My daughter dragged me to a concert recently. She knows someone in the excellent reggae band Rebelution, and scored us backstage “Family” passes (thanks Wes!). Getting a glimpse into the world of a highly successful touring band was very cool, and the band was wonderfully polite and hospitable to me and the other “old-timers” in our group.
What struck me the most was the exuberance of the sell-out crowd. They stood the entire time, singing and dancing through the non-stop one and a half hour set. The adoring fans seemed to know every lyric, and the utter joy was palpable as everyone bobbed along to the infectious reggae beat. Rebelution calls this their “Good Vibes Summer Tour 2017”, and with good reason. There was so much happy energy in that place, you couldn’t help but feel good as people smiled and laughed while dancing in the warm summer night.
Dancing With Great Abandon
There is something about dancing, isn’t there? It undoubtedly stirs up different memories for each of us, and I’m sure not all are good. But the kind of all-in, no-holding-back dancing I’m thinking of reminds me of my youngest son Collin, who loves to dance and is a big hit at every wedding he attends. Guests are just enthralled at his unique moves and they egg him on as he expresses himself in dance. There is no doubt that he enjoys the attention and energy of the crowd, but I know that he will bust a move even if he is the only one on the dance floor.
There’s a story in the Old Testament about King David, who was “dancing before the Lord with all his might” (2 Samuel 6:14). In another translation (MSG), it reads that he “danced with great abandon before God.” When I see someone dance that way, as I did the other night at the show, and have several times with my son, I find that watching their happiness rubs off on me and makes me happy, too. It brings me joy, and makes me want to dance along. “I know nothing, except what everyone knows,” said the poet W.H. Auden, “if there when Grace dances, I should dance.”
Made to Dance
King David didn’t always have that urge to dance. There are plenty of times recorded in the Bible that he was in deep anguish. One time, he described it this way :
I am worn out from my groaning.
All night long I flood my bed with weeping
and drench my couch with tears. (Psalm 6:6)
But we were made to dance, and God brought him back around:
You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
Lord my God, I will praise you forever. (Psalm 30:11-12)
Yes, there’s something about dancing.
 Auden, W.H. 1991. “Whitsunday in Kirchstetten” Collected Poems, edited by Edward Mendelson. New York: Vintage.