Davidic Praise and Worship
Written by Diane W. Kay   

The term Davidic Dance is now becoming well known throughout the Messianic community. In the Messianic Movement, Davidic dance is becoming an accepted way to worship. Is this a new form of worship? The psalmist said, over 2500 years ago, "Praise Him in the dance." (Ps.149:3) As Israel gathered together at every battle or feast day dancing was present. When David returned from battle (I Sam. 18:6) the women came from all the towns of Israel to meet him and King Saul with dancing and singing. Israel has always been a dancing nation.

In most of society dance is considered a non-religious activity, and many may raise an eyebrow at the idea of dance being used in the congregation. Webster's dictionary describes dance as "moving rhythmically as in time to music".

We as Messianic believers use dance in our services as an outward manifestation of an inward emotion. Just as King David danced before the Lord with all his might as he saw the ark of God arriving in Jerusalem (II Sam. 6:14), so do we feel the need to express this love and joy in the dance.
It does not seem out of place while at a sporting event to raise your hands, jump up and down, or make a "wave", at an exciting moment. Certainly some of these actions would seem out of place in a congregation. But shouldn't we get even more excited about the Lord? Dance is a scriptural way to express our joy to the Lord. In Psalm 150:4, it reads, "Praise Him with the timbrel and dance."

When we connect our spirits with the music and truly worship Him, we are allowing the music to flow through us and are creating movements to worship God. We are becoming vessels yielded to the Spirit of the Lord through which the blessings of the Lord can flow from us into the congregation. Flowing worship music or joyful praise music will bring out joy or worship in the dancer. Worship dance, usually slower, allows the worshiper to draw from the innermost emotions of the soul, while praise dance allows the joyful expression of salvation.

To truly express your joy or worship in dance, together with others, requires an understanding of the fundamentals and basics of dance. Since Elohim is a God of order, dance in the congregation should also contain order. Dance lessons become a necessity to obtain that order.

Anyone with no dance experience or even an experienced dancer needs to be able to work with others for the dancing to flow into a worship or praise that will uplift the congregation.

Just as you cannot go to a foreign country and communicate effectively with the people without learning their language, or play a musical instrument without learning the notes, neither can you worship to your fullest capacity without first learning the dance steps.

Once the steps are learned, the dancer can completely enter into the praise and worship. By forming a foundation of a 'dance language' the dancer is better able to express his or her feelings in the dance.

There are about eleven words used in the Tanach that are translated as dance. These are a detailed description of movement, the majority of which is used in Davidic Dance today. Here are some examples:

Hagag Dance in a circle
Pase'ah Skip
Daleg Leap or Jump
Karker Rotated with all his might
Kafoz Jump with both feet

Davidic Dancing is not just for the individual, for it brings the level of worship and praise to greater heights in the congregation. It fulfills a ministry to the people, by drawing them closer into praise and worship.

Dance is not just for the young. In Exodus 16:20, Miriam the prophetess took a timbrel and led the women in the dance. According to history she was over 80 years old at the time, as she was Moses' older sister.

It is also not just for women. As mentioned previously, David danced before the Lord.

You might wonder why dance is now being added to praise and worship everywhere. We feel that the restoration of dance to the congregation is merely a fulfillment of prophecy. In Jeremiah 31 it speaks of the restoration of the people of Israel back to their land and their God. It says:

"Again I will build you, and you shall be rebuilt, O virgin of Israel! Again you shall take up your tambourines. And shall go forth to the dances of the merrymakers."(Jer.31:4)
Continuing in the same chapter it says:
"Hear the word of the LORD, O nations. And declare in the coastlands afar off, and say, He who scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd keeps his flock...Then the virgin shall rejoice in the dance, and the young men and old together: for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and give them joy for their sorrow." (Jer. 31:10-13)

The scriptures show a return of dance to Israel's life with a reason to rejoice and shout. In the New CovenantScriptures the return of the dance during the time of restoration is noted in the parable of the prodigal son. In Luke 15:25, when the prodigal son returned, music and dancing were heard at the celebration.

In the words of the preacher,
"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance ....( Ecclesiastes 3:1,3)

I have a website with more information on Davidic Dance -
including some dance steps you can learn and choreography to several popular Messianic songs
The site is called: Timbrel Ministries