College isn’t just about study here current Science Student Aisling Benson shares her experiences getting involved with the Dancesoc here in UCD.

I have had the pleasure to be part of the UCD Hip Hop Crew for two years now and will gladly boast of my involvement in a historical event for the Dance Society – the first ever Semester 1 showcase. For years now, Dancesoc has had an annual showcase in April to mark the end of the year and to show off all the work of the three performance crews; Irish Dance, Fusion (a mixture of jazz & contemporary) and Hip Hop.

Although the competitive crews tend to have their eyes longingly on the prize that is Inters (the National Intervarsity Competition that takes place in March of every year – a battle royale of a whole lot of college dance societies, if you will!) all year, the showcase is always a fun evening of dance with no worry of winning trophies or impressing judges. It’s always for charity too! Showcase is a chance for people who wouldn’t normally have a chance to demonstrate their creativity and put some choreography together. All well and good for crew members. But what about those students only here for semester 1? And what about all the other Dancesoc members?

A record number of Dancesoc members were involved in this showcase, which was a massive step forward for the society. This semester, in addition to the weekly classes we offer in our crew styles, we had a variety of workshops in very unique styles indeed. These included hula dance and afrobeat. Definitely something different! Dances are only as good as their teachers, and we wouldn’t have had these popular workshops without Alisa, our Californian hula expert and Audrey from Africa Society teaching us afrobeat. Those who came to these workshops, as well as our free hip hop workshop for Mental Health Week got to get up and perform at our showcase. Dancesoc really just want to get as many people dancing as possible. Seeing members who signed up during Fresher’s Week join us in Astra Hall and have a boogie made us very proud and very happy!

The feeling of accomplishment when it ran so well was euphoric for the committee…to pull this off with the stress of looming exams and deadlines for us all was no small feat. Teamwork makes the dream work as the saying goes!

So, there you have it: our first Christmas showcase. All it needed was our fantastic well spoken auditor Sionnáin, some brilliantly creative crew managers and members, a hula dance, afrobeat, a special guest performance from the cast of Musical Soc’s American Idiot, glittering lights, flashy costumes, and voila – a glorious evening of entertainment. The Christmas spirit was ever-present through the cause, the Dublin Simon Community, for whom we raised €500. We plan on being more present than ever on campus in the coming semester and are very excited for it. Watch this space!

You can find out more about campus life in UCD by visiting the MyUCD website here.