About Davidic Dance Worship
As well as King David dancing before the Arc of the Covenant in 2 Samuel 6:14, there are over 21 references to dance and dancing in the New and Old Testaments.
In addition to biblical references the history of dance in worship is well recorded,
some further reading is listed below.
For the interested reader a search on the internet will reveal a number of books that have researched the connection between the Bible and dancing.
Lucinda Coleman in 'Dance in the Church' (Renewal Journal No 6 [1995:2], Brisbane, Australia, pp35-44) writes,
"In the two earliest Christian liturgies recorded in detail, dance is used in the order of service. Both Justin Martyr in AD 150 and Hippolytus in AD 200 describe joyful circle dances. In the early church, dance was perceived as one of the heavenly joys and part of the adoration of the divinity by the angels and the saved."
In the book, 'The Bible in Israeli Folk Dance' Matti Goldschmidt traces the many strands of Israeli dances that have merged into popular dances today. He describes over 4000 Israeli folk dances concluding that whether based on secular or religious concepts the purpose was for a 'unifying, national, cultural component' that may or may not have had a religious influence. Goldschmidt then proceeds to trace and document those Israeli dances
with clear Biblical origins.
Research from The Ministry of Dance (author unknown) notes that the word 'Selah' (seen frequently in Psalms) means more than 'to pause'. "It means to pause, to set the mood change, wait and meditate while there was a visual demonstration." (Within visual demonstration may be a dance interpretation of what was previously sung). The research goes on to say that, "The dance was highly respected in Israel. At this time dance was no longer totally connected with everyday activities. Prophets were dancing, priests were dancing, kings were dancing, armies were dancing, everyone danced."
Today, in Israel dancing is part of military comradship building.
The Temple Institute in Jerusalem describing dancing to celebrate Tu B'Av talks of the 'spirit of unity and hope' quoting from Ohev Ysrael Likutim 113:3, "The concept of the machul - dance - is that one who goes in the dance, goes around and around in a circle. The circle has no top and no bottom, no beginning or end. So too, in the future the righteous will experience no jealousy or dislike, for no one will be said to be on a higher level than another..."
The unknown author who wrote for The Ministry of Dance concludes with words which aptly describe Dance for Joy:
"For the believer, there is a special joy in learning the Isaeli dances. Early Jewish believers of Messianic dances were described as heavenly joys, and a part of the adoration of the divine Yeshua HaMashiach done by angels and saints."
For Dance for Joy, the Davidic worship dance we adopt is corporate worship of HaShem (God) in the name of Yeshua (Jesus), in unity and acting out of the worshipful words sung literally - body, mind and soul joining together in worship of the only one worthy to be worshipped. It is praise in action!