Photo courtesy of Hasit Dewan

Oftentimes, I get asked why I joined a dance team. Our practices tend to take up a decent amount of time, in which I could probably be studying or doing homework. To be honest, I sometimes wonder that as well. Dancing well won’t impress many employers, it won’t really bolster my resume, and it’s not something I would need to use after college. Even winning a competition more than likely will not help me much in my post-college life.

Our practices and competitions are about more than just dancing though. It’s a way of expressing myself and letting out stress in a way that’s purely physical. It’s a time that allows me to stop caring, albeit temporarily, about classes, grades and projects. This mental break refreshes and rejuvenates me. Thus, even if I have to still work after a long practice, I feel fresh and energized; something we all need to feel more than we normally do.

As someone who can be introverted at times, dancing has helped me come out of my shell. Performing forces me to get up on a stage in front of hundreds of people I don’t know and perform. I cannot afford to be hit by stage fright when I’m up there — we all depend on one another. Dancing well requires one to essentially let go of all inhibitions and fully “feel” the music. Only by doing so, can one truly put on a spectacular performance. The more I have performed on stage, the more comfortable I have become with “letting go.” I have a much easier time now opening up to new people and simply being able to enjoy myself in new situations, thanks mostly, to dance.

This act of “putting oneself out there” applies to all areas of life, and has helped me become much more extroverted as a person. I can credit dance with helping me improve upon myself in
that way.

On a more social level, dance has introduced me to many people I probably would not have met before. Being in college, it’s fairly easy to find oneself socializing with the same core group of people every day. While there is nothing wrong with this, it can be nice to sometimes meet and socialize with different groups of people. Joining this organization has helped me meet some people I probably would have never met before.

Another benefit of dancing is that it has tremendously helped me stay in shape. Too often, I have found myself making elaborate workout plans for the upcoming semester, only to be foiled by my own procrastination and laziness. With dance, I am forced to engage in an intense cardio workout for several hours every week. The cardio helps me stay in decent shape, most notably allowing me to feel a little less guilty when I make poor diet choices.

All in all, I have to say that joining this organization has been one of the best decisions I made at Tech. It has helped mold and shape me into a better person and keep me physically fit.