31 Days of Giving Permission . . . TO DANCE

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Sadly, my husband grew up in a tradition that not think highly of dancing. So we have never danced together.
However, our family has found a wide assortment of ways to engage the world with acts of joy.
Herewith, a sampling, ranging from water play, to miniature golf, to stalking the beach with a camera, to giggling with daddy. Just in case you need something further to give yourself permission to move your body with exuberance, I’ve included some great quotes on the gift that is THE DANCE. 

“Dance is the hidden language of the soul.”
― Martha Graham

“Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance.
Great dancers are great because of their passion.” 

― Martha Graham

“Common sense and a sense of humor are the same things,
just moving at different speeds.
A sense of humor is just good sense,
~William James 

“All the ills of mankind, all the tragic misfortunes
that fill the history books,
all the political blunders, 
all the failures of the great leaders,
have arisen merely at a lack of skill
at dancing.”

“So the darkness shall be light,
and the stillness, the dancing,”
~T.S. Eliot 

“The dance can reveal everything everything mysterious
that is hidden in music,
and it has the additional merit of being  human and palpable.
Dancing is poetry with arms and legs.”
~Charles Beaudelaire

“I would believe only in a God who knows how to dance.”
~ Friederich Neitzsche

“Dancing faces you towards Heaven, whichever direction you face.” 
~ Terri Guillamets

“There is a bit of insanity in dancing that does everybody a great deal of good.”
– Edwin Denby

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  1. Thank you for these pieces of light, Diana.
    Yes, it is ALL dance
    in the holy sway of the Spirit

  2. This made my soul smile, Diana. I was also raised to believe dancing was licentious and unbecoming a follower of Jesus. My parents even turned off Sesame Street when the kids started to dance (aka bounce around, but the word dance was invoked, so my parents felt the need to respond).

    By the time I was a teenager, I was puzzled by the no dancing rule. By the time I was in college, I was infuriated. I hated that legalism had stolen another good gift from God. And then, as an adult, I discovered various dance exercise classes, and my soul came alive when my body moved to music. Every class became an act of worship for me, because suddenly I was experiencing something I was made for. It is not enough for me to praise God with my mind and my heart. My body needs to express it as well.

    And so I dance. I’ve got a lot of lost time to make up for.

    • Lovely to hear, Kelly. I actually think my husband’s problem was more his own than his community’s. It started there, but then he became embarrassed because he didn’t know how to do it well. He’s a talented athlete and he likes to feel competent at anything involving his body. So I think it became an issue of embarrassment, based on that early legalistic approach. Overall, his background was more loving and open than I originally thought.

  3. Diana – love the quotes – and love the “permission” to call even the awkward movements of a creaky old woman ‘dancing’ – wherever and however she is moving with joy! Grandma didn’t “believe in dancing” but yet she’d grab me up and dance around her house singing – and she bought me gloves and a little bag for my first high school dance. I came to understand where she drew her line – and we all draw our own. But the older I get the more I love King David coming into Jerusalem, dancing before the Ark. Loved this!

    • Yes, Sue, I get all of this! And the older I get, the more I love that picture of David dancing, too. Thanks for coming by and commenting.

  4. This is the “giving permission” that I’ve been waiting for….and I love that you did a photo journal of all the ways that you encounter and engage with “dancing”. Keep moving, Diana, in all your unique ways – it’s all a dance, eh? <3

    There are several of these beautiful quotes that I'm going to tuck away for future use.

  5. ‘Love that first quote! It brought to mind images of the children at our church who participate in liturgical dance every month or so. Their creative movements augment the meaning of the song, and my heart fills with adoration and praise. Tears well up in my eyes, too. Indeed, dance is a hidden language that ministers to the soul–even for the audience.