Pastor Ed Lapiz  Day by Day Ministries Cultural Redemption


The Soul of the Filipino in Dance

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The Christian 
and Dance

The Redemption of Dance for Christian Worship


There are matters concerning bodily movements in Christian worship that might as well lead to the ultimate question: To dance or not to dance?

To clap or not to clap? To raise hands or not to raise hands?
To kneel or not to kneel?



Pastor Ed Lapiz is the founder and Artistic and Dance Director of KALOOB Philippine Music and Dance Ministry. Read more

Was bodily movement so central to worship that certain offerings were even specifically ordained and meant to be waved? What happens when movement, an important component of spirituality, is subdued, suppressed, forbidden and, worst, lost? 

Dance, whether in symbolic imitation of movements of creatures, expressions of emotions through gestures, or involuntary and reflexive impulses celebrate life in general and the wonder of the creation and design of the human body in particular. 

From a window, Michal fumed as David danced, almost naked, as he brought the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6:14-22). Michal died childless which is said to be punishment from God.

To move -- to dance -- is to demonstrate, celebrate and exalt the genius of God’s creation of the human body. More significantly, could it be that to move, to pose, to align in physical configurations is to reflect or flow with spiritual dimensions that allow the body to be the meeting point of the spiritual and the physical and thus become a channel of mystical impulses and power? Otherwise, why would physical postures and movements figure heavily in biblical culture? Or why would the pronouncement that Michal remained barren and childless throughout her life immediately followed her berating of David’s dancing before the Ark of the Covenant? (What barrenness awaits or inflicts today’s Michals who judge today’s Davids?) Or why would stillness be equated with death? All these gestures and movements and their supposed attendant spiritual meanings and power, however, were lost when Christianity turned from sensual to cerebral,  from spiritual to philosophical, from holistic to dichotomized. (Could this oversight be held accountable for the salt’s loss of much saltiness?)

Aside from its presently little-understood mystical character, dance is also a very potent communication tool. Just the thought of the balletic renditions of Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, etc. readily shows the potentials of dance as language. No wonder even Mao’s cultural revolution employed dance to the hilt in trying to change hearts and minds. 

In a much greater way, dance can very effectively express worship, praise, thanksgiving, and petition to God. It can also explain, exemplify and teach profound and abstract ideas from and about God to both unbelievers and believers. Dance can also add great beauty, variety and pleasure to worship. As it can express what is otherwise difficult or impossible to verbalize, dance is also an amazing channel of communication to God and to people. Enlightened Christians can only be thankful for the recent re-emergence of dance in the Church. an amazing channel of communication to God and to people.

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A YouTube user uploads footage from the movie King David but replaces the original soundtrack with the song, “Dance like David Danced.”

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