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.

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.

Dancing with Ribbons

Ribbons are another way to bring colour and movement into dancing. Not only do they raise the eye level upwards, but the colour and the way the ribbon moves speak to different people in so many ways.

There’re short ones, fat ones, thin ones, long ones, multilayer ones, it’s only your imagination that can limit the type of ribbon you can make and use. But just like with flags, there are a few things that you should always remember when choosing to move with a ribbon.

It’s all about the wrist! The ebb and flow of the ribbon is created via the flex, rotation and flick of the wrist. It’s always best to hold the ribbon wand at the end to allow greatest movement and extension during your dancing. Much like with the flag, the ribbon is an extension of your arm, but unlike a flag, it moves, wraps, knots and twists a lot more easily. Clear precise movements of the wrist and body (!) help to maintain the ribbon in a place of hover and shape in the air.

The length is important! As mentioned above, you can have ribbons in whatever length you want. However, I would say there are some exceptions. Children can operate a ribbon best under 2m, and I’d recommend 1m or even shorter (on a curtain ring) for children aged 2 – 5 years. Children will naturally want to move with a ribbon, instinctively they are drawn to it. But, their spatial awareness, movements and concentration can cause the ribbon to get wrapped up, knotted, hit someone and sometimes used a weapon or toy.

For adults starting out I’d recommend starting at around 1.25m or 3m, no longer. You need to build up the strength and movement technique with your wrist before moving onto something longer. Some dancers move with up to 6m of ribbon, but the understanding and movement capabilities of the dancer is much greater.

Dancing with a ribbon you can sometimes get stuck using the same sort of movements, but you have your whole body too. Unlike the flag, this lovely piece of ribbon really can mimic your movements in the shape it creates and the way that it moves.

The video below demonstrates how ribbons can be seen up high, but also how their movements flow and sit well with how the rest of the body naturally moves. The dancers in this dance were from all different backgrounds, some with no dance experience, some with lots. In this instance the ribbons allowed everyone to be on the same level, take part and move together.

2011 Joyful Joyful performance

So, they can be an excellent tool at drawing those who could be nervous, interested but not tried it, or have different abilities, together to move and dance as one.

Do you use ribbons already? How did you find getting started with them, getting the movements from the wrist right and using your whole body with them?

If you’re interested in trying out moving with some ribbons you can head here, where you can find some different colours and lengths to get you going. There are one’s available on curtain rings too, for the little ones. Pop back and let me know how you get on.

Worship ribbons and streamers