Friday, December 18, 2009

CHRISTMAS is definitely a time to look at the past, present and future, all at the same time. Surely as Mary held the Baby Jesus in her arms, she reflected on all that had transpired, and all that lay ahead, while she yet enjoyed the cuddly warmth of her new born child. Likewise, as we sing songs like "O Come Let Us Adore Him," we are worshipping the newborn Christ, our present Redeemer, and our soon-coming King! Naturally, then, one of the best gifts at Christmas time is the kind that takes you back, moves you forward, and blesses you in the moment, all at the same time.
I am standing next to one of those gifts in this picture! Her name is Ambassador Davida Cotman-El, and she is one of the most significant reasons that I am an anointed dance minister today! When I look back, I see her hands upon my feet, anointing me as Samuel anointed David, and from that day on, I never danced the same. As I look ahead, I see her still dreaming and planning and pursuing the Will of the Father. Davida was always ahead of her time! You wouldn't know it to look at her, but she is my elder by about 15 years! Long before dance ministry leaders were talking about HOLINESS, EMBODYING SCRIPTURE, and the LEVITICAL connection to dance ministry, Davida was already teaching these truths-- and I was honored to have her as a mentor. She is my mentor, my sister and my friend forever--- and notice, those verbs are in the present tense, as is my love for this amazing servant of the Most High God!
Ambassador Davida resides in San Antonio, TX. She is a licensed minister and has been a leader in dance minstry since 1993. She currently hosts a traveling workshop entitled "The School of Grace." For information on this workshop or other ministry offerings, please contact:

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Ministry = Service!

In the dance ministry mentoring programs I've conducted, I always start off by asking, "What does the word ministry mean?" After several false starts, the participants finally come up with the idea of "helping" or "serving." The next question then becomes, "So how does a dance ministry help people?" Hmmmm.... now they're stumped. It blesses people. It's beautiful to watch. It can even deliver God's Word in a moving pictorial form, and that definitely helps people to know God and His Will for their lives. But can a dance ministry team minister in other ways? We've (finally) reached an era where the answer to that is a resounding "YES!" I don't know where we got the idea that dance ministers can or should only dance. This art form is one of the vehicles God uses to share His amazing creativity. But the serious minister of dance cannot spend hours upon hours in His Word and at His Feet (as He pours His anointed choreography in and out), without also sensing the Heart of God, which always involves service to others!
GPDA had the wonderful honor of rendering service to the homeless through the Providence Rescue Mission's 2nd Annual Walk-a-Faith. It was a glorious and chilly day here in Rhode Island -- glorious as we walked, chilly as we danced on the steps of City Hall (Brrrrrrr!), but a concrete reminder that the homeless of our city can't go inside and get warm anytime they want to. I love what Executive Director, Sean Carew said: "It's not for us to discuss the reasons why a person is in the condition they are in... it's simply our job to serve, as Jesus did." And so we walked,and walked,and walked --along with about 75 others from churches all over RI-- to raise money and awareness of their plight, but also to raise up PRAISE to Our Lord and Saviour, who tells us, "Whatever you do for the least of them, you have done it unto Me."(Mathew 25:40) We thank God for the Providence Rescue Mission who demonstrates this scripture everyday, 24/7, and we thank God for the small part we could play in serving others!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Liturgical Dance is on the Move in New England!

God is moving so fast, my calendar can hardly catch up with Him! There have been so many Liturgical Dance and Worship Arts events that it's hard to take part in everything.... and that's just in New England, not to speak of nation-wide or across the globe! GPDA did have the pleasure of ministering in dance at the First Annual Liturgical Dance Workshop in Newport(Oct 23-24) which consisted of a wonderful multi-arts Worship Service Friday night, and an all day workshop with one of the pioneers of the Liturgical Dance movement in this part of the country, Min. Kathleen Turner. Since I served as "amateur photographer" for GPDA, and dance minister, I was not able to get any pictures of our ministry on Friday night. But please enjoy the slide show below-- it gives a few glimpses of the blessings we received as audience and workshop participants.
"Set Free To Dance!" on PhotoPeach

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Meanwhile, Up in Worcester....!

The 5th Annual Fill-in-the-Gap aerobic dance event was happening in New Jersey this weekend.... and I couldn't go. :-( ..... But meanwhile, up in Worcester,MA, a sweet blessing awaited me. I love weddings, and new babies, and grand openings....'cause I love beginnings! I feel honored at those times when God allows me to be a witness at a "birthing." (Well.... I actually felt PAIN when I was a witness at my children's birthings.. but that's another blog!) I sang, danced, praised and witnessed the birth of yet another liturgical dance concert on Friday night. What a blessing to see what God continues to do, in big and small ways, as He is freeing up and empowering the Body of Christ through the expression of dance!

1st Dance Concert at Christ Tabernacle Apostolic Church!( Worcester, MA) on PhotoPeach

Friday, October 2, 2009

Rhode Island joins the National Liturgical Dance Network!

(Melodie with NLDN staff--Lakeisha Sykes and Sentheia McLeod, and Founding Director, Rev. Eyesha Marable - with daughter, Honor, in tow!)
This month, Rhode Island joined over 20 other states and over 7 countries in becoming a chapter in the National Liturgical Dance Network! Melodie Thompson-Thomas will serve as RI Chapter Chair,under the leadership of founding director, Rev. Eyesha Marable. Founded in 1998, NLDN promotes in-reach and outreach ministry through dance, challenging leaders and ministries world-wide to strive for excellence in their art and in their biblical knowledge. NLDN provides ongoing dance and leadership training to help equip the saints for effective ministry in dance and movement arts. As a NLDN Chapter, we can look forward to expanding opportunities for service to others and growth in our art, all to the glory of God!

Saturday, September 12, 2009


As once pointed out by one of my members, GPDA (God's Providence Dance Assembly) could also stand for "God's Public Display of Affection." :-) Perhaps the similarity in acronym is no coincidence. As we enter our 3rd season together, I can definitely testify that I've been blessed by the affection of each of these women of God. They have seen me at my physical lowest (on crutches with fractures shortly before last year's Gospel Dance Concert!)and at emotional low points as well. And they have been there for me- with laughter, hugs, encouragement.... even admonitions (cause,yeah, leaders need this, too, sometime!) Likewise, we have been there for each other. Through tears and joy and fear (Arise, Shoe Warriors!),and celebrations -- we have, indeed, been helpers one to another. And what does all this have to do with Dance Ministry? It has everything to do with dance ministry!God uses our affection for His Direction!
Because we love one another, we are able to appreciate, celebrate and support each other's strengths, weaknesses, differences and similarities. Unlike many other dance ministries, God's Providence Dance Assembly is made up of liturgical dancers from different churches in RI and MA. This aspect of our union adds tremendous richness to our fellowship,and I think it also adds to our appreciation of each other. I was recently talking to Valencia Friend, one of my dear dance sisters. We were talking about how disheartening it is to see some dance ministry members caught up in a spirit of competition, and how this is so contrary to God's purposes. We are all human, so if we say we have never ever looked at the skills of a more highly trained liturgical dancer without a "wee bit" of covetousness,then "the truth is not in us." But, as a former pastor of mine used to say, "You can't stop the birds from flying over your head, but you can stop them from making a nest in your hair!" Fleeting thoughts are just fleeting thoughts. But let our concentration be on affection for one another, as we display God's affection to a needy world!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Gospel Dance Concert III: God's Mission Accomplished!

" As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is My Word that goes out from My Mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it."
So began the 3rd Annual Gospel Dance Concert at Providence Assembly of God in Providence, RI. What proceeded for the next 2 hours was God's Word in Dance! From Genesis to Revelation, His Word walked and spun and twirled and leapt and jumped across the stage and up and down the aisles! And by the end, almost all who were present had responded to that Word in one way or another. Twenty + people came to the altar for salvation or rededication of their lives to Jesus Christ; 100+ people came to join the dancers in worshipping, repenting and rejoicing at the altar. Many, many, many people's lives were touched and transformed by God's message to His children, delivered through the creative expression of Dance. Mission Accomplished! (Stay tuned for Gospel Dance Concert IV in 2010!)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

GDC III - Uniting the Body of Christ through Dance!

Spirit-led liturgical dance leaders across the country are sensing that it's time to unify and evangelize, in order to glorify the Lord! Rev. Eyesha Marable and others are sensing the call from God to bring together the seven or eight different national and regional dance organizations to "join forces," as it were, for the purposes of edifying one another and spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. What a blessing and honor it is to share a small part in this world-wide vision, through the faithful continuation of the Annual Gospel Dance Concert, in "lil ol" Rhode Island! For going on 3 years, over a dozen churches in the New England area have taken part in this collaborative concert of Christian dance ministries.
If you are in the area SUNDAY, AUGUST 9th, please come and celebrate God's Word in Dance with us! If you are an anointed, Spirit-led dancer, there still may be time for you to take part. For questions or information, you may comment on this site or, for a more immediate response, email
Come Join in the Dance!

Monday, May 25, 2009

"Whatsoever Ye Doest for the Least of These..."

His name was Demetrius.
When I held his little body in my arms, it was like holding "unconditional acceptance," packaged in brown velvet. And when he kissed me on the cheek, it was me who felt like "the least of these." But most would look upon Demetrius, his 5 year old body stricken with cerebral palsy, and think of him as a member of that noble population of which Jesus spoke. "The least of these"-- The ones we overlook, or shun, or think less of because of their age, circumstances or condition--The population that receive more attention because of their disability, than because of their ability. I danced my heart out at a fundraiser for Demetrius because of his disability. But he melted my heart because of his Ability. I danced to "Jesus is Love" by Lionel Ritchie. (Yes, Lionel Ritchie! It was when he was with the Commodores.) I wanted to assure the hundreds of people present of Jesus' love for this precious little boy and his family, and that this love is "power," and "joy," and "healing"..... After the presentation, I asked his mom if I could hold him. When he laid his head on my shoulder, and kissed my cheek, it was I who felt that blessed assurance. Yes, Demetrius, Jesus loves me/ this I know/ For He used YOU/ to tell me so.
(for more information about Demetrius, pls visit

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Universal Language of Dance!

I had the absolute joy of attending Morning Star Baptist Church's High Praise Service on Palm Sunday. Everything--from the opening prayers by members stationed throughout the 1200-fold congregation, to the sermon by Rev. Dr. John Borders-- was a tremendous blessing. And the choir was off the church-cheazy! They did an awesome rendition of "Presence of the Lord" (Byron Cage),as well as other numbers. It was ALL GOOD!-- But it is the "language" of the dance ministry that lingers in my mind's photo-shop. It is God's Word, Majesty and Power communicated through movement that has been stored in my mental video file. "All Blessing and Honor and Glory and Power forever..." does not only play over and over in my head, but it also brings forth a visual, and that visual speaks to my soul, and my soul,in turn, breaks forth in High Praise!
Because I, too, am one of God's "movement messengers," my body speaks much of the same "universal language." To the Anointed Dancer, "blessing" is fists that come up from the belly or side, and fan out from the mouth; "honor" and "worship" are bows, sometime to the knee, sometimes full prostrate; God's majesty and royalty is a crown placed on the head, then gestured towards the heavenlies; and "forever" is a circular walk with arms reaching outward and forward, because forever never, ever ends....
And on it goes: Message, movement, language all presented from the dancer's submitted vessel. The Message comes from Him. The movement comes from us. The language is what reaches and blesses all who are watching. I was not a dancer on Palm Sunday; I was a watcher. So I thank Carmen Curry and all the dance ministers for blessing me!I thank God for your creative submission to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. May He continue to guide your footsteps as you glorify His Name in the Dance!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Annual Gospel Dance Concert Hits Year 3 !

Another year has passed and we are now looking towards GOSPEL DANCE CONCERT III !
For some of you, this is the first time you've heard about this wonderful Worship Dance Event. I thank God for many of you who have faithfully given of your time, talent and dedication in this service to the Lord and ministry to the people. For the benefit of those who have not taken part before, let me give some background information:
Four years ago, the Lord put upon my heart that it was time to unite the body or Christ-- the many churches, particularly in the New England area -- that are serving God with all their hearts, have the same doctrine of beliefs, and are filled with the same Holy Spirit, but operate in complete separation one from another. God could use, and continues to use, many vehicles to bring us altogether in one accord, but the vehicle He chose to use through me was DANCE. Consequently, we had our First Gospel Dance Concert here in Providence, Rhode Island the summer of 2007, with about 6 different churches represented from the Providence area, and 2 from NYC. By year two, we were up to 11 churches, which included the Providence, NYC and Boston areas. Now, we are celebrating year 3, and we look forward with great anticipation towards what the Lord will do through us this year! If you have not been a part of this before, please consider joining us this year!

Place and Date:
Providence Assembly of God, 353 Elmwood Ave, Providence, RI
Sunday, August 9, 2009, 5:30pm

Dance Participant Requirements:
Be Saved and Serving the Lord in Dance and in Your Life!
Be Willing to commit your time to a “Dedicated Dance Weekend,” Aug 8&9
Be able to choreography your own pieces, in keeping with this year's theme: "The Word of God"

There will also be an opportunity this year to develop a Mass Ensemble, made up of individuals who can meet several times during the summer to work on more complex pieces than the Mass Dance Choir has been able to do in the past.

All levels of dance skill are welcome in this event! If God has called you as a minister in dance, we need your presence-- and presents!-- at the 3rd Annual Gospel Dance Concert! If you are interested in more information, post a comment, or email:
(There are no payments for this engagement, but compensation for travel costs can be considered)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A New Perspective on Old Testament DANCE

Tell the truth. When some of us think of Liturgical Dance, we picture flowy white dresses, and soft, graceful movements. And, indeed, in some instances, we should. Our God is a God of beauty and grace,and He often manifests these virtues through His anointed dancers. However, "dance," as described in the Old Testament, was much more inclusive than this. The word for "dance" most often used in the OT was the Hebrew word "machowl," which comes from the word "chuwl" or "chiyl." (Strong's Exhaustive Concordance). Check out the many, and surprising, meanings for this word:
"to twist or whirl,to writhe in pain or fear, to wait, to bear, to bring forth, to drive away,to fall grieviously with pain, to grieve,to hope, to look, to make, to rest, to shake, to shapen, to be sorrowful, to tarry, to travail, tremble, trust, wait patiently.... to dance!"

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

God's Providence Dance Assembly on PhotoPeach