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Keep Dancing

by | Apr 19, 2022

A recent screen capture from the Davidson College Presbyterian Church Facebook page.


This past weekend included a variety of religious holidays. People celebrated Easter, Passover, and Ramadan – with in-person events for the first time in three years. Many events surrounding the major holidays in these world religions have been virtual since the outbreak of COVID in 2020.

Three years ago, members and guests at Davidson College Presbyterian Church (DCPC) had gathered for the 11:00 a.m. Easter Sunday service – most arriving early in order to get a seat. And the sanctuary was full.

I was live-streaming the service, my weekly habit for several years prior. The simple effort of using my iPhone, set on a tripod, usually afforded dozens of folks to view the service from afar “live” or still others the chance to view it at a different time.

As was long-standing tradition, the service ended with the combined choirs singing the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah – and a formal invitation was extended for members of the congregation interested in flexing their vocal cords to walk up and join the members of the choirs. And that in and of itself was pretty remarkable. However, a most beautiful, complementary event happened that morning as the words of the Messiah began to sound.

A young member of the congregation stepped out into the center aisle and started dancing. But I didn’t see it at first. My iPhone was zoomed in – capturing the choir, but not the dancing. And given that I couldn’t get to my iPhone due to the crowd sitting in the balcony, I needed help. My spouse gets the credit. She got not only elicited my attention, she handed me her phone.

I captured roughly two and a half minutes of pure joy – expressed in dance.

While Presbyterians aren’t typically known for dancing in the aisles, I don’t think that can explain just how popular the video has been and continues to be.

And people have watched the video, a LOT of people have watched it. While most of the church’s videos receive a hundred or more views on Facebook, the video of the young dancer went viral. It soared past a half-million views in 2019, and people keep watching.

Sunday morning, as the congregation gathered in the DCPC sanctuary for the first Easter service in three years I decided to check in on the video. As of that time, more than 675,000 people had watched it. I decided to share it again on my personal page. I watched as other people shared it too. And, as of this writing, more than 685,900 people have watched.

Admittedly, I still hope that it cracks the 1 million-mark one day.

If you have Facebook – you can watch the video here and help add to those numbers.

If you don’t have Facebook – you can watch the video on our News of page.

So, I say “Dance. Dance, wherever you may be.” Oh, and watch the video, too. Watch it, again, if you have already seen it.

Jane Campbell

Jane Campbell, U.S. Navy, Capt. ret., grew up in a military family and lived around the globe before graduating from Davidson College with a degree in Political Science. During a 25-year career in the Navy, she served aboard three different ships and held a variety of shore-based assignments. She was stationed on the East and West coasts, as well as overseas. She had tours at the Pentagon and the White House, and volunteered for a deployment to Afghanistan. She moved to Davidson in late 2014 and has become involved in a variety of volunteer activities with college, church, and community. She serves as a photographer and Sports Editor for News of Davidson.

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