But at a birthday party for Herod, Herodias’s daughter performed a dance that greatly pleased him, so he promised with a vow to give her anything she wanted.
(Matthew 14:6-7, NLT)
I confess my fascination with dance competitions. I watch SYTYCD religiously (So You Think You Can Dance, for those not in the know.) I will also watch Dancing with the Stars. Not to mention the dancers on other competitions such as America’s Got Talent and Kim of Queens. Worst of all, I watch those horrible mothers and cruel teacher on Dance Moms.
In the process, I have come to understand the fascination of dance for young women. Thinking of all those devoted dancers made me consider today’s story in a different light.
Salome, the name traditionally given to Herodias’s daughter, has been portrayed as a slutty young girl twirling behind seven veils, revealing her nudity. Liz Curtis Higgs gave a different spin on the story in Really Bad Girls of the Bible. She portrayed Salome as a young girl dressed for a “glitz” pageant (hair pieces, false eyelashes, and the like), in cowgirls dress and boots, dancing to a western song.
I can see that. Salome had the opportunity of a lifetime. How had she learned to dance so well? I suspect there were limited opportunities to perform. What a rush to receive an invitation to dance for the king (her stepfather) and other powerful men of the kingdom.
She rose to the occasion, dancing the best she had ever performed,
She wasn’t promised a prize, but she received one far beyond her wildest dreams. He offered her anything she wanted, “up to half the kingdom.”
She had Daddy in the palm of her hand. I wonder what she wanted for herself, what she might have asked.
Unfortunately, at that point, Salome’s dream slipped out of her fingers. As coached by her mother, Salome asked for the head of John the Baptist on a plate.
Talk about interfering dance moms.
With a different mom, Salome’s life might have turned out differently. Consider her story as a warning against stage moms who live vicariously through their children.