Saturday, July 19, 2008

Mixed Dancing

When I read this interesting post from Jewish Atheist, he touches on alot of issues. It really takes a momentous occasion like a wedding to bring out all the conflicts between the frum and no longer frum.
JA and his fiancee, want mixed dancing, and I thought I would share the following experience .

I have went to countless simchas with separate dancing, doing the male shuffle. Either Type 1 where you hold hands and circle at varying speeds, Type 2 you put hands on shoulders and circle at varying speeds, Type 3 you just mesh in clashes of body and sweat. Of course this was all done with great happines and ruach. While At the same time on the other side of the mechitza, the women were doing their orderly circles and neat straight lines. And of course you have all the shtick (party tricks/accessories) to add some color to the occassion.

Anyway, my family and I were invited to a conservadox simcha recently, where they had mixed dancing! And you know what for the first time ever at a simcha I danced in a circle while holding my wife's hand and my child's in the other, now that was simcha!! We never as a family have danced together in a circle holding hands. It was a special experience and I feel compelled to let people know that yes, there is something missing from separate dancing, which you lose out at frum affairs. Families dancing together is an expression of love, closeness and sharing.
And I dont care how many 18 year old yeshiva bochurim show to dance up a storm, for the members of the family, what they really want is to dance together.


-suitepotato- said...

Congratulations on the dancing. More people should dance with their families. I couldn't stand to dance with my brothers. They don't smell as good as my wife and they both have two left feet. How can you be happy in faith before G-d if you're unhappy from people stomping your feet?

Lady-Light said...

Shalom u'vrakah!
Interesting post. Please let me tell you how I see it:
The whole purpose of the wedding simcha dancing is to le-sameach chatan ve-kallah. Aside from the 'separate men & women' issue, if you dance with your wife,husband, etc. you are more focused on them, rather than the chatan/kallah. the point is to be me-sameach THEM, and to focus on them.
And of course it does tie into the first point of some separation of men and women: if you are dancing with your wife, you naturally care more about her (or husband, him); if you are holding hands with the opposite sex in a dance, it is a physical intimacy that is, to say the least, distracting. I am not Hareidi, but I am Orthodox (modern, with Chassidic leanings. Go figure.)
At our son's wedding (he & his wife are not religious, more like 'mesorati-chiloni'), they had separate dancing in the beginning, and then 'mixed' dancing; but it wasn't really couples dancing, but just people moving/jumping about doing their own thing.