Dancing has been around since before the world was made. It is and has been an important part of every culture through out history. Dancing has been a critical part of developing communities and cities. Just as music is and always was an important part in bringing and connecting people together- music and dancing go hand in hand. There are a lot of benefits to dancing, both physically and spiritually. Let us first talk about the physical benefits.
Here is a list of how dancing can benefit you physically:
- Boosts Memory
- Improve Flexibility
- Reduce Stress
- Diminish Depression
- Help Your Heart
- Lose Weight
- Stabilize and Gain Better Control and Balance
- Increase Energy
- Make Friends
These are all great things and good enough alone to get up and move! I got this information from this article, and if you would like to get more specifics on any one of these- check out this link: Health Benefits of Dancing.
There is also a spiritual and emotional side to dancing
I believe this is more the reason why humanity has gravitated to dancing. And this is what I wanted to focus on in this post. Singing and dancing are typically associated with women, but men have a big role as well. Did you know there are seven different types of dancing talked about in the bible? These seven types were used for different things, at at different times, for specific purposes.
The seven types of dancing talked about include:
- The Dance of Praise (Psalms 149:1-3; 150:4 – 13 praises),
- The Dance of Worship (Judges 11:34; Luke 15:25),
- The Dance of Spiritual Warfare (Isaiah 30:32; Psalms 149:1-9),
- The Dance of Celebration (Deuteronomy 16:13-15; Jeremiah 31:4),
- The Dance of Travail (Jeremiah 31:13; Lamentations 5:15; Isaiah 66:8-11),
- The Dance of Prophecy (1 Samuel 10:5-6),
- The Dance of Ceremony (Judges 29:19-23).
Men and dancing
Even though singing and dance is usually connected to women, men also had a great part in dancing in the bible. This is a quote by Hugh Nibley in talking about dance, he stated:
“The Old Testament is rich in dancing situations. Israel came out of Egypt dancing, and the victory dances that followed were by choruses of maidens (Miriam – Exodus 15:20; Hannah – 1 Sam. 18:6). We read of a company of prophets carrying instruments (see Psalm 149:3); they danced as they prophesied. There was a daily procession, with song and dance around the altar in the temple; David and Solomon both participated in it. In the dance of the water drawers, ‘Pious men and men of affairs danced with torches in their hands, singing songs of joy and praise, with a full orchestra of Levites.’ Rabbi Simeon ben Gamal juggled eight torches in the dance. The Song of Solomon was an antiphonal between two choirs of maidens. Rival maiden choruses got David into big trouble when one sang ‘Saul hath slain his thousands,’ while the others topped with ‘But David his ten thousands’ (1 Sam. 18:6—7). Just such competitions took place in Greece, preserved in the ‘Maiden Songs’ of Alcma” (Hugh Nibley, Abraham’s Temple Drama, BYU Maxwell Institute).
Examples from King David
David is perhaps the most thought of in the bible as the most prominent man with music and dance. With his harp in the field with the sheep and playing it for King Saul while he feel asleep. Music and dance were also a key part to the temple his son built with his plans. There in the temple, music was played all through the day and night. Something King David and Solomon actively participated in themselves. The bible is filled with songs and prayers that were about dance and praise. David again in Psalms is probably the most famous for his songs. In Exodus and many more places music and dance played a main role.
Spiritual benefits to dancing
Women all throughout the bible sang and danced for all kinds of occasions. Dancing was usually done in accordance with an end goal in mind. Miracles were performed with dance! Such as the prophetess Miriam, the sister of Moses, drawing up the water each day for the children of Israel (Exodus 15:20-21). This gave the children of Israel water and kept them alive. Moses tried to take over the job when she passed but there is a learning curve and he could not do it as well.
Battles were also won
“Other examples include three Prophetesses – Deborah, Huldah and Miriam all were known for their songs. Some dances were done in connection with Israel’s victories over their enemies. In one battle involving King Jehoshaphat, singers were sent before the army to praise the Lord and went before their enemy, with ceremonial dance, music and patterns of “mighty prayer”. The Lord fought their battle for them and the enemy was defeated.” Marti Grobecker
Raises the Vibrations of the Earth, Atmosphere and People
Dancing and music raises the vibration of the atmosphere around you, including the people in that atmosphere. When people participate in dance and praising, they raise their vibration. Miracles happen when the frequency is raised and everyone joins together in unity.
Throughout scripture we see joyful, harmonious praises to the Lord – or in other words thanksgiving. Which thanksgiving is frequently in association with dance, and one of the main purposes. Joyful praise and beautiful music were thought to invite and invoke God’s presence and the spiritual realm-those beyond, to come to this earth and dance together with us.