From the oldest of times, people danced for a number of reasons. They danced in prayer or so that their crops would be plentiful or so their hunt would be good. And they danced to stay physically fit and show their community spirit. And they danced to celebrate. And that is the dancing we're talking about. Aren't we told in Psalm 149 'Praise ye the Lord. Sing unto the Lord a new song. Let them praise His name in the dance'? And it was King David -- King David, who we read about in Samuel -- and what did David do? What did David do?
Ren in Footloose (1984)
[an excerpt from the piece I submitted to this week's issue of catapult* magazine's "Dance" issue releasing on Friday]
In July of 2011 we danced our hearts out at my sister’s wedding. In August we moved our four kids 1,700 miles away from everyone we’d ever known. Three months later, the newlyweds came to visit -- our first guests from back home. We’d planned a perfect itinerary for a Friday night in Austin: country-fried steaks, cheap beer, cowboy boots and learning the Texas Two-Step at the advertised “last of the true Texas dance halls”. Problem was we were too poor to pay for lessons for all of us. Determined to dance, we went back to our rental house, cleared the dining room floor and let YouTube be our guide. Round and round the unlit fireplace we stepped, air conditioning blasting because outside felt like the surface of the sun.
We stamped out that grief like Jesus dancing on His tombstone, soles of our feet recalling that the preacher’s family is a dancing family.