Poster for a Corona-proof cultural route through the heart of Rotterdam
“Then Miriam the prophet, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women followed her, with tambourines and dancing.” (Exodus 15:20)
britannica.com describes dance as
the movement of the body in a rhythmic way, usually to music and within a given space, for the purpose of expressing an idea or emotion, releasing energy, or simply taking delight in the movement itself.
There is some overlap between dance and prayer, as our bodies help us express our love for God, our delight in knowing Him and our emotional and bodily needs.
Exodus 15 records the use of dance as a community response to God’s saving acts on Israel’s behalf. But there’s no reason why we can’t use “dance” in our personal prayer time too, to enrich it.
Here are some ideas:
- Adopt the embodied version of St Patrick’s breastplate. A friend of mine was keen to learn it – not just for the spiritual benefits, but also to exercise her weakened left arm. And when I visit her now, we make a point to pray this prayer together before I leave.
- Dance prayerfully to a favourite hymn or spiritual song.
- Interpret a passage of Scripture as a series of steps and gestures, to make the words come alive in a fresh way for you.
Dance Is Like Thought: Helen Keller Visits Martha Graham’s Studio (including a video)