Monday, March 5, 2012

Confessions of a Christian college dancer

In the last few months, as I’ve continued to think and write about my roots in the Church of Christ, I’ve occasionally perused the Christian Chronicle web site. And, I have to admit, some of it's very good. For example, the recent article about former Lipscomb U basketball coach Don Meyer … a story of full of grace and forgiveness. Good stuff.

But if you’re looking for stories that push people’s buttons, check out the Chronicle blog and pay close attention to the number of comments. Like the posts for the final week of February:

“9,000 expected at Challenge Youth Conference in Gatlinburg, Tenn.” 0 comments. (Yawn.)

“Q&A: ACU’s dean of students discusses new policy allowing dancing.” 42 comments. (Here we go.)


Way back in 1985 …

I attended my first two dances during my freshman year at Harding U. (Harding rules prohibited dancing, although I don’t believe it was considered a get-kicked-out-of-school offense.)

One dance took place right after a Spring Sing performance, Harding’s annual musical showcase. For several weeks, we participants had been practicing and performing a “legal” version of dancing called choreography. Now we were ready for the other kind of dancing, which we called “dancing.”

On a Saturday night, a bunch of us hopped into cars and trucks and drove out to an old pavilion near
Camp Wyldewood. Someone brought some stereo equipment and a microphone. And … we … danced.

(Author’s note: I was, and am to this day, a
terrible, horrible, no good, very bad dancer.)

We jumped up and down.

We two-stepped.

We karaoked.

We had a great time.

It all seemed like good clean fun to me. But what did I know?

Also that Spring, a friend and I crashed a high school Future Business Leaders of America dance. That’s right, FBLA baby. It was pretty wild.

On those nights, I mostly remember being nervous and feeling goofy ... but there was a good bit of laughter along the way.


And later …

My wife and I have danced at weddings and other formal and semi-formal functions. We have square-danced. And we've shaken-a-leg with our kids many many times.

We dance.

How about you?


“I get up. I walk. I fall down. Meanwhile, I keep dancing.” – Hillel

For some reason, I don't seem super-excited about my Spring Sing costume.



  1. My husband and I have met Coach Meyer, as we live nearby. He is well respected here in S.D. -- everybody knows and respects him as a coach and a man. We got to hear him teach Bible at the local C of C, where he is an elder and he does a great job.

  2. Thanks, Mary. As a 1st year basketball coach, I spent a weekend at a Lipscomb b-ball clinic. I was impressed by Coach Meyer ... he seemed like a great guy.

  3. Mike,
    Here is a funny story from my first year at the academy. You have to understand, I moved from inner-city St. Louis to Searcy, AR. Big time culture shock. A few months into my first year as a Jr. at Harding Academy we had a roller skating party. Baby, I knew how to roller skate, all the teens from the churches of Christ would meet on the last monday of the month to roller skate. One thing they did in both cities on the roller skating rink: THE HOKEY POKEY! We went roller skating that Sunday night, Jim Woodroof was trying to get girls and guys to hold hands and skate together (my favorite part!) and then we got to "dance" the hokey pokey. So much fun! Well, Monday morning came around and I got called into Miss Browning's office. She sat me down and in a very serious tone said, "Steve, when you do the hokey pokey, you move your body a little too much! you need to watch that!!" I just smiled and said "yes ma'am". Now she called me into her office again later in that year and told me she saw me as a leader. First time someone had ever challenged me to be God's leader. A lot of special memories in that office! God Bless Ruth Browning!

  4. Ha! This is great, Steve. You probably didn't cross the line until "you put your whole self in and you shook it all about." :) I especially like the part about Miss Browning's blessing ... we all need those.