Finding the Right Place to Dance

by Joanna Pierce on February 27, 2019

One-two-three, one-two-three, one-two-three, step together! These words echo in my head as if I heard them just yesterday, but in reality, they were spoken almost 30 years ago. My grade school gym teacher was instructing my class on how to waltz in our dance unit. I loved it—the waltz, cha-cha, tango, square, etc., but the boys in my class were less-than thrilled.

As far back as I can remember, I’ve loved dancing. However, I couldn’t ever figure out the right place or the right time to do it. After I learned to walk, I danced and sang with a plastic spoon. The result was a trip to the hospital and stitches in my lip. Years later, I danced in the bathtub. Hospital, stitches—the trend continues.

I’ve already shared my cat-stool escapade, which ended in disaster. I opted to practice my river-dancing skills in the kitchen whilst my mom made dinner and got reprimanded. I went to dances in junior high and high school, and got into trouble for dancing too close to my partner. There just never was an outlet for me to fulfill a heartfelt passion.

Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp (Psalms 149:3, KJV).

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance (Ecclesiastes 3:4, KJV).

When I started digging into the Word of God as a young adult, I read Scriptures about praising God through dance. I initially thought, that’s weird. Who praises God by dancing? Then God answered my question.

King David was bringing the ark back home in II Samuel 6. He was beside himself in joy that the presence of God was returning with him. Therefore, after every 6 paces, he sacrificed and danced before the Lord with all his might (II Samuel 6:13–14). I’m unsure of the distance David journeyed home, but for every 6 paces, that’s a lot of dancing!

The word dance in Hebrew is karar, which means to whirl and dance. I don’t know exactly how David danced, but He found the right time and the right place to do it. He unlocked a gateway into the presence of God through sacrifice and praise, specifically praise by dancing.

You might think I’m weird, but if I read something in the Word, I’m going to test it out. So, after years of dancing the wrong way and in the wrong places, I tried it in the presence of God. And, would you know it? God met me there through my praise and became the best dancing partner I’ve ever had in my life.

It turns out, there was a reason God put a desire to dance in my heart. I initially looked to the world to provide an outlet for it. All along, God’s design was for me to do it in His presence. God has done so much for me: He’s changed my life over and over again and given me joy unspeakable. As the prophet Jeremiah said, I’m going to rejoice in the dance (Jeremiah 31:13).

If you’ve never danced before the Lord, I encourage you to try it. Part of finding the right place to dance is understanding there’s not just 1 place to do it. Dance in the church house, dance in your utility room, dance in the storage closet at work, dance in your classroom. If you do it in God’s presence, I promise every time, you’ve found the right place. Just dance.