I was wondering the other day why dance isn't a commonly utilized form of worship anymore.
I don't necessarily mean in church - sacred spaces are sacred after all. But the Bible is full of people dancing for the joy of the LORD. David danced in the streets of Jerusalem, and Miriam led the women of Israel in dance after the crossing of the Red Sea.
In some charismatic churches there is dancing, and I know it still exists in certain Jewish congregations. But it's not a typical feature of American Christian worship. Why? Are we so self-conscious? Dancing is hugely about ignoring what other people think of your movements and letting every atom of your body jump in praise to God. And we Americans are pretty big on how others perceive us.
Some friends of mine have a praise and worship ministry that utilizes a lot of ethnic music in their songs. At least once a year they lead the worship at my parents' church and it is really a unique experience. There is one song where the youth and youth leaders will jump up from the pews, grab hands, and dance down the aisle, pulling as many other people into the chain as they can. It's amazing. And then we fall back into our seats, red-faced and out of breath, hearts beating fast, and utterly exhausted from dancing for the LORD.
I wish that happened more often.