imaginative and easy to wear. The 4ever Praise Dance Store: http://www.4everpraise.org/store

Anonymous said...

Garments NOT Costumes!!! You wear Costumes for Halloween and Garments of Praise to honor your Father in Heaven!

"Make sacred garments for your brother Aaron, to give him dignity and honor. Tell all the skilled men to whom I have given wisdom in such matters that they are to make garments for Aaron, for his consecration, so he may serve me as a priest." -Exodus 28:2-3 (NIV)

Continue to pray for a skilled seamstress to come along side your dance and worship ministries. Your body is sacred... treat it as such for it holds the living spirit of God! He deserves our very best!

I have been very blessed to be given a wide variety of opportunities to dance. I have seen so many different kinds of worship and praise dancing across the country and abroad. All I have to say is... protect your body... trust in God and He will show you what is appropriate in HIS eyes.

Anonymous said...

They are not that bad, I will not wear the first or the purple draped dress but the rest are good....Plus when you are praise dancing no one looks at your clothes (ugly or cute) GOD don't care what you wear.....

Jane Austen said...

I think it's great that there are costume options out there with for people with religious standards. I personally like beautiful leotards and other costumes that show the dancers shape. In my opinion these allow you to see their technique and grace a little better. I understand that it's not the same for everyone though. Glad to see you found something you liked.