We've all seen the expression splashed across cute painted boards in the back of discount stores. Everytime I see one, I secretly want to buy it, because I can relate to it. I feel it, I've always felt it, ever since I was a little girl I have always felt like dancing.
When I was 5 years old, my sister and I began ballet classes. We lived in England at the time and our classes were held on the top floor of an old building. I vividly remember the sound of many little feet thumping up the narrow staircase, the single door at the top of the stairs that opened into a huge room with glossy wooden floors. Bright walls were lined with metal heaters and tall windows with flaky white window sills shone in the afternoon sun. If I close my eyes, I can hear the music and the sweet voice of our teacher, "...plie, 1, 2, 3...up, 1, 2, 3...", clapping out the rythm. Then, suddenly, the classes stopped. I found out much later that my older sister disliked the classes, and convinced my Mom we were afraid of the teacher and didn't want to go back.
It would be another 7 years before I took an actual dance class, but who needs a classroom to dance? I bought my first "record" at a garage sale when I was 8 years old; Don McLean's American Pie. I didn't have a clue what the lyrics meant, but I danced my little dark blue polyester bell bottoms all over the house. At 11 yrs, I was in love with the old Elvis stuff, and I had several of his albums; my sister laughed as I danced around to Blue Suede shoes as if it were a new hit.
By the time I hit 13, we'd moved to El Paso, TX and I had become well acquainted with the "gypsy" side of my family - belly dancers, artists and musicians. My Aunt owned a dance studio and in exchange for babysitting I could take any classes I chose. Everyday after school I headed to the studio to Pirouette in Ballet, shimmy and shake during Middle Eastern Belly, get wild with Afro Cuban, be free with Modern, or groove with Jazz. I was totally in my element - dance, dance, dance! As a teen, my Friday nights were spent at the disco across the border with friends, dancing to Men at Work, The Talking Heads and the B52's until curfew drove me home...
Then life began, I graduated, I got a job, I became a wife, became a Mommy, and the living room became my dance floor once again...then I became a Christian.
It was then that I was faced with a big problem. Was it ok to want to move like that? I mean, when I hear music, I yearn to move, to fly, to dance, to kick and turn and wiggle and groove; just about any beat of music makes me want to get on my feet. But let's face it, dance is exhibitory; the more you move, the more you draw attention to your body,...hmmm, not so good for a Christian woman.
I began to wonder how this all fits in with Christianity. Would God approve of my desire to express myself through dance?
Exodus 15-20 ~ "Miriam...took the timbrel in her hand, and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dancing."
Jeremiah 31-13 ~ "Then the virgin will rejoice in the dance, and the young men..."
Luke 15:25 ~ "...he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing."
2 Samuel 6:14~ "And David was dancing before the Lord with all his might..."
Ecclesiastes 3:4 ~ "...A time to mourn and a time to dance."
I've learned that when I dance to praise music, I'm praising the Lord with my body, He doesn't care if I wiggle and twist and turn, He just sees my heart.
So here I am "40-ish", I started 2 new dance classes last night. I'm not terribly out of shape, but my body is aching in places I didn't even know I had muscles. I'm not 16 anymore! No, these classes aren't set to praise music, but it's clean, and it's fun, just a handful of ladies who want to move. I believe God put this desire inside of me, and I like to think He smiles and laughs when He sees me as that 5 year old girl, dancing around...
1. To move rythmically to music.
2. To leap or skip about.
3. To bob up and down.
Crank up the music today and DANCE!