The surrender of oneself to a stronger power, the unification of one's movement to the movement of the whole, is what makes dance religious and lets it become a service to God. Whoever dances after the manner of the primitives or of the religious ecstatics, indeed whoever in our modern culture subjects himself to a predetermined rhythm in a parade or procession, understands whether clearly or vaguely, that his movement is a reflection of primeval movement; that the rhythm of his dance is like the distant sound of breakers which emanates from the beat of waves in the heart of the universe. Just as at the high point of the Christian liturgy the earthly voices unite with the chorus of angels and "with angels and archangels and with all the company of heaven laud and magnify his glorious name," so man tries in the dance to follow the rhythm of the angels and the movement of the heavenly round. St. Basil spoke of a tripidium angelorum, a dance of angels, and of the blessedness of imitating this dance upon earth. There is dancing in heaven. According to an old prayer from Bremen, the eleven thousand virgins dance in the heavenly feast chamber before Mary. In Fra Angelico's Last Judgment, the virgins and martyrs dance the heavenly dance....
A nuns' hymn from about 1440 reads:
Let us all together go
On the road to heaven.
There, where joyous music rings,
We shall with angels dance along
To the sweet heavenly strings.
-Gerardus van der Leuw
Sacred and Profane Beauty: the Holy in Art pg. 68