Universal significance of dance

by | Oct 10, 2010 | Spiritual Insight & Humor | 1 comment

calvin and hobbes dancing
  • In the Acts of John, an early Christian text that didn’t make the cut to become part of the “official Bible,” Jesus is quoted as having said ‘He who does not dance does not know what’s happening.’
  • Dance is part of the very origins of Tao. When the ancients wanted to understand the movement of Tao, they danced. When the ancients tried to utilize Tao, they danced.

The shamans danced to bring rain. Priests danced in constellation patterns to call the gods. Meditators danced between their sittings for exercise and health. Mediums danced to invite spirits into their bodies. Exorcists danced to control ghosts. Warriors danced to demonstrate their exploits and to hand down their techniques. Storytellers danced to bring history alive. Dancers danced for beauty.

You cannot think about dance. You cannot count the beats or tell yourself to do this step and that step. Instead, you have to act in a way that puts aside your everyday conscious mind. You just have to dance. You can’t make it look any better than what it is, and if you are honest, you can’t make it any worse: you can’t hide yourself when you dance. — Deng Ming-Dao in Everyday Tao

  • We know how the movement of dance makes us feel: light and airy, rising above the ordinary, floating above and beyond ourselves.

Why not use movement and dance to approach God every day? Why not make dance one of the sacred and joyous pathways to God?

In dance, as in song and in music, there is the pulsating beat and rhythm of existence, the excitement and jubilation of great rejoicing. But there is more. For dance involves the entire body; it is a whole and a holistic experience; it calls on every bone and muscle, every sinew and cell to praise God. — Rabbi Wayne Dosick in Dancing with God

  • Reasoning about God and other ethics came late. Primitive man sought his answers in myth and ritual; he danced out his faith before he thought it out.  — Huston Smith in Great Religions of the Earth

I’d like to thank MaryAnn and Frederick Brussat for providing this wonderful compilation of wisdom about the benefit of dance in our lives.

They have a terrific website: spiritualityandpractice.com.

It’s an incredibly rich source of information and inspiration about all sorts of spiritual practices, teachers, books, and more.  Check it out!



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1 Comment

  1. Laura Donnelly

    Very inspiring Ron – thanks!


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