The Gift of Dance
I’m not sure when it happened. I can’t place the exact time, moment, or event that took place. All I know is that one day I woke up and realized that I had lost my dance. So caught up in the mundane complexities of a life of service to others I sat in church one Sunday and realized that I hadn’t danced in YEARS. Yes, I said YEARS.
For some of you, this will seem strange. However, I grew up in a culture, specifically a church culture, that used dance as an expression. An expression of joy, pain, victory, hope, praise, and thanksgiving. It wasn’t unusual to dance or “shout” two or three times within the course of a Sunday service.
Not only did we dance in church, but we had dance contests at school, in our neighborhood and everywhere else we gathered. Dance was RELEASE! It was FUN! It was COMMUNAL! It was a GIFT TO US!
Somehow, somewhere I’d lost that. So, I started taking salsa classes. After the very first lesson, I felt freer. I went home and put some praise music on and “cut a step” in my living room. Dance had returned to my life. But, not without some intentionality on my end.
You see, we cannot wait for something or someone to come along and “CAUSE” us to dance. Sometimes life demands that you dance in the midst of the hard times. That you BY FAITH, dance because you know that your present circumstance is not indicative of your future reality.
So, my friend as you pursue Shalom, don’t forget to dance. In all of its iterations. In whatever way your culture or tradition celebrates the dance – do it! God created us to enjoy this gift. This is evident in a phenomenal article, written by psychologist Jennifer Delgado. I’ve attached a small snippet to tantalize you below. Happy DANCING!!
Why dancing makes us happy?
When we dance our brain releases endorphins, neurotransmitters that create a feeling of comfort, relaxation, fun, and power. Music and dance do not only activate the sensory and motor circuits of our brain, but also the pleasure centers.