10 Years Growing and Releasing Dancers

As I stepped out in January 2010 to begin work in schools and share with churches, I had no idea about the journey that God would take me on. I’ve learnt a lot along the way, it’s not always been easy, but God has been consistent and faithful throughout all of it.

That’s the most important thing that I hold on to, that God has always been there, he has carried the purpose of UC Grace, and I have tried to be obedient to that. Sure, I’ve made stumbles along the way, but my desire remains the same, to take people on a journey of a deeper conversation with God using dance and movement .

The further into 2020 we have gone, the clearer it has become, not only how important it is to be in relationship with others who desire to use dance and movement as their language to God, but also to encourage others to encounter dance and movement to deepen their journey with God.

Putting this video together, brought lots of memories back, so many different children and adults that I have had the privilege to teach, encourage, share, and grow in their journey. Sometimes that led to further dance, other times it acted as a stepping stone for them to continue on the journey that God has for them.

My prayer as I continue to grow UC Grace from 2020 onward’s, is that I will rest and lean into what God has planned. That pausing is okay, silence is okay, from out of the silence God will speak more boldly, more extravagantly. To have the courage to try new things, and trust God with the outcome that comes from them.

So whether you have been part of the UC Grace Journey from the beginning or you have joined us more recently. Enjoy the watching the video, where I share a bit more about the journey, relive some highlights from the past 10 years and share some testimonies.

If you’ve not joined the UC Grace journey yet, we would love to have you join. There is lots happening even through this time of change we have experienced. Get in touch for more info, or look on the website.

Keep moving and trusting in Jesus that the plan he has for you, is the one that you are destined for. God will get you there, you might want to take some twists and turns but Jesus will always been there, pick you up and carry you when needed.

The UK Dance Blessing is Released

Following the release of The Blessing UK at the beginning of May 2020, Anna and Prinith felt led to respond to a call from God to gather the movers and dancers of the UK to move a blessing and prayer over the area that people lived in. It’s vision was to – 

Mobilise a dancing army across the UK, which collaborating with dancers, dance ministries and worshippers. Whose heart it was, was to pray a blessing for the area they live in using dance and movement.

Amazingly over 200 dancers and movers responded to this call to step out and move a blessing and prayer for the people around them and the place they live in. Quite literally a dancing army mobilised across all 4 nations of the UK.

We pray as you watch this that you are blessed and know that God is with you, that there is a Hope bigger than you realise to get you through those times of struggle.. That no matter what you are going through there are people praying for you, not always in words, but instead with movement.

Movement expresses what words can not.

Alongside this video we have also released an eBook of testimonies of how God spoke to those that moved and responded to his call. Join their journey and hear the impact that dancing had on the dancers themselves.

You can get a copy of the ebook by clicking on the button below.

Video will Premier Friday 5th June 20.00

Written by Chris Brown, Cody Carnes, Kari Jobe and Steven Furtick c 2020 Music by Elevation Worship Publishing, Capitol CMG Paragon/ Writers Roof Publishing, Worship Together Music/ Kari Jobe Carnes Music

UK Blessing Music Audio produced by Trevor Michael in collaboration with UK churches. UK Blessing Song version music is used with permission. With thanks to Les Moir and Andy Au for helping with seeking this permission.

Project Co-ordinators – Anna Gilderson and Prinith de Alwis Jayasinghe

Video edited by Drew Crow

1000 Reasons to dance for our King

I am so excited to share this project with you.

It particularly seems so relevant now as so many of us are dancing and moving more than ever have before. 1000 Reasons to dance for our King, is a project about acknowledging all those reasons that we choose to dance for our King, what pulls at our heart, the emotions we bring and experiences we have, the answers to prayer.

I know not all of you dance, but I expect at some point you have been impacted by dance in some way, that is also a good reason to dance for our King. In a time when when everyone needs to be encouraged, when people want to witness the effect that God has on people, when people are asking questions. Let’s be deliberate in understanding why we are moving, what initiates us and takes us on the journey. From there, we have the opportunity to be equipped to share and explain the gospel in a more comprehensive way.

So, my question to you, will you join me on this journey? I know that why you dance today, will be different to why you dance tomorrow. Or how dance impacts you today, will be different to how it impacts you tomorrow. Over the next few months and the month previous, the journey each of us will go on will test our faith, movement and resilience to stand firm with our faith, lean into God and dance for our King. Check out the video below to hear more before the project.

Comment below or drop me an email and let me know if you’re up for it.

Then as you dance and move over the next days, weeks, months, pop me a message  and share your reason why you dance for the King. You can do this via email (click here) or phone.

Please do share this with anyone you think would love to join this movement. The #dancingarmy is growing at an immense rate, it is awesome to see God move and witness people choosing to #dancealittlelouder.

Peace be Still… Let Faith Arise

Many of you have heard me speak about raising up a #dancingarmy and encouraging people to #dancealittlelouder. The reality of this happening has snowballed, and it is awesome to see how God is using such a simple concept to gather people, to gather movers and dancers whose whole heart is simply to worship, praise, prayer, live life and more through Jesus. If you’ve not joined us yet for a Prayer Dance Bite can I encourage you to do so. Let’s step out and live our journey of faith through movement, however big or small that might be.

During this crazy time that we are living in at the moment. It can send many of us into a spin with an unclear way out. In another one of my late night/ early morning awake times with my son, my head was in a spin about the latest news of the more intentional lockdown we were about to enter. So many people would be feeling so many different things. What was God saying in amongst it all?? PEACE. PEACE, BE STILL.

I knew that I had to dance to that. That myself, and many others needed to know that God says, Peace Be Still… Let your Faith arise. Jesus is the one that calms the storms with 3 strong words, He is the one that will bring us comfort, strength, peace and protection over the coming months. We need to choose to let our faith arise and lean into all that He has available for us.

As I shared with others my passion for moving to this song, they wanted to also dance, before I knew it, there was indeed a dancing army, proclaiming God’s word, safety, protection and peace. That’s what this video is. A culmination of 8 dancers stepping out to move in prayer for all. God moves mountains, he changes water into wine, he raises people from the dead, he heals the sick. He stands by us no matter what, walks with us during our darkest hours, and carries when it gets too much.

Remember this ripple I keep talking about? How a ripple can change the atmosphere. For just by one starting, others will follow. Let’s make this ripple shake and move the heavens. Let’s be bold in our conversations, our prayers, our movements. Let’s shake the heavens and show people how great our God is.

Join me, #dancealittlelouder. Be a #dancingarmy.

We’d love to connect with you further, so why not sign up to our newsletter where you can hear more about what we are doing and how you can get involved. Head here.

What does the UC of UC Grace mean?

As more and more people have asked me this over the last year I found myself having to think really hard about what the ‘UC’ was for. I knew I had written a sentence that encapsulated it, but what that was I couldn’t remember. Not because there wasn’t ever a reason to not remember, but because in the beginning it was front and centre in my mind, as I set my name and started my business. But as time has gone on the ability to recall those details has been harder, there’s been shifts in my aims, my logo design and branding, as well as the ‘info’ that I display about UC Grace. Plus, the reality of life and just being busy!

How UC Grace began in 2010

Let’s open the door…

But, there always comes a point when you need a spring clean, a bit of a shake through to remove bits of info that have served it’s time and that’s what happened with the ‘UC’. The logo changed to the letters and wording beneath it changed, I revamped the website, once, twice, many times, I rebranded, I acknowledged by values for the business and the way I wanted to push forward. But the reasoning behind the name was always there, it’s just been hidden behind different layers.

The logo in 2011

So, let’s revisit our roots and share in more depth how the ‘UC’ came about, the biggest thing to recognise first, was that it was a 2 fold development (see Golden Whirlwind for info about why I teach).

So what was the starting point?

In the early days as I sat with my notebook writing down lots of different names, I settled quite quickly on the word Grace, acknowledging that as part of our Christian walk, grace was so important. I realised that I wanted people to ‘see’ grace in dance, in our movements, actions, connections and relationships. So initially all I had was ‘you’ ‘see’ and ‘grace’. Deciding how to coax that into a name was super hard. The development of single letters happened quite quickly ‘uC’. Notice the little ‘u’ and the big ‘C’. That was pivotal as I felt it showed where the emphasis needed to be. The idea of opening up our eyes, seeing things that we wouldn’t have seen before, releasing something, and, so began the next stage.

We we entered 2012 there was a slight change, feeling that I needed to put ‘dance’ within the name and encase the tagline to a more succinct one with just my key words.

Defining what the ‘uC’ was about, working out what would create the foundation. I settled on it encompassing these words –
uncapped
unceasing
unchanging
uncover
uncontrolled

The addition of dance didn’t last long. By the end of 2012 I’d reverted back to just ‘UC Grace’

This became the saying that best described what the ‘uC’ was about, and it sat beneath the name uC Grace.

You can see the progression of the logo in these pictures.

As I moved forward with the company, another 3 words were pivotal in under pinning our tagline

– encouraging | growing | releasing –

these enable us to put Gods word front and centre in the company.

Encouraging – each person to grow into who they are meant to be

Growing – each person in their skills, knowledge and confidence God has given them

Releasing – each person into their dreams, ministries and journeys God has for them

The last change before the major rebrand was this. The debate about whether I didn’t dance in my title had trundled on, so I wanted to add an image that would explain a bit more about the company was rather than putting dance.

But what does it all mean?

Let’s go back to the ‘uC’, where I had the little u and the big C. You might notice that now the little u is a big U. At the beginning of 2018 I undertook a rebrand of UC Grace. Initially it was just going to be an update of my logo, but after a few months of thinking and praying I realised that UC Grace had changed so much that it deserved a logo that would reflect it’s true heart. Big and bold YOU SEE GRACE, grace in our everyday, the way we think, move and act. Colour displaying individuality, fun and integrity to Gods promise. The dancer with a ribbon displaying the ability worship in different ways (You can read more about ribbons here). A yellow ribbon, to demonstrate JOY. JOY of movement and remembering someone who danced with such joy for Jesus throughout her whole life, Lyn.

Lyn Cave. The joyful dancer.

What ‘UC’ is going to be important for you going forward?

We all see different things in life, that means we see the importance of things on a different level. Take a moment to think about your present life, what areas might you need to see things differently? What areas might you need grace?

This is what the UC is all about!!

Going forward UC Grace is committed to demonstrating and sharing Gods word through dance and movement. The saying below is what developed in 2010 when I started UC Grace. It encapsulates so well what it means to generate a deeper conversation with God through dance and movement. We hope it connects with you and encourages you in your journey.

We’d love to connect with you further, so why not sign up to our newsletter where you can hear more about what we are doing and how you can get involved. Head here.

UC Grace 2019 End of Year Message.

I can’t believe we are now at the end of the year again, where I get to recap all that has gone on, the delight, the learnings, friendships, fellowships and awe inspiring moments that God has given throughout the course of the year.

It has been an amazing year, seeing lots of what I have dreamt about start to bear fruit and draw together.

The year began with our Living Colour workshops, before moving on to a new opportunity to dance at St Michaels Aldershot with Helen Warren. This was a very precious opportunity to share with others a relationship between Jesus and movement, how he speaks to us, guides us and values our ways.

Another way that I have helped share some of this is through the UC Grace Blog. Over the course of the year the blog has been a place a to reveal more intimate details about the journey of UC Grace, encourage others in their journey. Provide moments of teaching and share updates of how events had gone. Busyness took over the latter part of the year which meant that posts dwindled down, the hope in 2020 is to pick this back up again. I’d love to hear about what you would like to read about, what inspires you, what you’d like to learn or hear more about. Drop me a line and let me know.

We introduced this year Soak Nights – a chance to take a pause during your busy week and intentionally connect with the Holy Spirit and LISTEN to God rather than do all the talking. These evening were a chance to catch some much needed respite, move and dance with no agenda and pray and support each other.

The relaunch of the Training days this year saw us grapple with exploring deeper Moving with Resources, Teaching children and dance movement and Dancing the scriptures where we challenged ourselves to approach Gods word in a different way.

The biggest event of the year was Going Deeper, this was a brand-new dance weekend with small numbers allowing participants the chance to strengthen friendships, faith and movement abilities in a safe environment with teaching solely from me. It also demonstrated how needed this kind of event was and will now be a permanent fixture on our calendar alternating yearly with our Big Dance Weekend that happens in Northampton.

In addition to the dance weekend, two other biggest developments of the year have been bringing on board a team of 7 people to help deliver the 2020 dance weekend – Moving in Gods Armour. This is set to be our biggest weekend yet with over 30 registered, and a strong 30% not attending an event like this before. We are trialling a new structure and delivery and I’m excited to see how it will all work out.

Ticking along in the background I have been writing a book, about faith, dance and children – how the 3 can integrate and the impact that happens when they do. I am hoping for launch in Spring 2020, but there is still lots of tweaking to do!

2020 is set to be a very exciting year, UC Grace turns 10! What an amazing 10 years it has been. So next year there will definitely be a party! Plus we hope to launch a membership and have identified a platform to run online courses and materials.

So watch this space. If you’re not already on our newsletter, we’d love to keep you up to date. If you are, thank you so much for being part of the UC Grace journey. Whether that is through attending our events, supporting or provided prayer support, it is very much appreciated.

Here’s to all that 2020 will bring!

Fear of the Unknown

These verses are packed with so much stuff, recently I heard Cathy Madavan speak about the fear of the unknown in relation to these set of verses. Several things she spoke of really resonated with how life can be for so many of us.

What are you like when you are in a physical waiting room, such as at the doctors surgery or hospital, or outside an interview room? We often find ourselves pacing, twiddling our thumbs, taking lots of deep breaths and other things to keep ourselves distracted whilst waiting for the answer, some news or the next step.

Moments in our life will seem like God has put us in a waiting room, but what are we doing in that waiting room?

Are you wishing for answers, thinking of what you could do, where you could go, what you could be? Does it get you anywhere? Why do you not progress forward?

Lauren and Helen waiting.

Cathy spoke about, how, when we are in those times of waiting, we can be fearful of what is to come, fearful of the outcome and how God may answer the situation. Fearful of the unknown. To work through this, we need to be able to live with God in the present season, and not wish for seasons to come. After a waiting season always comes a fruitful season.

Our ability to work through this fear lies in how our patience is and whether we need to grow in the spiritual discipline of patience.

My husband often tells me that I have good patience, which is true when it comes to the children, dealing with lots of people and events. But when it comes to waiting for an answer or a step forward from God, my patience for that isn’t quite as well tuned! I most definitely pace, get grumpy and question the decisions that I have taken so far.

The spiritual discipline of patience is about being active in your patience. YOU decide what to do with your feelings. You can make the choice to keep emotions such as anger away from you, it doesn’t need to come near you. God has the big picture, in our waiting to see that, we need to accept that there will be waiting, that God has given us enough to last through that waiting.

Persistence in the patience and waiting is really important in our desire to focus on living with God in the present season. Look at those that have done it well, Esther, Paul, Abraham, Daniel, David, Mary and Martha and many more.

Think about when you are in that waiting place. Do you worship God or do you worship your circumstances?

I hope this has provided some thoughts about how you can deal with those periods of waiting. We can so easily slip into the mindset of grumbling in our waiting. Lets switch up our mindset and seek to serve, worship and LIVE during those waiting times.

Want to be kept up to date with all things UC Grace? Head here.

Golden Whirlwind

Does your movement change things?

God encourages us in those moments we need it most, even if we haven’t recognised that we need it. Whilst I was away at Rivercamp, there were several things that struck me.

The first being we all dance and move with the same heart. The second that a whirlwind is created as each of us moves in someway.

Let me share some more.

Part of my journey with UC Grace has been overcoming people’s perceptions of what I do and my heart behind it, as well believing and trusting that I was good enough to do it, and there was a need for it. It hasn’t been easy, at the Going Deeper weekend in July I shared some of this. That in the beginning of UC Grace I judged my ‘success’ on the number of people that came to my events and if I didn’t have many, I wasn’t good enough and doing it right.

Yet I knew the foremost reason that I was doing UC Grace was because it was about the hearts of those that came. The hearts that God needed to work with, take on a journey and grow. That’s what my heart needed to do, in order to recognise the gift God had grown inside me. A passion to share, motivate and grow others in movement and dance with Gods word as central.

During my time at Rivercamp I noticed a group of people that always congregated near a space at the side at the front, and claimed the space so to speak, and as the meeting got underway I realised they were movers and dancers of varying degrees of ability. As I began to watch them, a wrestle began in my spirit. A wrestle to watch, receive and bless what I was seeing, but at the same time resentment, longing, and feeling put out and it was unfair! Lots of emotions that had crept up and I didn’t know where to go with. Except I did, but only because of the journey I had been through with UC Grace.

Let me unpack this.

When I am in an environment where my emotions seem to be getting the better of me, or, better put, the Devil is trying to windle his way in. I check myself. I take a pause, a visible breath. The negativity that I was experiencing was pulling up my insecurities, ones that I had defeated. But there, in that present moment, in a new situation they were trying to come to the surface again. I just kept saying to myself, ‘they have a heart to move too,’ ‘they are worshipping God their way.’

In those moments in the worship, where I was desperate just to be lost in it and dance myself, I had to deal with this before I moved forward. I had to deal with the elephant! So, I began a conversation with God, asking what I have got to learn here, what did I need to deal with, recognise, bless, repent. Tough going!

As I relaxed into his presence, he encouraged me that it wasn’t about me being ‘left out’ or ‘not included’, it was about opening up opportunities for others to experience God.

The essence of UC Grace….

As UC Grace has grown, part of my battle has been addressing how UC Grace is seen, or what it is. It’s only been the past few years that I’ve acknowledged that it is a business. I say this here because it is through that acknowledgment that God presented me with opportunities for UC Grace to grow and develop.

Over the few days after that initial encounter in the tent at Rivercamp, I thought about it more, the impact of my reaction to what I had felt, and asked God to reveal more about it.

I had the most amazing picture.

This is the reason for this post, but I wanted you to understand a few things before I shared it. Every dancer and movers journey is different. You will experience some negativity at some point on your journey about dancing and moving, the key is how you deal with it when you are presented with it.

My heart is to release and equip others with their faith through dance and movement. Jesus will always be the number one person I go to for decisions, reasons and conversations, and that includes business ones. UC Grace is a business, it’s a business God has blessed with growth over a very big journey, the picture God gave me, not only encouraged me in my journey with UC Grace, but the journey of Christian dance organisations, businesses, and individuals. Whether they are moving now, will be movers, or will simply just experience the soaking of the Holy Spirit through someone moving around them.

So the picture…

During one of the last worship times at Rivercamp, the tent had come to a very hushed quiet, what I began to see were small whirlwinds over the tops of groups of people. As these whirlwinds began to move around the place, gold started to be threaded through them.

All the whirlwinds then converged into one. Into a tornado. A tornado of GLORY, filled with gold. As it moved it changed the atmosphere, transforming those it moved over. The more it moved the more different colours came into it. The more it moved it was clear that it was the interaction of what was inside the tornado that was causing the shift in the atmosphere.

As the image faded away, it was an ah ha moment. A moment where I recognised why God had to reiterate to me before about how precious each person’s movement was, and how each individuals movements when converged with others creates something far more powerful than we can ever fathom. It creates a movement in the heavens that transforms those around it.

This is something that I knew, but sometimes you can loose sight of it, when you’re tired and been giving out lots.

There is however more.

My friend told me about a picture an artist had in a tent, that I needed to go and look at. This is it… what do you see?

Painting by Helen Yousaf https://www.helen-yousaf-art.com/
Painting by Helen Yousaf https://www.helen-yousaf-art.com/

Two things were brought to my attention. The whirlwind effect of colours spiralling with the reaction to the environment around it. But also, how it fits in with the UC Grace logo. The lady that painted this is Helen Yousaf a prophetic artist and an amazing worship leader.

I was just astounded (again) at how God brings everything together. Are you a dancer? Are you ready to change the atmosphere that you move in? Are you ready to take your whirlwind where God tells you? Get in touch as I would love to hear from you.

Want to be kept up to date with all things UC Grace? Head here.

August Moving: Arms

Having strength in your arms is important, it helps improve your posture which means your back is strong, resistance training your arms has shown that it reduces the risk of musculoskeletal injuries or at least reduce their severity. But proper form is important.

  • Strong muscles will enhance your workout. Once you start concentrating on your upper body, other exercises will seem easier.
  • Working your arms can help protect your bones. Every year your bones loose more strength, but the good news is, the more you work them, the more you help to maintain healthy bones and build density.
  • Working your arms, gives you that feel good factor, the satisfaction that you’ve worked something hard and will reap the rewards. It will help your exercise mindset going forward.

Exercises to try –

If you can do the 2 exercises 2 – 3 times a day. You will start to feel a noticeable difference in your arm strength.

  1. Forearm pulse: Connect your forearms together from your elbow all the way up to your fingertips, palms together. Push the forms arms together to create tension. Pulse your arms up and down, maintaining contact with no gaps and pressure. Do this for 30 seconds/ pulses. Ensure your shoulders stay down and your core is still scooped in.
  2. Press ups: You probably thought you might get away with out these, but no such luck. A few things to remember about press ups. The further your feet are away the harder it, which means the lower your arms/ centre of gravity the harder it is too. So bear this in mind when you choose the level you want to do the press ups at. Place your hands just wider than your shoulders. Keep your shoulders down and tummy scooped. Make sure your body is in a straight line, so your bottom is tucked in. inhale on the way down. Exhale on the way up. Aim for 10 reps.
August Moving: Arms