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Shall We Dance?


“Then David danced before the Lord with all his might, and David was wearing a linen ephod.” (2 Samuel 6:14-15 KJV)

I remember attending my first “dance party” at 12 years old. In sixth grade, a boy in my neighborhood invited me to his party. Saturday Night Fever had just come out, and the Bee Gees were all the rage. We were not old enough to see the movie; it was rated R then, but somehow, all the boys knew the John Travolta moves. That is how we danced to the “fast" songs, but the slow songs were a different story. Arm’s length apart, we swayed to the music with whatever boy asked us to dance. To turn down a request was insulting, so this was rarely done. All the girls would sit on the sofa waiting for a boy to ask her to dance, any boy. To not be asked to dance was our biggest fear. So, our guy friends, whom we had mostly known since preschool, made their first pick, second, third, and so forth. Eventually, everyone got asked to dance by someone. Only the ones “going with” someone were not expected to ask all the girls to dance at least once.

By the time I was in seventh grade, one of my friends had a dance party every weekend, or one of the “Main Street” churches had a dance. By the time I was in high school, there were formal dances to attend at Christmas time and in the spring. Of course, let’s not forget prom. There was even a citywide dance a few times at the Squire Armory. The girls would stand on one side and the boys on the other, like Footloose, and couples would dance down the middle.

College led me to another type of dancing. Shag dancing. Shag dancing was done to Southern Beach Music. Crazy Zacks was full of college students listening and dancing to music by the Tamms, The Drifters, and the Four Tops. The best young dancers won dance contests, and there were many. There were beach conventions in the middle of a large field where people drank beer and danced all day to live Southern Beach Music bands. In the cities, there were nightclubs where couples danced more than they drank. Even our small town had wooden dance floors and strobe lights for dancing. Here are some examples of how we danced and the music we listened to then.

So, when did the dancing stop? Or did it?

When I googled the best dance moves of 2023, this is what I found. I believe I will leave you all with this. Weddings are one of the best places to find people dancing today.

Because my grandparents met at a company dance held by Gulf Oil Company in Atlanta in the 1920s, I will always be grateful to the organized dance. Today my children dance salsa and I, I dance country line dancing when I visit my son in PA or any other chance I get to dance. I even dance today, sometimes in church if they allow it.


Dear Lord, please help us not to forget the joy of dancing before you. Thank you, Lord, for the joy of dancing. Amen

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