As dancers, we have been given a special talent, and we can use movement to share the good news of Jesus Christ. All the various forms of art, including writing, singing, playing an instrument and dancing, can be used to glorify God. In recent years, churches have become more open and inviting toward different forms of worship, including dance.
Though dance in worship can look very different for everyone, all worship dance gives praise to the Father. In recent years, the amount of praise dancing taking place in churches has increased, and this has become a significant form of worship for everyday people and dancers alike.
You may be wondering what praise dancing is. Praise dancing is often performed to a fast, upbeat tempo and is characterized by waving one’s arms overhead, clapping courageously and swaying one’s body. Praise and worship dance have strong similarities to modern dance; however, other styles have entered the mix including, but not limited to, ballet, jazz, hip-hop and variations of gymnastics and many musical traditions.1
When you are compelled to move, you are honoring the desire to worship God that He has placed in your heart. Our bodies are temples, and through the lens of Christ, we can use movement to worship and give praise to God our Father. Praise dancing can be as simple as swaying your body back and forth while listening to worship music, or it may involve larger, more choreographed movements. You may be called to dance for Him in whatever way your heart and body tell you to move.
Dancing for God
People who enjoy dancing can use it for God’s glory, as a means of celebration and worship and to serve the body of Christ.2 It is important to remember that, if God put a desire in your heart to dance, sing or create another form of art, you were made to use your talents to glorify God.
Culture tells us that dancing for God can only look like praise dancing, but deep down, a relationship with God is personal and individual. If He has put a flame in your heart to praise and worship dance for Him, seek out opportunities to do so. Our God is abundantly good, gracious and overflowing with love. Through our talents, we can glorify and praise His name.
In the Bible, Psalms 149:3 says, “Let them praise his name with dancing…Praise him with tambourine and dance…”3 In 2 Samuel 6:14–22, David dances before the Lord with all his might, providing us with a wonderful example of what it truly means to surrender to God in worship. As Christians, we are encouraged to dance for our Creator, no matter our art, and to do all we can for His glory. Honor your desire to dance, and do it for Jesus.
All in all, combining worship and dance is a beautiful way to glorify God. No matter your background, your affiliation or your generation, you can dance for God and use movement as a way to praise Him. Dance is universal and a beautiful way to express your joy and gratitude for the One who gave us these gifts and talents.
Glorifying God Through Dance at GCU
In the fall of 2021, Grand Canyon University’s Dance Department collaborated with the Worship Arts program to hold a night of joy and celebration for our Father. It was a wonderful experience, during which participants learned small sections of choreography to various worship songs and were truly given the freedom to worship the Lord through dance.
In the future, the GCU dance program looks forward to providing more opportunities for all students to get involved with praise and worship dance on GCU’s campus. Let us praise His name with dancing and encourage others to do the same and to learn about Christ’s love for us!
Are you interested in pursuing a dance degree at a Christian university? Grand Canyon University’s College of Arts & Media offers a Bachelor of Arts in Dance degree, which would allow you to grow in your passion while surrounded by an amazing student community. To learn more, click on the Request Info button at the top your screen.
1LiveAboutdotcom, Liturgical Dance as a Form of Worship in May 2022.
2Compelling Truth, What does the Bible say about dance in worship? in May 2022.
3Reformed Worship, Praise Him With Dance: It's Time to Consider the Use of Dance in Worship in May 2022.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.