Each generation seems to have several dance crazes that come out, especially in the Summertime. Some of these dances "miraculously" find their way into our churches during praise dance presentations (shocking, isn't it?). Nevertheless, the sight is more common than not. Many unassuming congregations have no idea that the dances done before them have been newly acquired from MTV and BET.
While teaching at workshops and conferences, I often ask the dancers to tell me who danced in the Bible. Most are familiar with David, and even fewer with Miriam. For most groups, the familiarity stops there. This week, I was blessed to teach a group of very young children at a Summer Arts Camp. During class, the Lord led me to teach them how to dance like David and Miriam. I led them in movement according to the descriptions found in the Scriptures.
We played a game called "Jesus Says..." similar to the traditional "Simon Says" response game. I would say, "Jesus says, 'Dance Like David!'" The children joyfully began to leap and whirl as instructed by the Word. They then replied, "That was FUN!" The experience reminded me that we still have a responsibility not only to train our children, but those who are in ministry as well.
How Did David Dance?
2 Samuel 6:14, 16
14) Then David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was wearing a linen ephod.
16) Now as the ark of the LORD came into the City of David, Michal, Saul’s daughter, looked through a window and saw King David leaping and whirling before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart.
The Hebrew word used here for dance is karar, meaning to dance (i.e. whirl): - dancing (Source: The New Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible)
David reserved nothing for himself, but gave his all unto the Lord while dancing before Him. Leaping required his feet to leave the ground, and whirling would ensure that he danced in all directions! The sight of David dancing provoked his spouse to rebuke him for such an open display of abandonment (for which she paid a hefty price!).
Dancing is nothing new. The unique style in which certain individuals express it has often garnered the acknowledgment of having a dance or technical style take on the name of the originator. We all know that the true Originator of movement is the Spirit, who moved first in Genesis 1:2! Instead of learning the latest dance craze to demonstrate, wouldn't it be a wonderful exercise to train our dancers to learn the style of those who danced according to the Word? Instead of our children singing popular songs about dances (and doing them in church, school, and everywhere else), we would be blessed to hear them say, "Teach me how to David!"
New King James Bible Version
[The Song of Miriam] Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took the timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.
1 Samuel 18:7
So the women sang as they danced, and said: “Saul has slain his thousands, And David his ten thousands.”
Let them praise His name with the dance;Let them sing praises to Him with the timbrel and harp.
Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, And the young men and the old, together; For I will turn their mourning to joy, Will comfort them, And make them rejoice rather than sorrow.