To Dance or Not to Dance

All my life I have heard different opinions on the morals of dancing and going to dances. I have heard these from Christians and non-Christians, both young and old. I will not lie to you by saying that I think it is always wrong to dance, but I will tell you that I have made the choice not to attend dances. There are many things that contribute to my decision, but the main reason is because I desire so strongly to remain pure that I will not put myself in a position where I may give in to temptation (James 4:7).

Now, dancing around at an all-girl slumber party is not what I am talking about. I’m referring to dancing at parties and school dances. In itself, dancing at these events may not be wrong––but it certainly can become sinful (Matthew 26:41). Instead of dancing being the enjoyment of innocent fun, it often develops into something sexual and very inappropriate. You and your dancing partner obviously have the choice of not allowing it to become sinful, but this can be ridiculously difficult.

To explain what I mean I will use an experience from last year. I was home-schooled through most of middle school; as high school approached,  I decided to rejoin public school. This was a hard decision but I think for me it was the right one. I have a best friend who went to a Christian private school all her life and also entered public school for high school.

The Homecoming dance, which follows a huge football game, was during the beginning of the school year. I had made up my mind not to go, but since my friend had never been to a dance she begged me to come with her. So that night I asked my boyfriend to come with us, and after some convincing, he came too. I rushed home, threw on a dress, and headed straight to the dance.

It started out all right, mainly because no one was really dancing yet. But it quickly became something that I was simply ashamed to even be present at. A huge crowd of people toward the front were doing some of the most heinous dance moves I’ve ever seen in my life. I could not believe that these teenagers thought it was okay to dance in such a way and that the chaperons allowed them to do it! I was shocked and very upset.

We wanted to leave but were unable to, so we were forced to stand awkwardly in the back until the end of the party. We had a decent time in our little huddle, but I still would have rather been at home.

I am certainly not trying to say that all dances are bad, but I will say that they all have the potential to become bad (Proverbs 16:17). From this experience my friends and I have decided not to attend any more dances––instead we plan replacement activities! For example, during the previous dance at school we invited all of our friends from school and our youth group to an adult friend’s house from church to play games until midnight and then we all went bowling. We had Guitar Hero, Dance Dance Revolution, video games, and karaoke! It was a blast! Everyone had a great time and the awesome thing was that no one regretted skipping out on the dance.

This decision to not attend dances is one that should be decided personally after reading God’s word, talking to your parents, and praying (I Corinthians 7:5). Always consider the outcomes possible in every choice. Think to yourself how you, others, and God will benefit or not benefit from going to dances. If you discover after real thought that nothing truly good could result then choose to spend time in other activities. Always think if what you’re doing will glorify the Lord or not––if not, find another way to have fun and enjoy your time!

Shelby Garrett

Shelby Garrett


  1. Great article! Thanks for putting your personal experience in there, and for speaking up against an activity that is so commonly accepted, even among Christians.

    I really like your alternative activity ideas, and some girls I know want to begin doing that instead of attending dances, so thanks for the ideas!

    I can tell from your articles that you are a very mature and sincere Christian, and that others around must be enriched and motivated because of you.

  2. This is a wonderful article. I appreciate your honest and sincere heart. Thanks for choosing to motivate and encourge others to seek God’s will in their lives. Choosing His will is what makes all of us truly happy and gives us inner peace!!!

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