A colleague asked me recently in conversation, “In what way is the woman a ‘helper’ in the dance?” The source of the question is Genesis 2:18: “The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” (NIV)
Her question was associated with my look at dance as a metaphor for marriage. While the man takes the leading role in the dance, the woman must be an active and intentional helper in numerous ways.
First of all, she helps by carrying her own weight and actively participating in the dance. As the follower, she is not dependent on him to move her weight across the floor. This helps him move more freely and easily himself while also guiding her.
Secondly, she maintains good posture and muscle tone, staying connecting to him through the dance frame. This helps the man communicate the lead, as the frame is the channel of communication between them.
Additionally, in many dances, the partners are facing opposite directions and are slightly offset from one another. In this way, the woman is able to see behind the man. She helps him by alerting him to anything that might be an obstacle or threat (such as an approaching couple on a crowded dance floor). Since dancers move forward, backward and sideways, it is helpful to have both sets of eyes engaged and watching for possible interference. In keeping with the spirit of the verse in Genesis, dancers can tell you without question that two work better than one here.
Like in marriage, the dancing couple works in partnership. The male and female roles are distinct and different in dance and in Christian marriage, and the partnership works best in both with active and intentional participation, communication and engagement from each person.
Copr 2009 MarriageDance