When I was in 8th grade I was a hard core Doors fan and you don’t really dance to the Doors. As a result a friend once derided me for thinking I was “too cool to dance”. That got me thinking…
Have you ever wondered just what exactly the point of that gyrating around that we do is all about? It’s certainly possible to enjoy music without moving at all. How does it help to add kinetics to it?
There are two famous Biblical stories about dancing. The first is when Miriam the Prophetess leads the Jewish women in a (drum) circle dance just after the nation was saved from the Egyptian army. The second was when King David ecstatically danced before the Ark of the Covenant as it was being brought into Jerusalem. This raised the ire of his wife Michal who was shocked at the raw emotionality he displayed in public, commenting that he had conducted himself “as one of the empty people”.
These two stories serve as paradigms to explain the two purposes of dancing (from a spiritual perspective). The Miriam story is very deep, but suffice it to say that there is a certain point at which one’s consciousness expands to such a degree that it can no longer be contained by the heart and mind alone and the entire organism needs to be utilized to capture the moment. As Sarah Schneider explains it, it’s “like trying to run a complex graphic program on an antiquated laptop, there is not enough space in the computer’s brain to hold the complexity of operations…similarly here, ‘circle awareness’ is so vast that it takes an entire body to hold it”.
It was similar with David, though in his case the dance was the vehicle for him to access those deeper recesses of his consciousness. Like other repetitive acts such as mantras, prayer and meditation, the dancing “bores” the analytical mind into shutting off, opening a purer and deeper channel. In this regard, dancing and praying could be considered very closely related (when done properly)
Dancing can reveal all the mystery that music conceals. ~Charles Baudelaire
Dance is the hidden language of the soul. ~Martha Graham
What intense dance experiences have you had? Tell me about it in the comments below…