Every faith has things they deem unholy. We had many things — TV. Movies. Rock Music. Movies. Pork. Missing a service for your brother’s graduation. Being closer than 6 inches to the opposite sex. Dancing. Dancing was entirely off limits. At least the worldly kind of dancing.
As a Pentecostal dancing was a form of worship. After all, David danced before the Lord (2 Samuel 6:14). The acceptable dance was a two-step shuffle. When the Spirit would fall, someone would go swinging wildly. If you were little you knew to stay out of the way of the dancing sisters and their high heels!
When we worshipped the females were on one side and the males were on the other side. We would never consider praying for/with the opposite sex. When we had a dancing service there was always two circles: one for the men and one the women. The two never ever merged.
The first time I saw two people dancing together I was hooked. There was something beautiful about the way they moved together in unison. I knew it was unholy before my God, but I desperately wanted to dance with a boy.
My momma understood. She told me how she wished she could dance. How she didn’t get to go to prom because she was married at 15. So I dreamed of the day I’d get to wear a beautiful dress and dance with a boy.
When I was 16, my family left the church after a disastrous adventure in California. We returned to Idaho; for the first time in my life I wasn’t required to follow the rules. I wore pants. I cut my hair. And I said yes to a boy who asked me to be his girlfriend. A week after we started “going together” he invited me to the winter dance. I screamed when my parents said yes. Finally, I was going to get to dance with a boy!
I was severely disappointed. He was more interested in hanging with his friends than dancing with me. Our friends tried to console me but I was hurt. I spent the rest of the evening on the side watching everyone else dance. I moved to Oregon eight months later and put my dreams of dancing behind me.
Dancing with the husband at my sister’s wedding 2005
The husband and I have had a few occasions to dance together over the years. They have left me wondering why I was ever obsessed with dancing. As a girl I didn’t want to dance with just any boy; I wanted to dance with a boy who loved me.
New Year’s Eve I wanted to do something different. He asked me what I wanted to do. I replied “I want to dance with you at midnight.” I was surprised when he said yes. The evening went on. The husband fell asleep. Midnight was fast approaching. I told myself to not be disappointed.
The husband woke up just before midnight. “I thought we were going to dance.” I reminded him, “But it’s fine. I know you’re tired.” He surprised me. “Let’s dance.” he said. I took his hand, looked into his eyes and we danced.
I love the way we are creating new memories.