A couple of weeks into my first semester here, I excitedly, though cautiously, examined the different club tables at Arcadia’s Fall Activities Fair. The sun was shining in my eyes, distracting me slightly as I listened to enthusiastic club leaders pitch their club to eager students along the walkway by Haber Green. Wanting to put myself out there, explore a little, and take advantage of new opportunities, I approached the tables for clubs like ACF (Arcadia Christian Fellowship), Pre-Student Health Association, and even Student Government. Eventually, I reached the alcove for Knight Club and heard their upbeat spiel about how the dance club operates. Dance club? Me? I was skeptical, but felt oddly exhilarated. I signed up and went about my day.
Joining Knight Club was one of the best decisions of my college career.
Knight Club is the largest student-run organization at Arcadia. And to clarify, it is not a dance team so we don’t compete against other schools. It is a way for students to engage in their passion for dance and have fun with others who share that same love.
Believe me, you don’t have to have any dance experience. At first, all the dancing was a little bit hard to pick up considering my prior experience ranged from shower concerts to shameless radio dance parties while riding shotgun in somebody’s car. Luckily, I was slightly more rhythmically inclined than the average new dance pupil, so I caught on quickly, improving day by day. Now, I choreograph my own dances, and people actually learn from me. (Although I still question why sometimes.)
I know, it seems a little hard to believe that I could just come in with no dance experience and start making up my own steps after one semester, but I’m telling you, it definitely can happen. I love the variation of dancing skill levels in the club. Some students have been dancing their whole lives, and others have never danced a day in their lives. My passion is hip-hop, which doesn’t require the technical training that some styles like modern, jazz, or ballet do. I think that genre is more wired into me than anything else. The moral here is if it’s something you enjoy, you totally can do it.
The way the club works is simple. We have two types of dance groups—large groups and small groups. They are somewhat ironically named because small groups can be bigger than large groups and vice versa. A small group can be selective, while large groups are inclusive and open to anyone. There’s no pressure to be perfect or better than others; we just dance because we love it.
We typically practice each dance one hour a week, and in December or April, dancers can choose whether or not they want to perform in an end-of-semester show. Many love showing off to family and friends all the fun dances we’ve learned and how much we enjoy the club.
The flexibility Knight Club offers is one of its greatest appeals. You can do one dance and only practice an hour a week, or be a part of up to six dances, which is a six-hour time commitment. Members are capped at six dances to prevent exhaustion, stressful breakdowns, and excessive cramping. A few of us choreographers offer extra practice hours, so I end up dancing about 10 hours a week. Don’t get me wrong, though. I relish every second of them. Even enrolled in an accelerated degree program with a slightly increased class load, I always find time to do a little dancing.
The club also tries to present additional large-scale performances throughout the year. A dance or two is always chosen for Knight Madness, our school’s massive pep rally but with more prizes, shenanigans, and excessive body paint. Knight Club members love crushing some choreography for the highly caffeinated audience. In the past, dancers even performed at professional sports arenas for the Sixers, Philadelphia Wings, and even the Harlem Globetrotters.
If you really like to dance or just want to bust a move here and there, Knight Club is for you.
I couldn’t be more grateful that I found this fantastic niche that’s helped ignite a new passion within me. I plan to contribute as much as I can to the club so it can continue to foster those same feelings in others for years to come. For now, though, I’ll be basking in the beats and taking pleasure in the fancy footwork I have come to love.