For Freshmen. By Freshmen.
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Jun 29 2016
by Meghan Field

Why I'm Continuing to Dance in College

By Meghan Field - Jun 29 2016

I was not like most children. My parents didn’t sign me up for every sport under the sun to see what I would be interested in, if anything. I never played any sports with a ball, like most of my peers did at one point or another. Rather, I have been dancing my entire life. Most may not consider dance a sport, but that’s simply because they don’t know all that is involved. A sport is, according to Google definitions, “An activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.” Dance certainly abides by all of those aspects. Most dance classes are an hour to an hour and a half, where the dancers are physically exerting themselves the entire time. Dancers need skill, or as dancers more commonly call it, technique, in order to be a successful dancer. Competitions are also a large part of most dance studios, so dancers definitely do compete with other dance studios or with other dancers within the same studio.

Ever since I can remember, the dance studio has been my second home, and I have learned so many valuable lessons that have made me who I am today as a person. I cherish all of the lessons I have become well versed in both onstage and in classes. I believe that I need to translate the life lessons to college with me, in addition to the rest of my life.

Personally, I believe dance is unlike any other sport because you get to express your feelings and have no one judge you. You are able to be free from all of your worries for the time you are dancing. Contrary to the majority of other sports, such as baseball and soccer, you are able to dance at any age, which is just another bonus. The benefits are endless. You get to stay in shape while doing what you love. You get to learn the importance of patience and perseverance. You get to work together as a team with other dancers and your teachers. You get to make friendships that last a lifetime.

In the end, if you have been passionate about dance, it really does not matter what level you dance in. At college, there are usually going to be a few dance teams or groups you can choose to join. They usually have an option for classes that anyone, with any amount of experience can take, which is way less competitive and laid back rather than joining a competition team for a dance team, which you usually have to try out for. Whether you are just doing dance as a fun pastime or you are considering dancing on a competitive level, it is a fun activity to be involved in and remain involved in throughout the duration of your college years.

An important tip would be to not over commit yourself to dance in college. It should be an enjoyable activity but your studies should definitely come first. For example, if your college offers over 20 different dance groups like mine, try to narrow the groups down to one or two that you would really enjoy being a part of rather than trying to get involved in much more than that. There is certainly not enough time in the day to fulfill all of your obligations for school, be involved in other activities and have some time to yourself if you join something that can be all time consuming, particularly dance if you over do it in college.

Always remember, as Lee Ann Womack once said, “And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance.” This quote does not only apply to when you’re dancing, but to life as well. When an amazing opportunity comes your way, make sure you take advantage of it and don’t watch someone else take your opportunity. For all you know, said opportunity could change your life forever, just like dance changed who I am as a person forever.

Lead Image Credit: Kim Belsole

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Meghan Field - Pennsylvania State University

Meghan is a sophomore at Penn State - University Park. She's from Hershey, PA. She is going to major in Biobehavioral Health and Psychology with a minor in Global Health. She has been dancing her whole life and has always had an interest in writing and anything science related. Instagram is @meghanfield.

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