Hosanna - A Children's Worship Dance


  • Many families find it difficult to purchase costumes so we try to find alternatives using materials we can provide for those children who do not already have them.
  • Plain white shifts (we used the same ones we use for Christmas angels)
  • Inexpensive ribbon in various colors. The gift wrap type of ribbon works fine. This is used to belt the shifts and to make a finger streamer for each child.
  • Ribbon streamer: The length of the streamer can be adjusted to work well with the height of the children in your group. For each child, take 2 lengths of ribbon (ours were each approximately 5' long) Holding 2 of ribbon strands together, fold them in half with the ends matching. At the fold, tie so that you have a little loop that the child's finger can slide through.
  • If boys are dancing, consider a white t-shirt with dark colored sweat pants
  • Our children were bare foot. If you do not have good carpeting, have the children wear soft soled shoes so they can easily move their feet.
  • We dressed Jesus in a very simple, traditional "Bible Days" costume made of white and blue sheeting.
streamer illustration
Setting & props:
  • Set up an area to the side of the dance area for Jesus to be seated. We covered a piano bench to pass for a wooden bench at one side of the stage.
  • No other props are needed.
  • We work with a director on the first row facing the dancers to help keep them in step and rythm. The director claps when the children clap, uses a hand motion to signal turns, etc.

Girl At The Gate

In this, we illustrate how sad, alone and lost we are until Jesus gives us new life. Preparing for this section is a good time to explain to the dancers that Jesus saves us from spiritual death and brings us to eternal life.

As the music begins, the children walk onto the platform and sit or lay in a manner that shows how alone and sad they are. We let the children help select positions that would express this.

When all of the children are in position, director signals Jesus to enter. Jesus walks to the platform and invites each child to receive His life.

Jesus walks to each child, leans over to take the child's hand helping the child to his/her feet. They smile at each other and He hands the child a streamer. The children who are on their feet show each other their streamers and begin to gently move to the music as the other children are getting up.

When all are up, Jesus walks to the bench and sits down. Fade the music and change to the next song. As this happens, children line up in positions for the Hosanna dance. Teach them to line in rows leaving room between themselves for turns and movement.
Hosanna This should be very joyous! We used a very simple set of movements. If more complicated movements are used, be sure to keep it fun for the children. It's hard to worship if you are afraid of making a misstep!
  • Clap on beat
    Moving side to
    side with the claps
    On the first line, we clapped on "song" and the "cre" in creation.
  • Twirl on "Hosanna to the King"
  • Figure 8 with the
    streamers after the
  • Sing word "Hosanna"
  • The lyrics would be
    here so you could match
    them to the movements.
    Except that
    Word Music holds the
    copyright on Hosanna.
    On May 11, 2000 we were
    notified that they would
    not give permission for
    the words to be shown here.
    Same pattern as
    above. Increase
    arm height slightly
    on the claps.
    We are leaving the notes
    in place and you can
    sort of imagine which
    words go with the
    Same movement
    Swing the arms
    slightly higher
    on the claps
    Pray with us that Word
    will reconsider this
    decision soon so that
    it will be easier to
    share this.
    This is the part where the
    courtyard settles down.
    Children walk to surround Jesus
    smiling to show gratitude
    You may want to have a few
    hug Him. Remind them to keep
    the rythem of the song as they
    After all it's not like
    having the words here would
    enable anyone to perform
    the dance without buying
    the CD.
    Lead girls step out to
    begin the dance
    around the congregation
    on the word leap
    Nevertheless, it is their right to
    withhold permission and they have
    only done what they have a right to do
    Children dance freeform
    around the congregation
    and return to the
    platform where they pick
    up the standard movement
    until the finish.
    Encourage children
    to sing out
    At this point you are in the
    last few runs of the chorus.
    First twirl, singing 3rd line from last
    Second twirl, singing Second line to the last
    Singing out
    Third twirl end with
    arms and face toward
    heaven. Freeze motion
    Last line of singing.
    General notes: Encourage, uplift, compliment, praise!

    If you feel change is needed, rise to the challenge - find a positive way to accomplish what needs to be done.

    Get the assignments straight:
  • The congregation is worshiping
  • The dancers are leading the congregation in their worship
  • Father, God is the audience

    Heavenly Father is telling the angels, "Look! My children are dancing for Me! Rejoice!"
  • Notes for the clap pattern:
    Some of our children needed help keeping a clap pattern together. We taught them this motion:
    • begin with a sway and waist level clap to the left
    • bring hands across body and sway and clap to the right
    As the dance progressed, we brought the level of the clap up a bit until they were clapping just above sholder height. The director sitting on the front row led each clap being careful to indicate changes in height, twirls, etc.

    Twirls were great times to float our ribbons overhead. A gentle figure 8 pattern was used to float the ribbons whenever we were in a waiting pattern (end of twirl, etc). Use a hand motion that works for the director and the children for twirl, figure 8, etc.
    Notes for the dance around the congregation:
    • Children dance single file around the congregation and return to the front taking places on the platform for the finish.
    • We encouraged ours to be creative in their movements reminding them of what it might feel like to be in an open field, just you and God, and you are showing Him how much you love Him with your dance. We talked about what leap ment and watched each other to see how our ribbon streamers look when they are held high and floated on the air.
    • As each child returns to the platform, he/she should take position and look at the director to see what movement to begin.
    Note for the wishful:
    Assign a committee of prayer warriors and go for it! I believe that we are to reclaim the arts and use them as they were intended - to worship God! Don't be discouraged thinking about what someone might think or say. Proceed humbly and with prayer. God will bless your efforts.
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