Dance during study

Exploring wild cave system (caving), cooking for vegetarians or light aircraft piloting. This is a list of three student societies, which recruit new members at the beginning of the academic year traditionally.

They are by no means the only ones. The Student Union proudly declares that Imperial College students can choose from the most clubs all over England. They are all presented on an event called Freshers' Fair. It is difficult to decide for only one direction of interest in your extra-curricular activities. Perhaps everyone subscribes to at least ten different student organizations. I decided to actively engage in sports a year ago, because PE classes are not included in my Physics course. The Imperial Dance Club attracted my attention. A course for absolute beginners was offered. I thought that my body needs a little straightening and discipline in order to compensate overloaded sedentary lifestyle. I signed up and I became a full member of the team gradually.

I did not know what a commitment it would make to me. I started without dance shoes, latin suit, or good knowledge of any of the ballroom and latin dances. While I was watching more advanced dancers, an aesthetics, a character and a dynamics of movement of individual figures was enthusing me gradually. Soon I also realized that many team members have had the highest ambitions and have spent long autumn evenings practicing. But I had to overcome the difficulties of a beginner. Waltz missed its fluency. Quickstep looked like a morning run to school. I could not catch my breath in Jive and my teacher had to stand beside me and clap the rhythm in the Cha Cha dance. My passion grew regardless of the initial imperfections in technique. The more experienced dancers organized for us workshops aimed at improving our practicing, concentration of mind and the way of self-presentation on the dance floor. After some time, when I felt I was already able to dance my choreography in the rhythm and without falling over the heel too, we set out with my dance partner for the biggest university competition at Winter Gardens in Blackpool, England. Although we did not manage to get to the final, the team spirit was so strong that we supported our teammates for their success in all dances.

I have decided to continue with dancing in a second year. I have practiced six to eight hours a week with my dancing partner. I usually get up a bit earlier in order to go through the technical details of some of our new dance choreographies. This includes, for example, a continuous effort to improve character and coordination in the movement during a "forward lock step" that despite its apparent simplicity requires attention. Our goal is to prepare ourselves as best as possible for the Nottingham university competition.

The most challenging part of engagement to the dancing team is the lack of time. It requires a strict discipline in personal and study life. I cannot go out at the end of the week. I have to pay attention to sleep habits and minimize the waste of time. I spend my evenings with assessed problem sheets from our math and physics modules. It is always better to hand over the work a few days before the deadline. Therefore, I have to make a decision whether I can devote my time to dancing often. However, I am inclined to believe that this is a reasonable compensation for the long hours of sitting in the library or for the exhausting work in labs. I enjoy dancing and it helps me to relax. Last but not least, the youth and the limited period of the greatest potential of fitness in the life cannot be postponed. I believe that dancing will help me to successfully finish the second year.


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