Monday, November 8, 2010

Ballroom Dancing!

Yes another dancing post (because we in Admissions love to dance, and there are so many opportunities to dance in the Cities).

At the end of my sophomore year I took a class called Behavioral Neuroscience. It was a really interesting class, even though I am not a neuroscience major! Although I do not remember most of what I learned in that class, taking that class changed my life (wow, that is a really corny sentence…oh well…)

The week we were learning about movement, we had a very special lab. My professor took all of us over to Cinema Ballroom (located less than a block off of campus, on the corner of Snelling and St Clair Avenues). We all took a tango class that was supposed to illustrate to us exactly how challenging it is when your brain “knows” what how your body is supposed to move, but your body does not want to cooperate. I have been a dancer all of my life, so while this experience taught me a lot, I didn’t learn much about neuroscience that day. What I learned was that my new goal in life was to become a professional ballroom dancer!

I have continued working towards this goal ever since (even finding a place to dance in St Louis (where I spent my summer doing neuroscience research on movement control). I love going in to take group classes and seeing people from Macalester also there enjoying the wonderful world of partner dancing. I also take private lessons at Cinema, and have had opportunities to be coached by champions.

Not everyone at Cinema competes. In fact, many students at Cinema are just there to learn to social dance. Last Wednesday (the first Wednesday of the month) was free guest night. Every month I invite all my friends to join me and learn the basics of a couple of dances. My friends who don’t have night class and aren’t starring in the musical Cabaret joined me. We had a lot of fun learning Viennese Waltz and Samba!

Right now I am working on perfecting my routines before my first competition this January. I will compete with my instructor Shane, and we will do Waltz, Foxtrot, Tango, Cha Cha, Rhumba, and Triple Swing! I am very excited, but a little apprehensive about the fake tan, fake eyelashes, and pounds of makeup that will be required…