Dancing has always been a keen Passion of mine that I have been pursuing since a very young age. Unfortunately, due to less number of students, Dante education program was removed from the AS choices and I was very unhappy with the situation as the AS slots were one of the only refreshing and relieving times it was looking forward to in the hectic diploma program schedule that will surely be stressful and mind-numbing. but during the summer vacations, I was approached by a friend of mine who was also interested in dancing and was bummed to not have it as an AS option next year, and anyways due to the pandemic, we would not be having any AS slot online as well. so we decided that we should initiate our dance club for our school as a platform for dance enthusiasts and people who could not attend dance classes due to the lockdown.
LO 3: Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience.
It would be a student-led club under the supervision of the DEP facilitators itself. but all the choreography editing and all other work would be done by the students themselves. So after a few weeks of planning the club and designing the interest forms that should be circulated across the school to attract potential members and choreographers, formally launched the club in December starting with four different styles in individual sessions under different sub-choreographers. all of which was supervised and organized by me and my co-president. To increase the interactivity of the club we also decided to open an Instagram page where we would be uploading the best performances and dances we felt should be seen by others in not only the members of our club. This was also because the club would have performed on physical events if the school were offline but as dancers, we have a keen heart to present our hard work to the rest of the world so we decided to showcase our hard work and talent via an Instagram page which was again handled by me and Prachi. so the additional work came into account for designing and editing all the content for the Instagram page.
LO 1: Identify their own strengths and develop areas for personal growth.
Dance has always been a keen passion of mine and I have even taken professional training in 2 different dance styles. I think it would be safe to say dance is a skill I have worked on for many years and have practiced hard to excel in the area so I consider it one of my strengths. I know the pandemic put a halt to a lot of plans and classes people loved to attend including dance and that is why this club would become a space to share that passion and collaborate doing what we all shared a mutual love for. Even though I had choreographed a few sequences for myself, I had never done it for someone else or something on this scale so that was a scary step for me but it turned out together, we could come up with amazing sequences and soon that fear of lack of experience vanished because I realized this was not a platform of competition or excellence, it was just a couple of kids getting together to jump around and enjoy themselves. That realization made me feel proud of being in association with something that brought joy to students during these stressful times.
LO 2: Demonstrate that they have undertaken challenges, developing new skills in the process.
The club was a student-led initiative commenced by Prachi and me entirely independently. A club is thus our responsibility entirely so from getting members to arranging meetings, maintaining attendance, encouraging engagement, everything was done by us. It was a lot of work but it did pay off as a lot of the members gave positive feedback for the club, they viewed our meetings as a refresher from the entire week’s stress and they could come here to cool off and let loose. That is how I knew we had already achieved our aim to become a safe space of engagement for dancers during the pandemic and now we had to grow and multifold our reach. Honestly, doing all the work ourselves was a bit tedious especially with the simultaneous pressure of the normal school work of IBDP. In the beginning, juggling everything at once drained all my energy but I realized this was not working so in the coming weeks I began reshuffling and making a properly timed schedule on my google calendar for all my tasks and tried my best to follow it so that the balance of work and rest would be maintained in my life. I could’ve simply joined a dance class to spare myself all this trouble but then I would not be able to meet so many incredible dancers in my school and spend time with them, getting to know them and creating such a space that will help them in the future as well because once we graduate, we plan on passing the leadership to one of our very own junior itself who shows potential. This way, Pachi and I leave a little mark on our legacy at our school and in the process hopefully help bring people who share the passion for dance.
LO 4: Show commitment and perseverance in their CAS experience.
I think I can’t stress enough the fact that this club could not have been possible without constant perseverance from our end. The sole onus of the club lies on the two of our shoulders. Any issues like low attendance, less participation, all the kinks during shooting, anything and everything had to be looked over by us which required utter dedication and patience. An example would be the shooting fiasco that occurred the first time we were out for our very first shoot for the club. There were a million things wrong with the shoot like poor lighting, lack of coordination in the dancers, the battery of the camera dying, and so on and on. We still shot a couple of clips and sent them to our editor but we were not happy with the results so we requested the dancers to come back again to a different location the next week and this time we were prepared for all the troubles. We met a couple of hours early so they could practice their coordination, we got back-up batteries for the camera, the editor herself came to set the proper lighting and get the best angles. The second shoot results were more than satisfactory and are up on our Instagram page with more views and likes than we could imagine.
Dance is not just about the physical movement of one view, it goes way deeper than that. It is an art form, a method of expression for many students, an escape from reality, entrance into another realm. And yes it is as magical as it sounds. All one needs to do is be open to this possibility 🙂
Video shoot practice montage : https://drive.google.com/file/d/1TVcvQexZ-JEJNHhSuRRh3PebQgTnR65d/view
Club details main sheet : https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1D5L5lKxPlsaHAI_jS4JCT4XjH0qpsaCEtykyP7D0sLw/edit?usp=sharing