International Christian Dance Fellowship Foundation       Newsletter JANUARY 2022 

On- line Christian Dance Workshops - focus on South Africa

South African On-Line Christian Dance Workshops 

Happy New Year dancers and supporters of christian dance.  While the pandemic grips the world, we continue to pray for the safety and resilience of the dance community worldwide, as well as our families and local communities.  We are all living with uncertainty and, for too many, heart break, loneliness and economic insecurity on so many levels.  But I can offer you some good news.  

The Foundation will be releasing on-Line Workshops for FREE this year for those wanting to dance - for the trained and the beginner- in your home or outside space, if you aren't able to meet in a studio or hall yet?  

An inspiring series of workshops will be available SOON. They have been produced by two experienced International dance groups with very different approaches to this workshop series - one from Perth, Australia, and the other from Cape Town, South Africa.    

Last year, I interviewed Lucinda Coleman of faithdance, Perth,  who is in post- production. Her workshops are based on well- known dance themes, alignment, balance and control, informed by Christian principles. The themes are based on the first three letters of the alphabet and is called, The abc of dance.  

In this Newsletter I am pleased to interview Melanie Erasmus, from Cape Town, South Africa on her on-line class workshops. 

These workshops will be available on our website SOON - to access for FREE!  What exciting news for 2022.  Start planning your class now.  Or consider leading a small group in 2022 in your church, inspired by these workshops? 

God bless, 

Jenny Dennis
Chair of the International Christian Dance Fellowship Foundation 
Behind the Scenes: Interview with Melanie Erasmus
of every Nation Church, Cape Town, South Africa

                                   Melanie Erasmus and her daughter
On Melanie- A busy leader:
Melanie is the National Co-ordinator of CDF South Africa, has just led the on-line National Dance Conference last November and co-ordinates the CDFSouth Africa Dance Company.  She is also part of her local church dance ministry team, Director of the Creative Culture Performing Arts Theatre Company and teaches dance and drama to both high school students and fitness groups. Trained in Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, Hip Hop and Spanish, she uses many styles of movement in dance ministry.  Trained with Youth for Christ and His People Bible School,  she has been in christian leadership with her husband for many years. Recently, she released her book, Lights, Camera, Passion on arts and purpose. 

The workshop series:
The workshop series will film a typical dance class with warm-up,  basic technical work and a cool down.  The classes cover how to use improvisation to shape movement phrases and develop phrases into a finished work.  The classes will also show how movements can be adapted to different genres. 

Recently I interviewed Melanie, between her many roles and responsibilities, on how the workshops were progressing.  

Jenny Dennis: “What is your approach to leading or teaching a Christian Dance class on-line?”

Melanie Erasmus: "My approach is to always teach tools that the participants can take away with them. This Project is a culmination of levels of basis steps and how you add elements of dance technique to create simple or dynamic movement. The Foundation has stipulated that the project needs to be relevant to all levels of dancer, so we have made sure that the beauty of dance can be accessed by everybody". 

JD: “What approach are you adopting for the three sessions? 
Melanie: "The approach I took was one of progression and sustainability. The classes are a prototype that can be used for any genre and applied to a range of technical abilities. It can evolve as a simple piece or a complicated routine. We explore with improvisation and free dance. I also allow the each dancer to put their personal touch onto the steps. I believe that this is very important in ministry. We also use the low, medium and high levels of dance. It is suitable for everybody and can be used as a tool to improve your choreographic ability , as well as you're dancing." 

JD: “Who are you working with?”  
Melanie: "The team is made up of myself and four dancers, who are part of Christian Dance Fellowship South Africa, and the two crew members. The dancers are: Robin Joseph, Janine Thetard, Desre Davids and Kristen Yon."

Robin Jospeh is a  trained Ballroom dancer who has been involved in Christian Ministry for many years teaching Ballroom Praise.  She is the Assistant Leader of the CDF South Africa Dance Company and former National Secretary for CDF South Africa. 

Janie Thetard is a trained dancer and contemporary dance teacher at a Cape Town High School and has recently started a dance Ministry Team at her local church. She is a member of the Cdf Dance Company. 

Desre Davids is a contemporary dance specialist who teaches at local schools and CDF events and is part of her church ministry team. In 2022 she will be the CDF National Youth Co-ordinator.

Kristen Yon is trained dancer in different genres and is always ready to minister through dance. She assisted Desre in the CDF Flashmob and will be involved in Youth Ministry in 2022, as well as heading up the Social Media Department. 


JD: “Where has the workshops been filmed?”  
Melanie: "We did the filming at Every Nation Church (His People Church) Retreat, Cape Town." 
JD: “Who do you think the audience will be for this film?” 
Melanie: "It is suited for everybody and can be used as a tool to improve both your choreography and dancing skills". 

JD: “When will it be released?”  
Melanie: "The film work has been completed and we are editing at the moment. It will be completed in 2022." 

JD:  Congratulations on the release of your new book, "Lights Camera, Purpose".  It looks wonderful! How can my readers get a copy? 

Melanie: "Yes, the book is called "Ligths, Camera, Passion" was launched last November.  You can access the book launch and order a copy from my website at -  I hope it will be an encouraging read for the every dancer in ministry!" 
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About the ICDF Foundation
The ICDF Foundation supports the International Christian Dance Fellowship (ICDF) in its aim to serve the movement arts in ministry and mission in a visible, available and relevant way by:
·       recognising excellence in Christian Dance/Movement ministry; 
·       raising money for scholarships/special projects;  
·       promoting Christian dance/movement internationally. 

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