When I was a child, my sister taught me to dance ‘The Twist’. After church, I remember going back to my Nana’s (father’s mother) home. She and her sisters would sit around us in a circle and encourage my sister and I to dance for them. They would laugh, smile and cackle with delight in Welsh and English. Sometimes in a mix of both languages at the same time. One of my aunts even bought me an extended play 45rpm record with four ‘twist’ songs on it. To this day, it brings back happy memories.
Considering I grew up in a strict and austere Christian background, I’m suprised I was allowed and encouraged to behave in such a way. But, I suppose, I was a child under the watchful gaze of my grandmother. However, the denomination’s view of dancing being a sinful activity lasted with me well into my adult life. Despite this, in private I still enjoyed a good jig around to a rhythmic tune.
When I first met the girl who became my wife, she could never understand this embargo on dancing. A few years ago, we were invited to a friend’s 50th birthday party which included a disco. I was appalled at the fiasco of overweight, middle aged people trying unsuccessfully to jiggle and shake across the dance floor. Not a pretty sight!
This left such a negative impression. When my son announced his forthcoming wedding to a young lady from Sweden, Carla and I booked in dance lessons at the local Ceroc dance class. Unlike many British children, Swedish children seem to have dance lessons as a matter of course. I wasn’t about to let the side down, or look foolish on the dance floor.
As the months went by and the wedding got closer, Carla and I became fairly proficient in the basics of Ceroc. When the great day arrived, we enjoyed the dancing and had a lot of fun. At one point I was whisked away by some young Swedish girls to dance with them!
We’ve been to a few weddings and parties since and I’ve noticed a lack of interest by males and a lot of ladies either frustrated at the lack of men who like to dance, or they dance in large groups of women. Frankly, I wish I’d learned to dance when I was younger.
There are many references to dancing in the Bible. It was seen as a healthy expression of joy and celebration. There is plenty to celebrate in the Christian message. The good news that Jesus brought brings joy and freedom. It’s time the followers of Jesus learned to dance and celebrate their faith and life!
We recently celebrated my eldest sister’s 60th birthday with a suprise party for her. During the evening, Carla and I took to the dance floor and I was pleasantly encouraged by how many of our family and friends joined with us. The tide is turning…