Do Our Dance Moves In Church Say Anything About Us?

Hey guys!

How’s your day been? Hope you had a meaningful time in church? (I’m assuming you attended – hope you did). I’ve got a question for you today.

Do you look around when you’re in church? Or are you one of those who lock in on proceedings, barely stealing a glance at the person next to you (unless of course their perfume is almost  choking the life out of you or they keep asking to use your pen)?

I’m more of the latter but once in a while, I develop a bad case of wandering eyes – and in those moments,  I see ‘things’ and a post like what you’re reading is born.

So it’s praise time and everyone is digging it like crazy. The praise team must have fasted and prayed very well before coming today because everything is superb! Every song raised,  every note played, every interlude, everything – perfect. Dance moves from other worshippers arrest your attention. These guys and girls must really be overflowing with the joy of the Lord. See steps!

Wait. What am I seeing? No, it can’t really be.

Is that not shoki*?

You wait to confirm. The hand gestures look like what you saw in that video but hey, you can’t be too sure. Afterall, it’s not every day you find an usher with his dangling i.d tag, spotting a crisp, well fitted suit rocking it ferociously instead of concentrating on welcoming the growing stream of semi-late worshippers.

Then he does the eye thingy!

No, this is not the usher I was talking about - but you get the idea
No, this is not the usher I was talking about – but you get the idea

End of story. You have undeniable proof. This guy dey pieces shoki inside church!

I understand that the above scenario may be normal to us (you’re probably saying Ehen? So what? Is he not praising God? You sef, na look you go look people for church?). Well, I don’t know o…

I’m just having a conversation in my head and I was hoping you’d help me understand this better.

Does it really matter the kind of dance moves we bring into the house of God? Do they portray any difference between the church and the club?

Some may claim that a dance move in itself is neutral and it only takes on the meaning given by the dancer and the context of the display. But is it really so? For example,  is it possible to do the shoki moves without any flashes of the origins of the dance? Can the mind do that – isolate the move from its source (when the source is known)?

How do these displays affect our testimony to others when we do exactly what they do?

Like I said, I’m not too sure either. I’m just having a conversation in my head and I was hoping you’d share your thoughts on this. I’d like to hear all sides – whatever your opinion is on the matter, do share it with me. Okay then, it’s your turn to talk. Let’s meet up in the comments section!

Live by Design

*shoki – a song and extremely popular dance with distinctive hand gestures, ‘invented’ by a Nigerian afro hip-hop artiste


15 thoughts on “Do Our Dance Moves In Church Say Anything About Us?

Add yours

  1. For me, the first thing that must come to play in an atmosphere of praise should be UNDERSTANDING, and then MOTIVE; Psalm 47:7b; Sing ye praises with understanding. I can’t help but think about David, a man after God’s Heart. We all cannot really tell the dance steps he gave to God to the point his wife despised him in her heart. But let’s think abt this: Michal despised David in her heart for the same dance steps God accepted. When you dance, make God your focus. Let Him be the fountain from which the joy that births ur praise springs. But, as much as we are free to express our joy in a dance in the House of God, let it be done decently, not immorally suggestive, promoting immorality which of course we know the word of God is strongly against.

    Everyone has a story/history and sometimes we consciously or unconsciously reflect our history. A brother/sister may be dancing shoki, alanta, kukere or any other dance step becos that’s all he/she has been exposed to in the past. The truth is this; If we’re praying for massive ingathering of multitude n salvation of souls, then we should expect such dance steps because that’s all they have to offer for now.

    The whole essence of praise is to glorify our God and Father. This brings us to the next point: What is the motive behind ur dance steps in church?
    Is it to prove you’re current on dance steps?
    Is it to gain the attention of other church members?
    Is it to maintain your position as the number **** stepper in your church?
    If ur answer to any of these questions is yes, then you’ve not been getting it right.


    1. God bless you too.
      That’s so true Lucy, understanding and motive are key. I also love the questions you raised near the end of your comment. Each one must answer those for himself/herself.
      Your thoughts have enriched this conversation. Thanks for sharing.


  2. I feel people should express themselves anyway they want to in church. As far as the heart and mind are in the right place, it doesn’t matter what dance move you are trying to make.
    When you are in the praise mode- really and truly and sincerely in the worship mode you might not even know the dance steps you make all you know is that you are moving and you are using your body to praise your God.
    Some people might want to say the dance moves aren’t God-like or aren’t holy. What I’ll say is, give Him your all while dancing and if shoki is the best way you know how to express yourself, God understands your exultation.


    1. Interesting angle you’ve introduced Veev.
      “As far as the heart and mind are in the right place, it doesn’t matter what dance move you’re trying to make”. Hmmm…but do you realise it’s possible to be 100% sincere yet 100% wrong?

      One phrase just keeps dangling in my mind “how can we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?”. How can we bring something so obviously far from our faith and offer it to our God? Does a sincere heart permit the presentation of “strange fire”? (forgive my use of biblical metaphors…I’m sure you get the idea).

      I’d love to continue this conversation. Thanks for joining in and I look forward to your response


  3. For real? First time in church?! What does that say about church as it is today?
    Hope your Pastor doesn’t get to read the second paragraph of your comment! Loll…


    1. Maybe the person had just been living in a cave. I have been to the church in question a few times. The pastors are deeply worded men. The choir is awesome. The church just happens to have a very large youth population…and that will express itself in music, fashion, dance, etc.
      My normal church is full of old people who don’t even know what to do with youths…hence the second paragraph. But I don’t think it’s realistic to attempt to draw a line between “dance moves invented by the church” and others.
      Oh wait…the former has absolutely nothing under it…problem? We no go dance?


      Liked by 1 person

      1. I had to laugh out loud at “the former has absolutely nothing under it”. Ouch Temitayo!
        Thinking about it though, you just may be correct. Dance is more cultural than spiritual so we tend to ‘import’ and out of the once ‘worldly’, we create an offerable expression of gratitude. Is this your thought line? Like I said, I was just having a conversation in my head.
        It’s really sad to hear about your church’s ineptitude (Hope that aint too harsh) concerning young people. But wait o, Temitayo, you sound like someone who could do something to change that. What do you think?
        Let’s keep this going


        1. When Christianity came to Africa, we had to merge it with our culture. Massive church organs and well-traind soprano singers were simply unavailable. Our local drums had been used for all kinds of fetish, devilish purposes ages before we started using them in church. Does that make them bad? All our traditional dance styles are featured prominently in idol worship festivities. Does that make it bad when I dance those moves in church?
          I have never been exposed to idol worship. But I hear these drums and they make me want to move, perhaps in a way that might be similar to what you would see at a Sango festival. Would that be bad?
          Shoki is one of those popular dances that happens to not be hypersexual, and for that we’re grateful. Same can be said of dances like alanta, yahooze, galala, etc. These are the languages our bodies speak to express joy and excitement, which happen to be abundantly present in the presence of God. So dance we was will. If we had to keep these dances out of church, then too many young people would have to put excessive restraints on themselves whenever they came to church, which I think kinda defeats the purpose, kinda.
          Oh, and also, the church would have to invent its own Holy Ghost-approved dance moves.

          As for my church…that’s a whole other blog on its own.


          1. Very valid line of thought I have to say. I’m happy I didn’t just end this conversation in my head.
            Your church marra is a whole other blog? Perfect! That’s why we’re here Temitayo. Would you like to share your (church’s) story? We’d be excited to publish.


  4. Interesting topic. Speaking of shoki, I heard someone say the first time she ever saw the dance was in a church.

    Shoki is a fun dance. I like it. I would dance it in church if they wouldn’t put me under church discipline for it (jokingly serious).

    I think there’s a problem with dances if they are sexually suggestive. Otherwise…people should express themselves…


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