The Lord your God is with you: He is mighty to save: He will take great delight in you: He will quiet you with His love: He will rejoice over you with singing.
Shalom from the New Jerusalem Dancers.
On this page, you will find a number of links related to Davidic Dance. Here we explain what it is, some of the biblical background and it's context.
The title Davidic Dance came from the worship dance of the Messianic movement of this century. It naturally incorporates folk style movements that represent the influences of the Jewish people living in the Diaspora, after their expulsion from Israel to the four corners of the earth.
Davidic Dance is always in a worshipful context using Messianic music and is distinct from Israeli dance which uses the roots of dance in worship, but the purpose remains social.
So it begins with God. Let's look at the scripture from Zephaniah above. The word Joy, sometimes also translated Rejoice is from the Hebrew "Yagil" literally this means "spin round in joy". God will spin round in joy over His people and we reflexively respond to His love by spinning round also. Interestingly, rejoice and dance are the same word in Aramaic, the common language spoken in the area in Yeshua's time. We know from the Tenach that whilst the Temple existed, there was always choreographed dance in worship and also at home for hospitality. We have the fine examples of Miriam and David in Exodus and 1 Samuel using choreographed worship steps. Both these leaders used dance to unite the community. We can be certain that Yeshua himself danced, in fact it was his duty as a Rabbi to lead communal dance in honour of the bride at a wedding. It was considered an act of religious duty and he was to perform it joyously. So should we do less than to praise His Name with dance? (Psalm 150).
There are many words used in the Tanach that are translated
as dance in the King James version. These are (for us) a detailed description
of movement, the majority of which is used in Davidic Dance today. Here
are some examples:-
|Hagag||Dance in a circle|
|Daleg||Leap or Jump|
|Karker||Rotated with all his might|
|Kafoz||Jump with both feet|
Dance as Worship
Dance began with G-d, it was always His from the beginning! In Zephaniah 3:17 we read "He will rejoice over you". The Hebrew 'root' word for this is 'Ya'gil' literally 'spin around in sudden emotion/joy'. This means G-d is dancing for joy over Jerusalem/His people. We read too that 'we are made in His image'. To me this means we too are to rejoice in the dance over Him and lift up His Son Yeshua ha Moschiac (Jesus).
Scripture abounds with verses 'commanding' (not suggesting) that we should 'Praise His Name with Dancing (Psalm 149). This has been obeyed in the Jewish community since Miriam took a tambourine and 'led' the women in Celebration after the Red Sea crossing (Exodus 15:20). It does not say the she danced (remember she was over 80 years old!). The next example of Dance is when the Ark entered Jerusalem, and, 'David wearing a linen Ephod (see Exodus 28) Danced before the LORD with all his might'. The Hebrew for this verse suggests that David joined a processional communal dance already in progress, not that he did a wild solo dance (which was portrayed wrongly in the Hollywood film 'King David'). In Lamentations 5:15 Jeremiah declares that a sign of Israel's Spiritual poverty is the cessation of dance in their community.
The only true form of dance worship to the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the Hebraic style described in detail in the Tenakh (Hebrew Scriptures) There are hundreds of examples from Genesis to Revelation (list available, address below). All other dance styles are either Social or Pagan.
Probably today’s most common forms of dance are found in clubs, parties and on popular music videos. While this is very entertaining, good exercise and a lot of fun it has no spiritual value. Practically every country in the world has Folk Dance, even Arabic countries where dance is actually illegal! The Jewish style is called Rikud am Israel, or Dance of the People (of Israel). This would suggest that it is for ordinary people, not necessarily technically trained dancers. All styles require little or no dance technique, just practice at local dance classes and can be done in circle, line or sporadic format. Frequently when used in public celebrations local costumes will be used.
There are ethnic tribes in remote places that use dance as a means of communicating, celebrating survival and choosing marriage partners, often with the males dressing elaborately and putting on make up to become more beautiful than others. Latin partner dances are becoming popular worldwide over the last 20 or so years, including Salsa, where there is little body contact, just hands, and Tango which requires the partners hold close body contact all through the dance as does Meringue. Country and Western 'Line dancing' has also become popular worldwide. Ballroom dancing has always been popular but is enjoying a revival due to the TV programmes in many countries. 'Strictly come dancing' in the UK is one of them and even hires Celebrities who may have never danced to compete with a professional dancer.
Pagan or Negative Dance
Many cultures that worship false or man made gods have created dances to these gods in order to accomplish something, for example Native Americans and 'rain dances'. Some cultures stamp on the ground to kill evil spirits, and there are even some cultures that dance while sacrificing the innocent to appease their gods.
In Exodus 32:19 there is an example of Pagan dance when in the absence of Moses the Israelites weakened and danced around a newly formed golden calf. It was not the dancing that angered G-d but the worship of the idol. The Canaanite practice of dance used self-flagellation in order to manipulate Baal. In Kings 18:26 the prophets of Baal danced around the altar in order to please Baal. There is a huge misuse of dance by Herodius's daughter in the New Testament which resulted in the beheading of John the Immerser the cousin of Yeshua. See Mark 6:14-29.
Today there are dances mostly in the Middle East which are used to entice men once again to request favour, money or other things. These dances were invented among the women originally for entertainment amongst themselves but like so many other things have been abused. Today it is called Belly dancing, Egyptian dancing or dance of the veils.
On a positive note I believe that almost all of these dance styles can be 'Sanctified' and used as worship if it is a much loved part of the culture and offered as worship to the G-d of Abraham Isaac and Jacob from a pure heart of worship. However it is difficult to see any style that is linked with promiscuity and attracting attention to the body in a sensuous manner as worship even if used with sacred music.
Philippians 4:8 is as true with dance as with anything else. 'Finally, whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, or if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things'
May the 'True LORD of the Dance’ Bless you
Vera Chierico, New Jerusalem Dancers
Some other Davidic Dance related sites
In The Dance - The term Davidic Dance is well
known throughout the Messianic community, and much of the Christian world.
In the Messianic Movement, Davidic dance is an accepted way to
to The Messianic Jewish Movement International!
FREE - WORLD'S LARGEST MESSIANIC RESOURCES CATALOGUE.
Messianic Music The Power of Worship from the Land of Israel! Experience this awesome music from singers, writers and musicians who reside in the Land. Lyrics included.
Shofar International - a broad based Messianic Jewish organization with the goal of sharing information to create greater understanding between the Jewish and non-Jewish communities of the world.
Shalom uv'rachah b'Yeshua HaMashiach - Peace and blessings in Messiah Yeshua