Bring Back The Dancing Tradition Of The Past

Bring Back The Dancing Tradition Of The Past

I’m not trying to degrade my generation for creating their own culture but I do wish we weren’t so quick to forget the past.

I used to dance across the kitchen on my dad’s feet. He would hold my hands and turn the radio volume up. And then when I was finished dancing, he would take my mother’s arms and lead her in all the dances they used to do in college. Swinging left, then right, and finally a dramatic dip. They had the biggest smiles on their faces. At the time, I was embarrassed. I thought it was so awkward and uncomfortable. It was even worse if they danced in public. But now, I realize I was wrong.

My generation has lost our ability to dance.

I mean, truly dance, not just jumping up and down with one hand in the air or moving your hips slightly offbeat. No boy ever extends his hand to a girl to ask them to slow dance anymore (unless you count those awkward middle school days). No one ever turns on an old-school tune that everyone knows has a specific dance style or move to go with it.

I’ve had a conversation with various people in my age-group about this and most people agree that it would be nice if our generation wasn’t so worried about our pride and put ourselves out there for a dance.

I visited my twin sister at the University of Oxford in England this past week. One night at her college, Hertford, held an event benefiting the homeless called Ceilidh. The Ceilidh is a traditional Celtic dance that involves a lot of spinning around with a partner and moving up and down the room.

At first, a Scottish student at her college called out the movements slowly so that we could all learn the dance. Gradually, we sped it up and added music to our uncoordinated, chaotic attempt at the ceilidh. While none of us were really any good at it, everyone had an amazing time that night.

It is surprising to me that we have not already incorporated the dancing tradition into our culture. In recent years, fashion, music, photography, and in general our outlook on life has become increasingly similar to those of the 70s and 80s. We wear platform shoes and flared jeans. We listen to record players instead of iPods because their vintage quality makes them appear “cool.” We celebrate a care-free, flower-child mindset and strive to live less uptight lives than those who came before us.

Our generation has accomplished a lot in our small amount of time on earth. That is not something to minimize. We are hardworking and ambitious. We set high bars and have big dreams we hope to achieve someday. However, I think personally we could learn how to celebrate life a little better. Yes, one day we will have to settle down, get a job, pay the bills, and have children of our own. But that day is not today. We have years of university left and time after that to just being young.

My a cappella group was asked to perform at a university function right before graduation. The keynote speaker got up to talk to the graduates about taking it all in and never forgetting what their university experience gave them. He was a math person and started to put a number to our days. He mentioned that by the time we are 80 years old we will have lived almost 30,000 days. Statistically, that means that between 5,000 - 7,000 of those days were horrible days, days we wish never happened, like the day we lost a loved one or experienced a lot of pain.

On the other hand around 7,000 of those days were the best days of our lives: graduations, birthdays, road trips, sunset hikes, and reunions with friends. That leaves about 15,000 mediocre days. These 15,000 days are those that feel insignificant to us and have no real impact on our lives. His message was that we need to celebrate our 15,000 mediocre days just as much as our 7,000 amazing ones. Pretty soon, that number will increase and we will have given ourselves many more memories to add to the best days of our lives.

Now it may sound cheesy but I believe one of the ways to celebrate life is to dance.

Dancing allows us to let go and forget about what other people might think of us.

I’m not trying to degrade my generation for creating their own culture but I do wish we weren’t so quick to forget the past. There is a reason the phrase “old-school love” came about because the way we choose to act as teenagers and young adults is drastically different from our parents and their parents. No generation is perfect but I believe it is the responsibility of every new one to build and improve on the work made by the people before them. We don't have to start from scratch but rather use what we've been given to leave society better than we found it.

People in my age-group have done an amazing job at making sure our voices are heard in the political world and we have used social media to get involved in issues we really care about. But in all of this work we are doing to make a difference, I think we are putting pressure on ourselves to do everything now. While the impact we have made is phenomenal, there is more that we can do. However, I believe we can be politically-active while simultaneously being young, dumb, and care-free. As Luke Bryan said in "Most People Are Good," “wisdom in your youth would be a lot less fun.”

Maybe I’m an old soul but is it really too much to ask? Or at least to think about? To put aside our pride and our insecurity and really dance.

Cover Image Credit: Josephine Bellman

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21 Things You Say To Your Roommate If You Two Are Practically A Married Couple

Until I made this list, I didn't realize how absurdly close my roommate and I were. #sorrynotsorry

Let's be real: you and your roommate have said these things at least one to each other.

1. "Can you turn the light off?"

2. "We probably shouldn't go out for dinner again...right?"

*Complains about not having money* *Spends $8 on Chipotle three times a week*

3. "I always pick where we go"

This is a fight you have with your roommate almost every day when you're roommate is as indecisive as mine.

4. "Do you have my keys?"

5. "Can you pick me up?"

6. "Is it hot in here?"

7. "Does this outfit look stupid?"

The answer is usually yes. No offense.

8. "Can you throw this out for me?"

9. "Can we get ice cream?"

10. "I need coffee."

This text is usually sent when you know your roomie is out running errands... errands you know are near a Starbucks.

11. "Can you tell me what happened?"

12. "Are you asleep?"

There have been times where I couldn't tell if you were asleep or dead... and I had to say this out loud to check if you were alive.

13. "Check your DM's."

*Cracks up in the middle of nowhere* *Catches a weird stare from your roomie across the room*

14. "Can you plug this in for me?"

15. "Can you pick a movie?"

Another instance where "I always pick" happens.

16. "Look at this girl's Instagram."

*Chucks phone across the room at roommate*

17. "Can you call me?"

18. "Can we meet up?"

19. "Can you help me find my phone?"

*Tries to leave the house to do something* *Loses phone* Every. Time.

20. "What should we do tonight?"

*Tries to get ready to do something fun* *Ends up staying in for another girls' night*

21. "Why isn't everyone as great as us?"


Cover Image Credit: Juliarose Genuardi

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College Can Be Difficult, But Trust Yourself, Girl

Life can throw you curveballs sometimes, and times can get tough, but it is SO important to pick yourself up and trust that you can do anything.


I'll be honest, this school year was one of the hardest years of my life. There were lots of moments throughout the year that I just wanted to go home and get away from it all. I had to be reminded that I have been raised to try as hard as you possibly can, and I was doing that. It took some determination and time, but I didn't give up.

No matter how bad I felt, I stayed and persevered.

Now that I am home for the summer, I have been reminiscing on the past two semesters of school. At the beginning of the school year, I had a much different idea of how it would go. It was going to be "my year," but somehow while the year was going on, I felt that I had been completely wrong. It's easy to come to quick conclusions when life doesn't exactly go your way. Conclusions like "this year has been the worst year ever" and "I can never get a break" were often popping up in my head. My grades weren't where I wanted them, and I was surprised by a lot of occurrences that I never expected to happen (imagine a wild ride). I found out who my true friends are and who I could rely on, and luckily, my circle only grew. Being extremely extroverted, it was hard for me to get out and just do something. Being in this "rut" took a toll on me. I had to make those hard decisions about doing what was best for me in the long run instead of doing something just for the moment. Trust me when I say, this was NOT easy at all.

Through all the tears and change all around me, I decided to proceed to the finish line because I am NOT a quitter.

I decided that it was time for me to allow myself to fully, undeniably be me. I wanted to start doing the little things I enjoy again like working out, taking pictures, and simply just going out to do anything. I started forcing myself to take any opportunity that came my way, and it helped. One of the things that brought me so much joy was kickboxing – talk about therapeutic, people! Kickboxing at least three times a week helped my mood shift so much, and it was a start to seeing me again. I am so blessed with friends who would come over at, literally, any time of the day. Spending time with them helped me more than they could ever know. We did anything from just hanging out in my living room to splurging on a fun dinner. Through everything that I was doing daily, I was learning how to rely on myself. Looking back now, I have never really had to know what it felt like to rely mainly on myself. I did get so much help from my family and friends, but what good could their help do if I didn't want to help myself first?

Even though I felt like this was one of the worst years of my life, it taught me so much more than I ever expected. Looking back now, I grew so, so much. I learned how to smile when times get tough. I learned that it really is okay to not be okay sometimes, and it will be okay eventually. I learned that it's okay to ask for help because we weren't made to do life alone. Most importantly, I learned how to trust myself. My hope for anyone reading this, you will learn from my experience that the worst seasons get better. I am in such a good place right now because I never gave up, and I will continue to never give up. In a short amount of time, I am seeing how far I have come and how much I grew.

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