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The Christian Dancing Circle Has Got to Go

I was at a wedding last weekend, which is nothing out of the ordinary — my friends have been getting married for about the last 10 years now, to all different people, of all different cultures.

But no matter where I go, even half a world away in Canada, a pseudo-western Christian wedding is mostly the same. The ceremony is short but emotional; the speeches are full of tearful history; and without fail, there’s always dancing.

Ah, after-wedding dancing: full of off-beat movements of the legs and arms fueled by just a bit more alcohol than normal. They play a wildly eclectic (and sometimes inappropriate) mix of R&B, old school classics, current pop, and Abba’s “Dancing Queen.”

There’s also the Christian Dancing Circle (CDC).

You know what I’m talking about, right? The CDC is usually a dance floor largely or solely taken up by a ring of people who are bopping up and down while they watch whatever is happening in the middle, which can often be nothing. I see this at almost every single Christian wedding, party or event where there’s dancing.

I’ve noticed this more among Christians who also grew up in heavily Asian communities, but I’ve been told it happens everywhere. My question is why. Why do we Christians dance like this?

Is it our attempt to limit exclusivity and promote inclusiveness among young adults? Is it perhaps a way to limit some of the sexual temptations/awkwardness that comes from two people dancing alone? Or is it maybe a way to learn the moves of dancers more experienced than ourselves? Please! Enlighten me! I dearly wish to know, mostly so that we can bring it to an end.

It’s so awkward! It also relegates people who don’t join the circle to outsiders, making it hard for them to enjoy a pleasant night of dancing with a friend or loved one without feeling left out (or squeezed out because CDCs take up way too much space).

Also, brides and grooms hate the CDC. Almost every wedding I’ve been to has had an announcement, encouraging dancers to mingle, mix and not do this passive-circle-dancing-thing.

You know, maybe these newlyweds know something we don’t. After all, they’re married, and singles usually populate the CDC. Perhaps they know that one of the ways to meet new people is to work up the confidence to engage one-on-one with people. Maybe they’re trying to get their friends to dance with a person they’re interested in, or maybe they just want the floor to look less empty. I don’t know.

The next time you’re at a Christian wedding, party, dance or ball, please don’t do the Christian Dancing Circle. At the very least, keep it to four people so the others who want to dance have more space. Then think about why the CDC might not be a good idea, and perhaps try something new: Find someone you would like to know better and ask them to dance.

What about you: If the CDC happens in your area/culture, tell me about it. Why do you think it happens?

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