Ringing in the New Year with a Dance Party!

There is nothing like a dance party ring in the New Year!
When you are feeling frumpy, discouraged or just old,
you need a dance party!

An event planner I worked with last year informed me
that I should plan to join the dance party they host as part of their retreat every year.
“A dance party?” I asked her.
“Oh yes, it’s a big part of every retreat.
The women love it!” she said cheerfully.
“To go with the Royalty theme this year,
we’ll have a ball.
Bring something with sparkles on it!”
The more I thought about it,
the more it sounded like fun …
if I didn’t have a heart attack!

The night of the ball,
the dining room was transformed into a dance hall,
complete with flashing colored lights and a disc jockey.
Racks of formal wear had been supplied for
those unprepared or unable to bring a fancy dress.
The 200 retreat guests were diverse in every way.
There were different nationalities,
ages, social and economic circles,
and every age and shape.
Single women,
married women,
widowed woman
all dressed up in fancy, frilly, froufrou
for the first time in a long time.
There were sparkles and sequins.
There were flowing melon colored dresses
and sleek black formals.
There were pastel prom gowns and
slightly used wedding costumes.
Women of every age and size were
draped in some manner of bedazzlement.
After a scrumptious buffet of
delicacies and deliciousness had been consumed,
the lights dimmed and the music pumped.
veteran retreat-ers
streamed to the dance floor.


Without a hint of inhibition caused by comparisons
nor the tension of impressing or enticing a man,
we danced.
Toes tapped.
Hands clapped.
Heads bobbed.
Hips swiveled in time with the music.
We danced in groups.
We danced solos.
We danced as couples.
Everyone felt young under the revolving lights
with the music of our youth blaring.
Old bones and weary muscles came to life
and remembered how to move to the beat.
The rhythms and melodies of old songs
brought smiles and memories of another time
before our hair turned gray and our muscle tone atrophied.

A group of three mature widows stood on the fringe of the dancing.
They tip-toed in from time to time,
but age and music preference prohibited much more.
They were from a time of foxtrots and waltzes.
Then a catchy country song came on.
I approached the tall leader of the group.
“Polka?” I asked, holding out my hand.
For just the briefest of moments,
she stared at me.
I don’t know if she was sizing me up,
trying to remember the steps to a polka
or deciding whether she was up to the challenge,
but then a twinkle came in her eyes,
a smile crossed her lips,
her head lifted and placed her hand on mine.
We twirled and whirled and dipped and spun
through the whole song.
It was the best moment of the retreat in many ways.
We cut loose and danced like no one was watching.
At the end, both of us were flushed and grinning.
There is nothing like a dance party to revitalize you!
It was a form of worship
to celebrate how God made us.
A way to be all in,
celebrating what God has created
in us and for us.
How thankful I was for an event planner
with imagination.
How fantastic it was to celebrate the gift of
music and memories.
Of friendships and falderal.
What is it that you go all in for?
When do you feel most alive?
What evokes thankfulness to the God who
loves you so much?
What brings you to a place of worship for the God who
provides opportunities of delight
just for you?

If you haven’t felt the abandon of letting loose lately,
why not put on some worship music with a beat and
have a dance party of your own?
Intersperse it with some Beach Boys or disco or swing
or whatever activates your memory and makes your feet want to move.
Dance like there is no-one watching
and feel your energy rise,
your muscles flex,
your creativity surge, and
your thankfulness build.
There is nothing like a dance party to revitalize you!
When was the last time you cut loose and danced?
Father God, thank you for music that lifts the spirit and moves our emotions. Thank you for rhythm and movement so we can worship you body and soul. Lord, thank you that you revive us in so many ways, not the least of which is a dance party to make us feel young and acknowledge you. Amen.