Starting New Things

In high school, I participated in several extracurriculars on the more academic side. I had always wanted to get more into the arts and develop a hobby or a skill but I figured it would probably be best to stick with what I knew as an incoming college freshman. Every September, Yale has an “Extracurricular Bazaar” where its over 500 student organizations try to recruit new members. Walking into this Bazaar after only being at Yale for about a week is the most overwhelming thing a person could do. There were political groups, people advertising Engineers without Borders, and students asking me if I could sing for acapella! I started to head towards the Computer Science and gaming booths but I was stopped on the way there.

In front of me was a beautiful woman in a red Latin dress and a man wearing all black with a shirt that had a deep V neckline. They began to dance Cha Cha to a speaker blasting the summer’s hits from their booth. Nearby, another woman in a big ball gown and a man in a vest and tie started to Waltz. It was mesmerizing. Here, was the Yale Ballroom Dance Team. Since I was younger, I enjoyed watching every season of Dancing with the Stars with my mother. I had often wanted to dance Ballroom myself but thought it was a training that had to start young and took forever; I thought I had missed my window.

I told the dancers that I was very impressed with their moves and started to walk away.
“Thank you! We only started dancing our freshman year” said the girl in the red dress. I froze.
“Do you guys have auditions?” I inquired.
“Nope. Our mission is to teach anyone and everyone with the desire to dance.” she replied.
From that moment on, I was sold. To think that I could be as proficient as they were at dance in three years and I could start from nothing!

Now I know over twenty styles of dance, perform in shows, and compete in the collegiate circuit. I have learned that it is totally possible to try something new at any point in your life, especially when entering college. You could pick up a sport or an instrument or writing. If an organization you want to be a part of doesn’t already exist, you can create it yourself. Many of my best friends and favorite memories have come out of joining the team and I wouldn’t trade them for the world.

— Saran Morgan, Yale University Class of 2018

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