If you had told me when I began my Master’s degree at Royal Holloway in September that I would take part in a dance competition as a member of a hip hop team, I would have laughed. A lot. Nevertheless on the 29th November I found myself on the SU stage facing a rowdy crowd of contestants, friends, family and judges ready to do my thing.
This term, the Royal Holloway Dance Society has made alterations to the way it’s organised. With the appointment of Eryn Filippono as president, a welcomed change is underway. To make the society more inclusive, dance lessons are now available for varied levels of experience with beginners’ classes as well as intermediate. Amazingly, the society is running four times more than last year. There is something for everyone: from hip hop to Bollywood and ballet to jazz. New styles have been added to the schedule to bring an injection of diversity to the society.
Joining dance can seem daunting especially for those who have no experience. I felt out of depth; surrounded by people performing the splits as easily as walking. With much encouragement from committee members, who regularly attend classes as well, all dancers with different abilities and all styles were accepted. The hip hop team, in particular, break the stereotype of the traditional female/male dancer. They combine their unique differences to create brilliant choreography with a diverse edge that saw them come forth in this terms competition.
It’s safe to say that the society has much more to come in the New Year, having already held one competition, A Night at the Theatre, and also got involved with the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing. Safe to say that being a member definitely offers great opportunities. If you always fancied yourself as a regular Fred Astaire and want to take some tap lessons, or want to get involved in the university’s Mental Health Awareness week as part of the dance society, join now! I would like to thank the dance society for making my first term at Royal Holloway memorable. Everybody watch this space…