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What do you think of dancing?

I know some denominations used to put dancing on their big-sin list. My friends and I enjoy dancing, but we sometimes wonder about the propriety of it.


I know some denominations used to put dancing on their big-sin list (along with movies, which seem to merit that distinction now more than ever). My friends and I enjoy dancing (especially Swing), but we sometimes wonder about the propriety of it. Could you shine a little light on the subject?


Like having a beer, the question of whether to dance falls not under Commandment, but under Wisdom. In other words, God has not prohibited it categorically, but you have to use your head. The denominations which frown on dancing frown on it because of a concern that it may arouse lust, which does fall under Commandment; except with your spouse, you shouldn’t be doing things that arouse your body or inflame your mind. So we ask: Does dancing do that? I would say: That depends on the kind of music, the kind of dancing, your own vulnerabilities, and the circumstances. For example, Swing doesn’t get my motor running like that, but it might have that effect on you; or it might get your motor running with one dancing partner, but not with another. Then too, there may be no problem with the dancing itself, but there may be one with where you go to do it, who you go with, or what else you do when you get there.

Say, do you like Tex Williams? His music was big in the glory days of Western Swing, and he wrote some of the funniest ballads I’ve ever heard.

Copyright 2000 J. Budziszewski. All rights reserved.

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About the Author

J. Budziszewski

Professor J. Budziszewski is the author of more than a dozen books, including How to Stay Christian in College, Ask Me Anything, Ask Me Anything 2, What We Can’t Not Know: A Guide, and The Line Through the Heart. He teaches government and philosophy at the University of Texas, Austin.

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