It’s Saturday morning, 4 am. The music is loud, and there are well over a hundred of people on the dance floor. The lights are low, but you can still see because of the light from the projection screen behind the stage where the DJ is performing. You’re so close to those around you that you’re not just dancing with one person. It’s as if you’re dancing with everyone. Welcome to a nightclub in Madrid.
The nightlife in Madrid, especially on the weekends, is like nothing I’ve ever seen. This is mostly because the nightlife here is like no other place on earth. There are hundreds of clubs and bars around the city. On Fridays and Saturdays, many of these don’t even really fill up until 3 or 4 am. With the number of people walking around during the night, it might as well be 3:00 in the afternoon. It’s wild.
Through my basic exploration of this nightlife, I realized something about myself. I really like to dance. Some people may be surprised to learn this because I can often come off as a fairly serious person, especially upon first meeting. Although I don’t take myself too seriously, I do spend a good amount of time in my own head. Thus, it’s a great release for me to let loose on the dance floor. I don’t claim to be a particularly good dancer by any means, but that really doesn’t matter. Confidence isn’t established from outside but within.
So many people spend so much of their time obsessed with what others think about them that they cease to enjoy themselves truly. I refuse to be so restrained. If you’re going to judge me based on my dancing ability (or lack thereof), that’s on you. I’m simply going to enjoy myself.
One of my primary goals for this time in Europe is to learn, in the truest sense, what it is to live in the moment; to be in a setting, and to be there completely without regard for anything else. Admittedly, the world is a pretty scary place. Each moment we have is a blessing, and I want to treat it as such. There is no sense worrying constantly about what may or may not happen. I don’t mean to escape necessarily, and I’m not talking about skipping out on responsibilities. Rather, when it is the appropriate time, I want to engross myself fully in the activity at hand.
[There is] a time to mourn, and a time to dance.
– Ecclesiastes 3:4b
I don’t think it too far a stretch to say that taking delight in dancing is a gift from God. I don’t want to take this further than is appropriate, but the Bible, in the book of Ecclesiastes, is very clear that there is a time to dance. This verse is situated in a beautiful passage that covers the whole of life, explaining that there is a time and a place for everything. I won’t even make the attempt to unpack it here. Instead, I recommend reading it, and the whole of Ecclesiastes, for yourself. The gist, though, is that all things, dancing included, have their place in the course of life.
I’ll admit that, for many, adult beverages often have a certain influence. I could, Biblically speaking, make an argument for this (for a single example, see Psalms 104:15), but that’s well beyond the scope of this post. Also, there is a large population that has, let me say, ‘ulterior motives’ when in a dance club. Clearly, I can’t speak for these people to say that they’re using their God-given bodies to glorify Him. I can only speak for myself. However, as long as my motives are pure, I will accept with much gratitude the ability to use my body in such a way.
It is a bit strange to announce my genuine enjoyment of dancing in such a public way. However, to keep in line with one of the themes of this blog, it comes from the process of self-discovery and learning to be authentic. There is a certain freedom that comes from unabashed acceptance of who we are. In that, I will rejoice.
I may even do a little dance.