Many Messianic Congregations participate in what is called “Davidic Dance”. They have people of all ages get up in front of the congregation and perform a dance which is a mixture of Israeli folk dancing choreography. They quote Scriptures such as
Jeremiah 31:13 "Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, the young men and the old, together; For I will turn their mourning to joy, I will comfort them, And make them rejoice rather than sorrow
Exodus 15:20 And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances."
Psalms 149:3 Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp.
Jeremiah 31:13Then the virgin will dance for joy, young men and old men together; for I will turn their mourning into joy, comfort and gladden them after their sorrow.
So is Davidic Dancing wrong? No it isn’t. Can it be? Yes it can.
I’ve visited a Messianic Synagogue in this area and they have one of these “Davidic Dance teams”. I guess in their attempt at being politically correct, they felt that anyone and everyone can be on this team. So the team consists of a couple 60 year old women, a few guys who are very effeminate and 2-3 others over 400 pounds each. I don’t know about you but the few times I’ve been there, it’s been hard for me to concentrate on worshiping while worrying that someone on their team was going to have a heart attack.
Now I have seen Davidic Dance performed where I thought it was unto G-d and it was appropriate. I had a completely different feeling about it then when watching these overweight and elderly people doing the “look at me” dance that I usually see in Messianic congregations.
So what are the Messianic leaders supposed to do? Tell those who are not fit for dancing that they can not dance before the L-rd? Yes, that’s right. Be a leader and explain that you have hand picked a team that best fits this practice. If you were a Priest in the Temple, you wouldn’t encourage the man with no hands to be the kosher butcher, he doesn’t have what it takes.
These Scriptures above aren’t saying everyone should dance. Let’s look at the first one, Exodus 15:20. It’s not saying that Miriam danced. It’s saying she took a timbrel and that some others following her took timbrels and some danced. Psalms 149:3 is saying some dance, some sing, some play the timbrel and some play the harp. It isn’t saying we should all dance. Cause if that’s what it’s saying then it means we should all be able to play the harp too. Jeremiah 31:13 is interesting. It mentions the virgins first. Why doesn’t it just say “women” there? I think because in those times, it was only the young women who danced and I bet they were good at it. They were in shape, not a lot of MacDonald’s around back then and they really had to work in those times so they kept slim. So what about King David? “He danced before the lord when he was old”. Yes, he did. But you know what? I’ve seen the power of G-d fall on an elderly man before and he danced before G-d. I was inspired. He didn’t do it every Shabbat and he had a certain spirit about him when this anointing fell. Even my unsaved friend next to me was inspired. I wouldn’t take any unsaved friend of mine to a Messianic Synagogue where the elderly and overweight are up there dancing every Shabbat. There’s nothing in that that could provoke him/her to jealousy, it may provoke them to getting a sick feeling in their stomach and wishing they’d never had come.
Have I danced before the L-rd? I have twice. Once when I heard Sadaam Hussein was captured and once when Hamas leader,Yassin, was assassinated by the Israelis. Both were a great time. The enemies of Israel had been taken out of action and the lives of Jews were saved. I felt the Spirit of G-d come upon me and I danced for just a minute. I didn’t have anything choreographed it just happened. Should dancing before the L-rd ever be choreographed? Absolutely. I’ve seen some Davidic dance that was very well done and professional. It was great. The women were young and beautiful, that’s right, beautiful, and the men were very masculine and precise as is true Israeli folk dancing. They didn’t look like a bunch of homosexuals up there with the plastered on “look at me” face.
If you are a leader of one of these Messianic teams and you don’t know who should stay and who should go… send me a video clip of the team and I’ll tell you who to cut. It’ll take me les then 5 minutes (I’ve choreographed dance teams that have been broadcast nationally in Canada) then you’ll have a team you can be proud of and a team that provokes the Jews to jealousy instead of a team that makes you all look like you’re a bunch of flakes out of control. This is a fairly good example of a good looking team (though they are not Messianic)… http://www.mahol.co.il/showSampleVideo.asp?danceid=96885 it’s not perfect but you’ll notice the dance instructor is masculine, the younger guys are professional and the girls are pretty and graceful. Get the 400 pounders and the elderly into a prayer team and leave the dancing to the young and fit.
Thoughts or comments on this article?
Anonymous: David danced Naked before the Lord.
My Reply: Yes he did. Let's hope the old and fat dancers don't integrate that into their program.
Here's one of my favorites...
SICK!..I,m glad YOU are NOT GOD!..I,ll Pray for You, Bless YOU Over & Over....
From a FAT Davidic Dancer, just Praising My God...
My Reply: Just so you know, I'm overweight myself. I have nothing against fat people. I am one of them. But no way would you catch me up in front of a bunch of people acting the fool. You seem to really need attention, do it elsewhere and not in front of the congregation. It's people like you that bring a westernized liberalism into a Hebraic setting which is what helped kill the Messianic movement in the second century in the first place. Also, if you could let me know what congregation you attend, I would appreciate that so I can make sure I don't accidentally attend there and end up feeling nauseous. You want to bless me? Get me that address!
Anonymous: http://www.mahol.co.il/showSampleVideo.asp?danceid=96885 - Link no longer active. Do you have another link illustrating the qualities of worshipful dance you can post / update here?
I tried to find some more examples but they are hard to come by.
Here's one that is done by some children. I like this better then watching a bunch of old fat people even though these kids aren't professionals.