So now I’ve written about why I dance, here’s how it happened..
My parents took me to church ever since I was a baby – we regularly attended an Indonesian speaking church since my parents had friends and relatives there. When it was my 7th birthday (which fell on a Sunday), a lady from the congregation taught some of the girls how to dance with a tambourine. She taught us a few patterns but we didn’t continue learning as she left not long after (if I recall correctly). I was a little too young to get what was going on at that time anyways..
Some years later, I was reintroduced to “tambourine dancing” when another lady stepped up to teach us, an older cousin of one of my childhood friends. Every week we would practice dancing after the service, and before long we were dancing every week during praise and worship. She was a great teacher. I can say that because to this day I still remember most of the moves she taught us. She would drill our group every week until we all got it right – if one of us messed up, we’d have to do it again and again until that person could do it with everyone else.
And that person was usually me, FYI.
After some time we stopped dancing for reasons that I can’t remember (told you my memory was horrible). I think the cause was that our teacher went back to Indonesia and there wasn’t anyone to take her place. As a going away gift we gave her a framed picture of our team at an event. I remember that event because one of my friends told me I looked weird with my hair pushed back and I ended up crying in the bathroom. Ahh, childhood.
Our family along with some others eventually moved churches. In 2010 we went to a Christian retreat where there were guests from Indonesia. This was when we first truly encountered “prophetic dancing”. It was so intriguing watching these people dance and do all these strange movements during the worship sessions. They had such unique costumes too, not like the regular white skirt, white top and overlay that you usually encounter. Not only that – but they didn’t just dance with tambourines either, they had a bunch of other props and symbols and even danced in pairs.
Being young, I didn’t really like listening to the sermons all that much. I remember having a fever for those few days too which made things less easy for me – I’m ashamed to say I fell asleep almost every sermon. Anyway, one day these Indonesian dancers decided to hold a session for us, so they taught us some basic moves and talked to us about what they did. My friend and her brother even danced in one of the main sessions which was a little more than entertaining for us. That retreat was enough to pique my interest, but not my desire.
Throughout the next few years my cousin (who had learned alongside me at our first church) and some others who attended the retreat danced occasionally for special events at a ministry. I’d often see a few ladies there who’d dance with us. One of those ladies eventually started attending our church. She was the real push we needed to start dancing properly.
This woman taught us what she knew, and eventually we formed our own dance group at church. The difference this time was that I actually understood what I was doing and what it meant. All this time I had been learning prophetic dancing, but never learning what it was really about. I never understood it’s proper meaning or taken it in to account until now. She taught us that dancing was a form of praise and worship. She taught us the symbolism that each move and prop carried, and she taught us that it was something to be taken seriously.
My cousin and I then stepped up to teach the group what we knew – since we had the most technical experience. For the past few years our team has been growing both in numbers and spirit. It’s been such a blessing to be able to learn and experience so much with this group of people. We love prophetic dancing and although most of us are amateurs when it comes to “real” dancing, we still have a ton of fun together and are happy with what we do.
And hopefully God is happy with us as well!