The Bible does not actually give any specific instructions for believers when it comes to dancing. However, dancing is definitely mentioned in the Bible through the stories about God's people.
In Exodus 32:6, 19-25, we find that while Moses was up on the mountain talking to God, the Israelites built an idol and began to dance around it. This ended up in "revelry" (v. 6) and being "out of control" (v.25 says "naked" in some translations). Whoa. Obviously, this was not a good dance!
However, in 2 Samuel 6:12-16, King David "danced before the Lord" to celebrate the Ark of the Covenant being brought back to Jerusalem. This was definitely a good dance! So if David can do it, does that mean we can too?
Dancing itself is not considered sinful when we're dancing in worship or praise to God. Of course, that is not always the case today, as there are lots of opportunities for us to participate in dancing other than at a church service or Christian rock concert. And even then, you probably aren't gettin' down during the offering song on Sunday.
So if we get the desire to dance, what can we do? Here are some biblical principles to keep in mind when you want to dance:
There are definitely a lot of dances that can be done which would be inappropriate for believers, especially since we are trying to live our lives to glorify God. Second Timothy 2:22 says to run away from "the evil desires of youth." If a particular dance might stir up sinful desires and lust in ourselves or others, then just don't do it! Matthew 18:6 talks about how causing someone else to stumble into sin on purpose is totally inexcusable. There's a fine line here, so be sure to check your motivations honestly.
At the same time, the Bible does say that we are allowed to dance in a way that does not tempt others, does not tempt ourselves, and brings glory to God.
Some dances might be inappropriate for believers, especially since we're trying to live our lives to glorify God (2 Timothy 2:22), but that doesn't mean all dancing is bad. Check your motivations for why you want to dance. Are they pure or selfish? There are times and places perfect for dancing; learn to recognize them. If your dancing is stirring up sinful desires in anybody, better take a break.
Cat is the webmaster and editor of 412teens.org and regularly teaches local young writers at her workshops. She also contributes at GotQuestions.org, Blogos.org, and GQkidz.org. When Catiana is not writing or hanging out with teens, she loves spending time with her two kids, four socially awkward cats, and one curly-tailed dog.