Dancing for God | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Dancing for God

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Church isn't something that pops into my head when I think about dance. However, today's society has changed its views on dance and church, and many churches integrate dance into their worship service. Liturgical dance is an expression of prayer or worship through body movement. It can be incorporated into Christian services as well as other religions and faith traditions.

Tracie James-Wade is a liturgical-dance instructor at Millsaps College. She teaches and choreographs many of these dances around the Jackson area. Liturgical dance is growing in many churches; however, James-Wade suggests not all churches have warmed to the idea of dancing in the church. Dance is often considered secular or "of the world," which is something seen in a negative light for many churchgoers.

The overall purpose for liturgical dance, however, is to enhance the worship service. The dances are not set to specific music most of the time, so the musical selection is relevant to the sermon.

Although liturgical dance can be seen in a positive or negative light, it can also be a beautiful thing when seen as a form of prayer through the movement of the body. It is another way of expressing one's love for the creator. In addition, it is something that people can do even if they don't go to church. Liturgical dance simply serves as a praise vehicle, no matter what denomination or spiritual background, to achieve a better grasp of a dancer's relationship with God.

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