We’ve all been told that college is the time to try new things and branch out. Some students may roll their eyes at this statement, but where else would you have the opportunity to share hobbies and interests with 30,000 other people?
This is why I love Virginia Tech — with more than 600 clubs, a new experience is always within reach.
The ballroom dance club at Virginia Tech offers a fun night of dancing and socializing. The club teaches one dance style over the course of three weeks, and the teachers alternate based on the dance being taught. The waltz, tango, cha-cha, and foxtrot are just a few of the dances the club has covered.
The club welcomes all levels of dancers, so don’t worry if you do not have any dance experience — I can personally attest to that.
Before attending the Ballroom dance lesson, Zumba was the closest I had ever been to an organized dance lesson. Needless to say, I was apprehensive.
Prior to the lesson, I found out the club was teaching the hustle, which eased my nerves. As a fan of “That ‘70s Show” and “Saturday Night Fever,” I immediately thought of the 1975 disco, line-dance “Hustle.” I could not have been more wrong.
The ballroom dance version of the hustle is a type of swing dance — a quick dance with lots of turns and steps. Upon the first demonstration of the real hustle, I looked back at the friends I had dragged along with an apologetic look. This was not the line-dance I had convinced them it was.
The lesson began with a presentation of the hustle by the two teachers. Then, they split the room into leaders and followers — men on one side, and women on the other.
Once we were split up, our teacher gave step-by-step directions for the footwork. We practiced individually until we mastered the basic steps.
When everyone seemed proficient in the steps, we partnered up and tried them out altogether. After a few minutes of swinging around the room, we changed partners. Once in a while, the teachers would split us back up into leaders and followers to add some fancy, complex moves. Throughout the lesson, they taught us an assortment of spins, turns and steps.
By the end of the night, I had danced with about five different people, some more than once, and I had actually improved. I also picked up some tips from the regulars.
Relaxing is key. I found the moves came more naturally when I relaxed, which allowed me to really enjoy myself. The ballroom dance members were very friendly and most importantly, patient. I never felt like I was being judged for my lack of dancing skills; they created a comfortable atmosphere for learning.
Although the dance lesson is the main event, the Ballroom Dance Club offers much more — a chance to socialize, meet new people and blow off steam. Not to mention the practicality of learning a new skill and getting a good workout.
At first, it may be a little awkward, like all new situations, but I would recommend sticking it out because it is definitely worth it. The Ballroom Dance Club meets every Thursday, but check their Facebook group, “Ballroom Dance @ Virginia Tech,” for the time and location, since it varies weekly.
The dance lesson made me laugh out loud, break out of my comfort zone, and learn something new — it definitely made for a fond college memory.
I would recommend trying the ballroom dance lessons at least once. What have you got to lose? Branching out is what college is all about.