Rejoice with Grace
As Seventh-day Adventists, many of us have probably been told by one person or another that dancing is “not good,” or maybe even in some extreme cases that dancing is “evil.” This may have then resulted in some of us trying to come up with a counter-argument, as we flipped through our Bibles to Psalms to find the several verses where David tells us to praise the Lord with dance (Psalm 149:3, 150:4).
Tatiana Knepp, co-leader of a Grow Group ministry of Pioneer Memorial Church called “Rejoice with Grace,” has taken part in Jewish dancing for the past two and a half years. She was first introduced to this style of dancing by the Nagilah Grace club at Andrews University and has been advocating for it ever since.
Knepp is familiar with the wide variety of Adventists’ views on dancing, and she both understands and addresses the misconceptions.
“There is something about the activity that I think scares people away. In our Adventist culture we have such a stereotype against dancing. When people hear that we are Jewish dancing, many seem interested, but few want to actually join us,” Knepp said.
However, Knepp further explains this specific kind of Jewish dancing that David speaks about in Psalms and how it defies what society thinks of as dancing. Knepp ensures that this dance group’s main focus is on praising God by incorporating three important factors into the class each week: dancing to songs based on scripture, fellowshipping and embracing mind, body and spirit in worship.
“Just as child runs around and spins in circles when he is happy, this activity allows us to express our joy and thankfulness in movement,” Knepp said.
This Jewish dancing Grow Group is centered around dancing in circles to songs and steps that can be dated back to the time of King David, and it is offered to anyone who is interested in joining.
The Rejoice with Grace Grow Group will meet every Sunday night from 5:15-7 p.m. starting Feb. 7 in the Pioneer Memorial Church Teen Loft. This club also participates in Andrews’ Passion Play by dancing in the marketplace. For those who are interested in learning traditional Jewish dancing, participating in the Passion Play or praising God in a new way, sign up for this Grow Group by visiting www.pmchurch.org/ministries/growgroups.
According to Knepp, this is a Grow Group that has tremendous benefits.
Knepp said, “I have seen a small community grow out of a group of strangers, a group of people who share a common activity and come together to share the wonderful things God has done for them.”