Something for Everyone
A large crowd of smiling students were gathered around a table with a colorful posterboard and fast-paced Spanish music blaring. I went over to see what all the buzz was about, and someone told me that a club was announcing its dance schedules for the semester. A smiling upperclassman pointed me to the Kuch Center Aerobics Room.
A typical Puro Ritmo practice in the Aerobics room.
I was hooked at the activities fair. And I had never even danced before.
I’ve actively (and excitedly) participated two students clubs every semester since I started at Arcadia: the Society for Castle Restoration, an organization dedicated to fundraising for restoration projects for the campus’ very own national historic landmark, Grey Towers Castle; and Puro Ritmo, an entirely different kind of club that attracts fresh first-years and keeps them coming back (like I did) because it teaches us something new and exciting from the very first day: how to dance.
The night of my first activities fair, we didn’t even need directions. So many people were heading toward the Aerobics Room that we just followed the crowd. We all found a spot and people who knew each other quickly formed groups, talking loudly and telling jokes.
The club officers introduced themselves and read off times for various dance groups. Once we decided what dance we wanted to learn, all we had to do was to go to them.
In my time at Arcadia, I’ve taken a lot of salsa classes and learned how to do it well. I’ve also done beginner bachata, beginner kizomba, and I’m currently doing beginner tango. The classes are all marked as either beginner, intermediate, or advanced, but advanced classes don’t always have to feel intimidating! Showing up at the first meeting, there’s usually enough people there for you to find a dance partner right away. If not, you can just ask a friend to go with you next week.
The dance practices themselves feel something like what I imagine being on a sports team is like. I’ve trained myself to be disciplined while working on a team, planning events, and working on a budget. After all the time I’ve spent doing it over the last three years, I look back and I’m surprised at the progress I’ve made. When the much-anticipated Puro show comes at the end of the semester, it’s always so much fun! Since it’s the last time we’ll be doing that particular dance with the same group of people, we make the most of it.
I love the clubs at Arcadia because they are opportunities to meet new people, socialize, and learn new skills. There’s sign language club, the computer science club (which teaches people random tech things), Knight Club (another dance club), among others. I’ve also been a member of the university choir since last year and attended a few meetings of the martial arts club. There’s something for everyone.
I’m happy that I found Puro, because otherwise I would never have known how much I like to dance. I was so close to not having this in my life, so I’m glad I took the step up to participate. It’s such a random hobby when I think about it. I would never have guessed in high school that this would be one of the things I’d get involved in during college. But here I am.