Dancing into Furman
Beginning college is a great experience, but transitioning to college can be challenging, including homesickness, missing friends, feeling like you don’t fit in, and stress. Everyone worries whether they will get along with their roommate or if they will find a group of friends. The first weeks of school are a great time to introduce yourself to the other first-year students in your classes and in your residence hall. Everyone is new, and most people do not know anybody else. However, after a few weeks, you will want to branch out and find people to connect with.
Before college, I danced at my local dance studio and was on the competitive dance team for many years. Like most of my team, I assumed that the end of high school was the end of my dancing career. When I arrived at college, I was prepared to forge ahead with my dance dreams behind me. However, I heard about the Furman Dance Club through orientation and at the Student Involvement Fair.
After several weeks of procrastination, I finally decided to try Dance Club. The Dance Club meets on Wednesday nights, so after dinner one Wednesday, I put on my workout clothes and headed to the PAC. When I arrived at the studio, I timidly put my bag and water bottle along the wall and was immediately approached by some of the dancers. There were girls of various skill levels and backgrounds. A few appeared to be competitive dance team alums, and others were from a workout dance class or gymnastics and cheer background. The warm-up was followed by learning a combination and floor work. Sixty minutes later, I was sweaty and smiling as I talked with the other dancers at the end of the class. Dance Club is all fun; there is no pressure of competition or performance, and everyone is there because they love to dance. Each week is a different genre: jazz, musical theater, contemporary, hip hop, and ballet. On my first night, we were led by a senior, and the combo was contemporary. Since then, different students have led classes in jazz, salsa, and even a heels class. Any genre of dance is welcome. The Dance Team schedules all instructors and keeps the rotation varied, introducing many different styles and techniques. The energy is electric and encouraging. I soon found that Dance Club was an inclusive and supportive environment and became something I quickly made part of my routine.
Dance Club is fun but also great for my physical and mental health. It is easy to get into the habit of eating, sleeping, attending class, and studying, so you must find activities and groups of people you enjoy. Dance Club gets my heart rate and muscles moving, is therapeutic, helps alleviate anxiety, and increases endorphins while improving mental wellness. Dance Club has also helped me find a group of like-minded people to connect with and a place to become part of a team.
Dance Club has been a great way of making friends and doing something I love. Whether you make a club a weekly part of your schedule or try a club a few times, campus clubs are a great way to find people with similar interests. Students who become involved in various college clubs and organizations tend to have better college experiences, are more satisfied with college, and are more likely to complete their degree than students who do not participate in campus groups and activities. Student organizations are a great way to connect and another reason Furman feels like home for me.
In the Spring of 2023, Dance Club is offering a CLP (Cultural Life Program) credit for students and is preparing a performance based on the work of choreographer, Merce Cunningham.
Student organizations are a great way to balance your academic and social life and help you find a group of students to connect with. Furman offers over 165 student organizations that range from mock trial to video game clubs. The Astronomy club, book club, singing groups, and Pauper Players (the student theater group) are just a few options. The ultimate frisbee club meets Mondays and Thursdays, and there is a Badminton and Aikido Club that practices each week in the Physical Activities Center. The grill club is open to students regardless of their grill experience and is BYOM (bring your own meat). Consider joining clubs where you are likely to find others who share your interests or find a new interest and learn something new!
Are you interested in an activity that is not currently represented by a club on campus? Furman encourages students to create their own organizations to grow the long list of involvements available for students.
– Katelyn Wong