I didn’t intend to become a hand dancer. Looking back on the path that brought me here, the steps I took were small. The warning signs quiet, the telltale marks of hand dancery subtle. I didn’t wake up one Sunday Morning and boldly declare, “Today at church, during worship, I’m going to hand dance!” It just kind of happened.
Our church is not really conducive to flat out dancing in the aisles. They’re pretty tight rows and although I’ve definitely seen some serious swaying, I’ve never seen anyone get down, really just let loose and like the Black Eyed Peas sing, “step on leprechauns.” (I’m not sure if that phrase technically means “dancing” but I’m trying to look relevant so please pretend that it does.)
But some Sundays, the rhythm gets me, much like Gloria Estefan warned me so many years ago. So when I stand up to worship and Steve Fee unleashes some sort of insanely awesome song and I feel the funk in my feet and hear that tiny voice inside say, “Do the robot, do the robot,” the only way I can quiet that inner tiny dancer is to channel it all to my hands. Which isn’t difficult, because if my hands are not engaged doing the ninja worship move, they’re resting lightly on the back of the chair in front of me.
Suddenly they start to tap.
“Hey, look at us, we’re keeping rhythm on the back of this chair,” they think. “What if in the second verse we switched it up and tried a little freestyle? Ohhh let’s pretend to breakdance and pass a mini wave from one hand up the shoulders across the neck and back down the other arm. Feeling it, feeling it. Go ahead shorty. It’s your birthday.”
I try to clap my hands instead but no one likes to be the only guy in a 25-person radius that is trying to clap along to a song. (And trying to clap along in beat to a fast Steve Fee song is like trying to catch flies with chopsticks. If those flies happen to be on meth and your chopsticks are made of wet spaghetti. It’s impossible.) So without a clap to fall back on I get lost in a moment of hand dancingness.
I want to stop, but it’s too late. Like Philip, the pop n’ locker on So You Think You Can Dance, I start to break it down, using the back of the seat in front of me like the customized cardboard mat me and my friends used to breakdance on in the fourth grade. It’s over. There’s no turning back. I’m hand dancing.
If you ever see me at North Point Community Church, please don’t stare directly into the hand dance, it’s like looking at the sun. You’ll get blinded by the brilliance.
Am I the only one that does this?
What do you do with your hands when you sing songs at church?