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Although this art form has been developing in churches for many years, Praise Dancing is just starting to filter out into the secular community. Churches from a variety of denominations, but primarily African-American Baptist churches, have been starting dance ministriesall across the country. Mixing a variety of dance forms with mime and occasionally with American Sign Language (ASL), Praise Dancing is sometimes called Worship Dance or Praise Mime. The use of mime make-up is not standard, and is somewhat controversial because of its similarity to minstral makeup. However, the use of white gloves is a consistent element of the troupes that are more strongly mime-oriented. I even found one instance of the white gloves being used in a form of worship dance in Malaysia.
The variety of Praise Dance performed by my favorite group, Faith Ministry Center Church in Grand Rapidsis one of the more modern hip-hop influenced styles, with the interaction between the dancers reminiscent of krumping.
A somewhat more formal mime is utilized by the Radical Annointed Praise Mime.
Unspoken Praise Mime Ministrycombines dance with traditional song interpretation into American Sign Language. The Righteous Praise Dance Ministries focuses even more heavily on the ASL interpretation.
Concentrating on the dancing itself, Vessels of Worshiptake a formal dance approach. In contrast, Trinity Dance Ministryhas a modern style. It will be interesting to watch this dance form continue to evolve and diversify thanks to the magic of Youtube.
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