Disclaimer: I am treading on thin ice because religion is a very sensitive subject.  I want to say that I am not trying to force my beliefs on any of my readers whatsoever.  Rather, this post will concern the relationship of my faith and ballroom dancing.  The two frequently intersect.


Dancing is an escape for me.  I can be truer to myself when I dance.  I’m more open when I dance because I’ve released the weight of self-expectation and feel the need to “perform” less.  Dance is a release, plain and simple.

Welcome to another post in my Tango Argentino series.  I’ve been chewing on this subject for a while, but I wasn’t sure how to address it.  Please bear with me.  I promise to go about this as carefully as I can.  Here’s the question: How do I approach and handle ballroom dancing as a single, Christian woman?

This is where I would insert the Baptist or Puritan jokes, if I liked them.  For the record, there are dance companies with Christian affiliations.  An example is  Ad Deum, based in Houston.  However, the company’s roots are in modern and contemporary dancing.  That kind of dancing does have partnering but not the kind I’m addressing.  You meet on a person-to-person basis when you dance socially.  It’s not colleague to colleague, and you’re more vulnerable.  Think about it.  In what other situation, medical ones excepted, would you allow someone you don’t know that well to hold you close?  That’s the beauty of it and the main reason I love it so.

Still, 1st Corinthians 6:19-20 says that my body is a temple for the Holy Spirit and that I must honor my Lord with my body.  That’s why I believe in maintaining physical purity.  So, why do I enjoy the Rumba, Bachata, and Tango Argentino?  Does it not compromise my physical purity?  To be blunt, I may be a Christian, but I’m not dead.  I refuse to deny things I know He created for a reason.  Of course, that doesn’t mean I’ll be going to bars and trying to pick up either.  I find the balance, my golden mean, in dance.

Dance allows me to act.  Acting allows me to release all my urges.  I may be conveying a persona when doing so, but the feelings I channel are very real.  It’s not too different from working out when you’re in a foul mood.  It all leaves your body with the sweat.  Yeah, I hear what you’re saying, but do you really have to dance?  Yes, I do.  It is my unique way of worship.  But, can’t it go wrong?  Again, yes.  But, anything can go awry.  And I have to ask myself “Is it worth it?”  Is ruining my relationship with my partner and spoiling the atmosphere worth a potential romantic fling?  Not in the least.  What is worth it is continuing to worship through dance while maintaining my integrity.

5 thoughts on “Release

  1. I don’t think sharing one’s faith is forcing it on someone. I fully appreciate it when someone shares, even if they are of a different faith than me, so I’m glad you shared how dance fits into your faith.

    Partnering with somebody does makes things interesting for people of faith. But it’s an integral part of dance. I dance ballet, but have done some ballroom. The partnering aspect has taught me a lot about my faith in God, because there is a lot of trust involved when working with a partner … and I’ve found in ballet, the quarters are little bit closer than in ballroom.

    Our bodies are a temple, but in dance, our bodies are also our instrument in expressing an art form. And there are times when are touching parts of someone else’s body or allowing others to touch us in places that aren’t normally touched. And for me, that’s when we have to trust our relationship with God to fight whatever unpure thought that might come through the mind.

    I’m a Christian, too. And as a male dancer, I try to make sure my partner is completely at ease when working with me. Her body is a temple, and I have to show her complete respect when working with her.

    When are motives are pure, I don’t feel it’s a compromise of faith at all. We’re creating something beautiful to share with others. Dance is a release for me, too. It is a way of worshipping for me.

    And it can be a ministry, too.

    I know watching dance is a release for many people, too.

    Hope I didn’t get too off base.

    • I appreciate your thoughts and agree on all your points. Dancing has become a ministry for me. And I also find I really have to trust God a lot when I dance something more sensual. Happily, He makes it easy because my head is filled with what I should do next, how to do it properly, gearing myself for my lead’s next move, etc.

      Oh, and I absolutely adore ballet. I used to dance it recreationally, but school has prevented me from doing any other form of dancing besides ballroom. I hope to get back to it as soon as I can.

  2. Very interesting. I think you have to follow what your conscience dictates. I was in theatre for 15 years before I took up ballroom and there are some similarities. When you go on stage or on the dance floor I think one should remember you’re creating art. You aren’t divorcing your dancing self from your real life self, but one should understand the distinctions. I can “fall in love” with another character on-stage just as I can dance Rumba and Tango on the floor. I am creating a piece of art, although realistic in performance, it doesn’t need to carryover after that.
    I am a believer too, and I’ve had this discussion several times with my Christian friends … And then we get into a big old fun discussion about the arts and the body and tradition and history and Christians in the arts … 😉
    I love the last paragraph of your entry. Eric Liddell was criticized about his running and he said, “God made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure.” And that’s how I view my dancing.

    • I also have years of theatrical experience behind my dancing, and it really helps me get into character without going overboard. Giving into my urges is not worth soiling my work and tarnishing myself.

      I’m happy to say none of my Christian friends have brought this particular subject up. This post is more for the curious. It also helps me solidify my reasons.

The floor is yours now.

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