While some Christian communities are said to ban dancing by couples, especially between unmarried people, some believe dancing is a borderline, neither right nor wrong. While not categorically forbidden in the Bible, it raises several concerns about sexual purity for most. Hence, a number of practices and interesting expressions have evolved to govern the dance. So what do you know about dancing without leaving room for Jesus?
Dancing without space for Jesus means not having enough distance between your partner and you while dancing. It means that you are so close that Jesus, who should be between you for sexual purity, cannot fit.
So what is dancing without leaving room for Jesus? Where does the phrase come from? What is the appropriate distance between people when dancing? Does the purity test invalidate leaving room for Jesus, girl? Is it offensive to tell people to leave room for Jesus? Read on to find answers to these questions and more.
Table of contents
What is dancing without leaving room for Jesus?
Dancing with no room for Jesus suggests their bodies are very close or even touching, which is considered unclean for an unmarried Christian couple.
The phrase "Leave space for Jesus" suggests that the couple should not get too close while dancing. The words would normally be said to a couple to get them to distance themselves. It is intended for a couple intending to maintain sexual purity. In addition, it should indicate that they should not use inappropriate gestures, especially when dancing. This includes not fully leaning against each other, holding on, or leaning against each other while dancing.
As a rough measure of spacing, this means there must be enough space between pairs for one person to stand in the middle. Dancing "without leaving room for Jesus" implies that the couple is allowing the music to draw them too close together, or engaging in full-body contact, in what some consider a type of sexual act.
Where does the phrase come from?
The phrase "dancing without leaving room for Jesus" seems to have its origin in the "rice purity test." It is said that Rice University, a private university in Houston, Texas, first introduced its purity test in 1924.The test is designed to measure students' levels of innocence and maturity for their age group on various issues such as sex, crime and alcohol use. The test had a hundred questions, one of which was, "Have you ever danced without leaving room for Jesus?" Although online purity tests are considered some of the earliest internet memes, similar types of tests with a variation of this question have long been circulating before the internet.
The expression seems to be common among manyChristian groups, especially in schools and colleges where youth are expected to maintain purity.
For example, it is reported to have been used in Catholic schools as early as the 1980s and 1990s, where presenters at proms would tell youth to make sure they "leave room for Jesus." This is said to have meant that there was to be no contact between their pelvises.
The test appears to have enjoyed a resurgence on social media in recent years. It's important to note that the test is intended to be light-hearted and that no one should be forced to feel bad about their level of "purity" - a term that has sparked debate of its own.
What is the appropriate distance between people when dancing?
In Christianity, youth and the unmarried have long heard lectures on the indecency and sinfulness of intimate dancing, particularly when dancers rub or bump their bodies together, typically when a woman rubs or bumps her buttocks on a man's genital region, or vice versa. Because of the need to always keep an appropriate distance between the genitals, some groups seem to have started to define what the minimum distances must be. Although some dictate a distance of up to four feet, most seem to find at least six inches an acceptable minimum distance.
In some cases, rulers were reportedly used to measure body spacing and skirt length to keep these borderline-mundane events pure. Some of them are said to have received classical dance lessons and learned waltzes and swing dances.
The dancers are said to have been constantly reminded to “leave room for Jesus” lest their tricky dance moves or rhythm make them forget their Christian values.
Does the purity test invalidate leaving room for Jesus, girl?
The purity test question "Leave room for Jesus" alone does not seem to devalue girls. “Without leaving room for Jesus” is just one of 100 purity testing questions that people tick “yes” or “no” based on what they have or haven't experienced in sex, crime, alcohol, or drugs. It is alleged that the creators intended it to be a measure of the student's maturity at the end of the freshman year of college rather than a morale test.
As designed, the test was not intended to discredit anyone, girl or boy. With a score from 0 to 100 on a wide range of topics, the overall score should not be taken as a reflection of a person's moral standing. Simple idea, sometimes complicated result.
The problem, it seems, comes when people start looking for individual answers. One can have a high or low score, but answer yes to questions that the group may rate worse than others. When people compete for the score, it is said to degrade and possibly depreciate.
Is it offensive to tell people to leave room for Jesus?
"Leave space for Jesus" was taken as instruction in many instances, but can be downright condescending and insulting depending on the context. It seems to have been expected as part of the scolding parents and teachers used towards the youngsters in their care. However, it's supposed to be at least curious and downright offensive to say to people over whom you don't have such authority.
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Joseph M. Jordan
They say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, right? Being raised by Christians has had a significant impact on my life as I began my confession of Christ at a young age. My passion for the Christian faith led me to pursue a degree in Religious Studies and a Masters in Theology. I am a believer and pastor dedicated to spreading the Word of God. I have been in Christian ministry for over a decade and currently work at Life Christian Church. I have also had the privilege of teaching 4 Christian courses at a college and university. please check theOneus sidefor more details.
Dance without leaving room for Jesus shows one's adoration and devotion to God, via singing, dancing, and instrumentation. Praise is the enthusiastic expression of appreciation or admiration of something Scripture makes numerous mentions of dance.What does the Bible say about dancing in worship? ›
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.What is the quote about dancing for God? ›
3 Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with timbrel and harp. 4 For the LORD takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory.
"When you dance for the Lord, you allow him to use you as a vessel so someone can receive a blessing." "It's not entertainment," said Tiffani Simone Crews, 21, the ministry's assistant director. She said spiritual dancing serves a purpose: to praise God.Why is dancing considered a divine gift? ›
Dancing a set piece is considered a reflection of the unknowable God's immanence, irrespective of the performer's intention. The dancer is to dance as God is to creation. The language of movement is God given, and both the progression of a dancer's training and the perfection of performance reveal God's achievement.Where in the Bible does it say let us praise him with dance? ›
Let us praise him with dance - Psalm 149 : 3 | Praise dance, Worship dance, Psalm 149.Does Christianity allow dancing? ›
Even modest dances are rarely without danger, and a Christian should not frequent them from choice and of his own free will. Many Christian churches determine doctrine locally and may be non-denominational, and these vary on their stances on social dancing.What is the spiritual effect of dancing? ›
Dance can transcend you to places that are higher than time, space and reality. You are allowed to express yourself when words fail to articulate how you feel. It almost becomes like this prayer or diary entry you're sending to the universe. Your body becomes the pen and the music becomes the paper.Why is dancing spiritual? ›
In many cultures and spiritual traditions, dancing is practiced as a means of coming closer to spirit, to encounter the divine, and as an expression of that relationship that already exists.Who danced for God in the Bible? ›
15So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting, and with the sound of the horn. 16 As the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window, and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart.
Salome is commonly identified with the daughter of Herodias who, according to accounts in the Gospel of Mark and the Gospel of Matthew, danced for Herod Antipas. In his Jewish Antiquities, Josephus mentions marriages and children of the daughter of Herodias named Salome.Do you know any proverbs about dancing? ›
One who expresses one's self through dance is a dancer. One who expresses one's self through a dancer is a dance teacher. To watch us dance is to hear our heart speak. I do not try to dance better than anyone else.What is the prophetic meaning of dance? ›
Prophetic dance is a ritual dance in which the purpose is to obtain a communication from or to God (gods) spirits in order to receive a favorable response (rain and good harvests, for example). Is also present in a section of the modern charismatic movement of Christianity, in which the term is fixed.What is the spiritual dance called? ›
In the ancient and widespread practice of shamanism, ecstatic dance and rhythmic drumming are used to alter consciousness in spiritual practices. Ecstatic sacred dances are known also from religious traditions around the world.Is dance a form of prayer? ›
Dance offers a medium of refiection that opens the soul to insight and strength. If we believe that prayer is the central core of life, then dance, which becomes prayer, also expresses our relationship to God, to others, and to all the world of matter and spirit.What are the 3 emotional or spiritual benefits of dance? ›
increased physical confidence. improved mental functioning. improved general and psychological wellbeing. greater self-confidence and self-esteem.Is dancing God gifted? ›
It enrichs culture , custom and tradition of a state. ”Is Jesus the Lord of the dance? ›
Lord Jesus, you are the true Lord of the Dance—the One who turns our wailing into dancing—the One who frees us to praise in our pain, sing in our sorrows, and rejoice in our repenting.What is the dancing under the anointing? ›
DANCING UNDER HIS ANOINTING is an excellent study guide for individuals and worship teams. More important than techniques for dancing is how to find an intimate relationship that will connect our hearts to the throne room of God. Anointed worship dance creates an atmosphere to usher in the presence of God.What Psalm is dance to the Lord? ›
4 Praise Him with the tambourine and dancing; praise Him with stringed instruments and flute. 5 Praise Him with loud cymbals; praise Him with the clanging cymbals! 6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
The term Liturgical dance has been commonly interchangeable with the terms; praise dance, worship dance, Christian dance, and sacred dance. For the purpose of this article, we will be referencing the term Liturgical.Which dancing involves spiritual being and gods? ›
– Kagura, literally “divine entertainment”, is a specific type of Shinto ritual ceremonial dance originally used as a form of divination. The shaman who performs the dance obtains the oracle from the god, thus transforming the dancer herself into a god during the performance.Why do Christians sing and dance? ›
As you may know, hymns and other Christian songs are full of rich, theological text. The act of singing uses both part's of the brain, therefore it can educate us and teach us about the gospel of Jesus Christ. Singing connects us emotionally. Songs of celebration have the power to lead us to dance.What happens to your mind when you dance? ›
Other studies show that dance helps reduce stress, increases levels of the feel-good hormone serotonin, and helps develop new neural connections, especially in regions involved in executive function, long-term memory, and spatial recognition.What is the power of dancing? ›
Dancing – like any physical activity – produces serotonin, the chemical in the body that regulates mood and is often responsible for happiness. Dancing also produces endorphins, which are the body's natural way of filling opioid receptors and causing euphoria.What is the healing power of dance? ›
Therapeutic benefits of Dance include
Physically improving mobility, coordination and reducing muscle tension. It strengthens the immune system through muscular action and physiological processes, therefore promoting healing benefits in prevention and recovery from illness.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were having the worship service of their lives! While in a fire that had slayed the wimps of the kingdom of darkness, these three courageous, faith- filled men were dancing with Jesus!Is dance an instrument in the Bible? ›
In the Old Testament the pipe was associated with merrymaking and praise. In this context, "dance" clearly refers to an instrument, not a physical activity.What is the 9 ladies dancing in the Bible? ›
Although the mystery of the Nine Ladies Stone Circle still baffles us, the “9 Ladies Dancing” in “The Twelve Days of Christmas” is known to represent the 9 Fruits of the Holy Spirit as found in Galatians. These Fruits are: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.Did people dance in the Bible? ›
By the 12th century, Christian theologians would look to the Bible to obtain evidence that dance was permitted. For example, in Exodus 15:20, Miriam, the sister of Moses, dances with other Israelite women to praise God. For medieval Christians, Miriam's dancing signified Christian worship and rituals.
In July 1518, residents of the city of Strasbourg (then part of the Holy Roman Empire) were struck by a sudden and seemingly uncontrollable urge to dance. The hysteria kicked off when a woman known as Frau Troffea stepped into the street and began to silently twist, twirl and shake.What is the spiritual quote about dancing? ›
“Dance is the hidden language of the soul.” “I believe that dance is the oldest, noblest and most cogent of the arts. I believe that dance is the most perfect symbol of the activity of God and His angels. I believe that dance has the power to heal, mentally and physically.What is a famous quote about dance? ›
"I do not try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to dance better than myself." Mikhail Baryshnikov.What is the message of dancing? ›
One of the most basic motives of dance is the expression and communication of emotion. People—and even certain animals—often dance as a way of releasing powerful feelings, such as sudden accesses of high spirits, joy, impatience, or anger.What is the deep meaning of dancing? ›
Dancing has always been about storytelling and expression of emotions. Certain movements and sequences convey different meanings and stories. For instance, a slow interpretive dance might stir up heartfelt emotions while fast and wide movements signal energy and excitement.What is the Lord of the dance Christianity? ›
The hymn is widely performed in English-speaking congregations and assemblies. The song follows the idea of the traditional English carol "Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day", which tells the gospel story in the first-person voice of Jesus of Nazareth with the device of portraying Jesus' life and mission as a dance.Which is a type of dance for religious purposes? ›
Liturgical dance is sacred dance done in the context of a religious service of worship. It is sometimes also know as worship dance or praise dance. A liturgical dance group is sometimes called a movement choir. Liturgical dance exists in many faiths, including Christianity, Judaism and Hinduism.Why is dance important in religion? ›
The sacred dance also has occupied a large place in worship, including dances in connection with hunting, marriage, fertility rites, Sufism (Islamic mysticism), and the Christian liturgy. Dancing serves in particular to open the way for religious ecstasy, a phenomenon known in many religions.What is a prayer dance? ›
Answer: Prayer Dance is known as a powerful statement for celebrating the Father and the love that He has for all of humanity. Most of the worship dancers are known as Marathi Christians. This form of dance is a way of expressing thankfulness by worshipping and celebrating the Lord.What is the name of prayer dance? ›
Kuchipudi is a dance-drama performance, with its roots in the ancient Hindu Sanskrit text of Natya Shastra. It developed as a religious art linked to traveling bards, temples and spiritual beliefs, like all major classical dances of India.
Manipuri dance, which is one of the classical dance forms, has been an important aspect of worship. Before Hinduism came to the land, dance and music was how worship was done. So, in our psyche and whole mental make-up, dance and music has always been revered.” “Manipuri dance has never been about entertainment.What is the meaning of the candle danced in the dark as the students sat? ›
The candle flame danced in the dark. What is the actual meaning of this personification? A candle flame cannot actually dance. This just means the candle flickered and looked as if it were dancing.What is the dancer's prayer all about? ›
A prayer dance gives the dancers a one-on-one intentional time with the Lord and they will perform through their creative movements for revelation for the Lord and reconciliation from their sins.What does it mean to dance as though no one is watching you? ›
It means being present and not overwhelmed or consumed by others' expectations.What is the story of the people who danced until they died? ›
In 1518, a 'dance plague' saw citizens of French city Strasbourg reportedly dancing uncontrollably for days on end – with fatal results. It's a bizarre event that continues to fascinate artists and writers, writes Rosalind Jana.What does danced the night away mean? ›
: to dance the entire evening.What is the metaphor of the candle? ›
Candle metaphors are perfectly suited for mystics to depict the position of mankind in this world and his relationship with the divine beloved. As the wax was united with the honeycomb, man was originally united with God: now he is living in separation in this world. Candles are also used at times of birth and death.What does the trees danced in the wind mean? ›
That means they are given the human characteristic of dancing. Humans can dance, but leaves cannot. We are giving the leaves the human characteristic of dancing to show the reader how they gracefully fell to the ground.How can dancing be a form of prayer? ›
Dance offers a medium of refiection that opens the soul to insight and strength. If we believe that prayer is the central core of life, then dance, which becomes prayer, also expresses our relationship to God, to others, and to all the world of matter and spirit. This prayer must originate from our deepest selves.What is the benefit of dancing to the Lord? ›
Dancing builds your Humility- When you dance before the Lord it will always put you in a place to be laughed at. No one wants to seem strange or uncool these days but dancing before the Lord is just that, before the Lord (not anyone else)!
14And David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod. 15So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting, and with the sound of the horn.Is dance a hidden language of the soul? ›
The legendary American dancer and choreographer Martha Graham said, “Dance is the hidden language of the soul.” Revered as a 'primal artistic force of the 20th century', Graham believed that dance represented emotional activity and by moving rhythmically to the beat we could explore the real depth of human emotion.What does the dance symbolize? ›
Dance can signify joy, celebration, and/or possession by a higher power, be it good or evil. The act of dancing is also linked with rhythm and transforming time into motion.What was the dance of death called? ›
dance of death, also called danse macabre, medieval allegorical concept of the all-conquering and equalizing power of death, expressed in the drama, poetry, music, and visual arts of western Europe mainly in the late Middle Ages.What was the dancing to death sickness? ›
The Dancing Plague of 1518, or Dance Epidemic of 1518, was a case of dancing mania that occurred in Strasbourg, Alsace (modern-day France), in the Holy Roman Empire from July 1518 to September 1518.