The above photo is of a dance troupe that I had the blessing of forming and leading. I’m the third right to left, and my sister, Mynita, is second left to right. The others are good friends, sisters in the Lord.
DANCING…I grew up dancing. You see, when my parents were dating in the late 1920s, they spent their free time on the dance floor. My dad taught my mother to square dance and my mother taught my father to ballroom dance: the waltz and foxtrot. Dad even called for square dances when I was a girl: “Chicken in the bread pan pickin’ out dough,” he’d chant. The dancers formed their circle in the middle of the street on a Saturday night in Indianola, Iowa or another small town. One rule my parents were firm about was that of partners. They only danced with each other…all of their lives.
When my sister and I became teenagers, we looked forward to going to the Val Air Ballroom in Des Moines on Thursday nights. Rock ‘n’ Roll was so much fun. I never danced with a guy, as I recall. Guess I was too young and too skinny for any boy at the time.
Over the years, my late husband, Roland, and I danced some, but it really wasn’t his forte’. He could glide me around the floor at someone’s wedding, though, showing off his rhythm and light-footedness.
When we joined a particular church in the late ’60s, I found out that dancing was a “sin.” So, I gave it up…until 1999, my first trip to Israel. Once again, I found the joy of dance. This time, I discovered the hora and other Davidic dances. Such joy poured over my soul…to dance for the Lord. And it wasn’t wrong at all!
My dance troupe studied the biblical implications and found 27 verses with reference to dance. When the prodigal son returned home, he was welcomed with music and dancing. Miriam (Aaron and Moses’ sister) led other women in worship dance. King David danced before the Lord. The tribe of Benjamin took their wives from women who danced in Shiloh.
More importantly, GOD DANCES WITH JOY OVER US! Read Zeph. 3:17. The Hebrew word “gil” means “to spin around in joy.”
Happily now, I’m reminded of a time, before I visited Ireland, when my son, Kendahl, gave me a song for my mp3 player. He told me not to listen to it until I was flying over the sea. He’s such a joker, I thought he had some title that suggested I was drowning. Silly me. Ken had downloaded, “I Hope You Dance.” On the ground, when the Irish locals lined up for some clogging, I couldn’t stay seated. My son had inspired me.
So, when I’m physically unable to dance any more, I’ll tell myself what I used to tell ladies and gents in an elder care facility where my group performed, “You can dance with all your heart.”
Just give me a little soul music…and a one, and two….
“May I have this dance?” My Lord said to me. In His desire to be my partner, it doesn’t matter that once I was a wallflower at the Val Air. I can’t wait to dance on streets of gold in heaven. That’ll be far better than any Thursday night in Des Moines.
PS–In my WWII novel, Foxtrots and Foxholes, an old German woman, a babushka, says to a pair of peacocks, “Danz! Don’t fight. Dance.”