Dancing a Jig

Have you ever been to a pentecostal/holiness church? You know, the ones where there’s singing and clapping and everyone plays an instrument, even if it’s just slapping their thigh to the beat of the music. This is a glorious moment to behold. A song starts. The choir and congregation sing. Everyone’s clapping and keeping time. Someone starts dancing a high-stepping dance with fanciful footwork. The clapping people start to move around the dancing person and clap more to encourage them. Others may join in and then the music starts getting faster and faster. The clapping and dancing adjusts to the tempo of the music. Some people are swaying their hands in the air. Some doing basic steps and others much more complicated syncopations. Some are shouting out things. Occasionally, a couple of people may lock arms and dance around in a circle. Sometimes a group of people will join hands and do their high-energy, high-stepping, fanciful footwork dance together. It’s amazing to behold. They look like they’re having such a good time.

Last night I went to an Irish bar, with my Irish co-worker. She does Irish dance. There was this great band playing Celtic rock music. When the music started people started to clap. One or two women started jumping up and down to the music. They were joined by others who were dancing while others clapped and did fanciful footwork. There were basic steps and the good ones added all of these creative syncopations. They’d dance in circles and pairs would lock arms and spin their jig around and around. Sometimes a group of people would join hand sand do their high-energy, high-stepping, fanciful footwork dance together. They start at one tempo and then get faster and faster. Everyone looked like they were having such a good time. They had consumed copious amounts of beer.

I used to go to a Pentecostal church a long time ago.

I like beer.

Where do you think this guy is?

PS. I must learn to clap on the beat. Pentecostals clap on the and.

Shameless Plug Update: This post is kind of related to my latest on Unpacking Faith. Just in case you’re interested.

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14 thoughts on “Dancing a Jig

  1. I don’t know about Pentacostal Churches and all, but it seems to me like you might have found a place where you belong. I mean, beer and dancing? Come on!

  2. @ Crankster

    And how!! I love dancing that is celebratory and fun. Sometimes “going out dancing” can mean fighting off slime-balls who are trying to cop a feel or grind their inadequacies on you. I hate that. I love all forms of dance that are just having a good time shakin’ your groove thang.

  3. Sounds like a great time. I love new experiences and after seeing “River Dance” I’m down with the whole Irish celebratory thing. Really great post Lex!

  4. There’s a local Celtic rock band here too, and they’re really good. Never thought I’d acquire a taste for that genre, but there you go.

    And clapping ON the beat isn’t that hard, Lexi. Try clapping in triplets… or keeping a time signature in 5 sometime. THAT will mess with your head. 🙂

  5. Isn’t amazing how many experiences one can have that look and feel like church? I too love dancing, I should do much more of it. Yes, lol that does look like him.

  6. @ Andy

    Honey, I was a Methodist impostor in a Pentecostal church. I had to work long and hard to master that ‘clapping on the and’ business. It’s hard to go back to clapping on the Methodist beat…I mean back to clapping on the beat. It just feels wrong. LOL

    @ Kwesi

    I’m more concerned that church looks and feels like the bar! It adds to how I interpret the ridiculousness of the church experience I described.

  7. Beer in church would be something… Not that I would go or anything — not when I can have beer in my own house. LOL

    Great post.

  8. @ djn

    Oh, where I could go with your statement.

    Replace “beer” with “God”. Hmmmm?

    I’ve been to a few churches that had copious amounts of wine for dinners. Damn liberals!!

  9. I could never do the whole church dance thing. I was raised to believe that I was a rhythmically challenged family anomaly.

    I think more churches should be like bars. I think God would like to enjoy our company rather than look at us attempt to be pious.

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