Recreational dancing in a temple is not appropriate, but cultural and devotional dancing is acceptable.
Published in the Los Angeles Baha'i community newsletter The Journal, Volume 55, No. 11, February 1987. Classified as "unpublished" because this was a regional publication only.
Dancing in the Haziratu'l-Quds
The Administrative Committee*
has recently received clarification on the subject of dancing from the National Spiritual Assembly, based on information sent on 11 December, 1986 from the Universal House of Justice. The Guardian stated in a letter,
"There is nothing in the teachings against dancing." (Lights of Guidance, #1161, p. 429).
In another letter, written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi,
"He (the Guardian) sees no objection in allowing the youth to have their meetings there (the Haziratu'l-Quds, Bahá'í Center). But dancing he does not feel is appropriate." (February 1947)
In response to a direct inquiry by the Administrative Committee to the appropriateness of having "cultural dance performances" at the Los Angeles Bahá'í Center, we have received the following advice from the National Spiritual Assembly, based on the recent communication from the Universal House of Justice.
"Cultural dance in connection with devotional or cultural programs may be performed in the Bahá'í Center."
The National Spiritual Assembly also referred us to the following admonition by the House:
"Great care should be exercised by your Assembly to maintain the dignity of the Haziratu'l-Quds."
In summary, while there are no prohibitions against dancing in the Writings, social (recreational) dancing at the Center is not appropriate. Performances or devotional dances are permissible in the Bahá'í Center.
*An appointed committee of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the US which for a time was the administrative authority of the Bahá'ís of Los Angeles after its Local Spiritual Assembly was disbanded by the National Spiritual Assembly.