What Dance Has Taught Me

What Dance Has Taught Me

“I dance, I sweat, I flirt, I leave”

I attended a performing arts school for middle and high school and majored in orchestra. Because of that, I was known as “The Cellist” in my community. While I did love orchestra, I got very sick of that label after graduation. So, as I went to college, I decided to re-brand myself. I could be anything I wanted! So, I decided that I would become “The Dancer”. At first, the brand didn’t stick. But now, after a year in college, I have finally become “The Dancer”.

Now let me clarify: I am a social dancer. I do not take formal lessons or do formal performances. Social dances are casual drop-ins. You come when you like, you dance when you like, and you dance your style. My preferred styles of dance are contra dancing and swing dancing, but I also have just learned the waltz and blues. There are “regulars” at every dance event, but there are always new people too. For those curious about dance, I would just like to share a few things I have learned about myself in the past two years of dancing.

It’s Okay to Say No. You have every right to say no in a situation. If you don’t feel comfortable with someone, it’s okay to not dance with them. If you don’t like their conversation, you don’t have to talk to them. If you don’t like how they dance near you, you can walk away. Some people are very persistent, but you can take a stand and say no (with no excuse).

Live in the Moment. I have a Type A personality. I am always on the go and planning my next move and wondering what will happen in the next moment. Living that way brings me anxiety and stress sometimes. But dance forces me to be in the moment. You have to pay attention to every step and every turn and how beautiful your partner’s eyes are and how many buttons are one their shirt and…all you’re doing is just being there. You don’t have anywhere else to be and you are having a good time. So stay in the moment for now and just let it be.

Things Take Time. I have lost the patience to learn new things. They say that happens when you get older. When I first began dancing, I was so incredibly frustrated that I wasn’t a good dancer right off the bat. But that’s not how things work. Skill takes time and practice. The first kind of dance I learned was contra and it took me a solid three months just to get the basic steps down. Now here I am two years later, mastering those steps and learning new styles of dance. It really was a struggle remembering patience. But taking the time to learn the steps and practice was all worth the effort in the end.

Body Confidence. Being a first-year college student, the freshman 15 has been creeping up on me. I try to go to the gym when I can and I dance every week. Yet, somehow, I am still gaining weight. But you know what? The numbers on the scale do not matter. Yeah, I am a little heavier than I want to be, but I am capable of so much more than I was in high school. My strengthened core brings me balance and I am now less clumsy. I have endurance and can dance for a lot longer than I could before. I have muscle memory that allows me to be graceful on the dance floor. These skills are worth way more than the numbers on the scale. I look and feel fabulous and nothing or no one is going to tell me otherwise.

Attire. You can wear whatever you want and get away with it.

Being a Flirt. One of my favorite dance slogans is, “I dance, I sweat, I flirt, I leave”. And that is exactly right. Social dancing allows you to interact with so many types of people in a unique setting. Dancing has a certain intimacy: you can get very up close and personal when you dance and you can be flirty if you want. But then you can leave. You don't have to carry on, you don't have to go home with anyone, and you don't have to give out your number (unless you want to). Now obviously there are some rules like don’t lead people on, don’t be vulgar, don’t be excessive or rude. And, as mentioned earlier, if you are uncomfortable, you can change partners or decide to leave. But it’s fun to be flirty with those who flirt back. It’s non-committal and silly.

Community. Oh my gosh, the community is awesome! While I have gone out of town for a few dances (shout out to Lake Murray!), I dance mostly in Charleston. It has been absolutely amazing getting to know the regulars here. Some people from contra dance also swing dance too, so it’s great getting to dance with them in new settings. You build strong relationships and trust with these people. And what a great community it is.

Cover Image Credit: Michele Turner

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9 Eligible Princes You Need To Know About Now That Prince Harry Is Off The Market

You too could have a Meghan Markle fairytale

Prince Harry's royal wedding is officially over and there won't be another British royal wedding for quite some time now, as Prince George is way too young to start thinking about that. Fortunately, there are plenty of other countries with plenty of other princes that are still eligible bachelors at the moment. Lucky for you, I did my research and compiled a list of all the eligible princes you need to know about know that Prince Harry has tied the knot with Meghan Markle.

1. Prince Louis of Luxembourg (31)

Prince Louis is the third son of the Grand Duke Henri and Duchess Maria Theresa of Luxembourg. He has recently become a bachelor again after his separation with his wife of 10 years, Princess Tessy.

Fun Fact: He graduated from Richmond, The American International University of London with a BA in Communications. He can also speak Luxembourgish (the fact that's even a language is fun fact by itself), French, German, and English fluently.

2. Prince Sebastien of Luxembourg (26)

Prince Sebastien is the youngest child of the Grand Duke Henri and Duchess Maria Theresa of Luxembourg, so if you marry him, you'll probably never actually be queen because he's pretty far removed from the throne. However, he's relatively young and single, so best of luck.

Fun Fact: For some bizarre reason, this prince actually went to college in Ohio. He played rugby and graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2015. Now, he is back in his home country and is an officer in the Luxembourg Army.

3. Prince Phillipos of Greece and Denmark (34)

You read that correctly, Prince Phillipos is the prince of not one, but two countries. He is the youngest son of King Constantine and Queen Anne Marie of Greece and Denmark. Unfortunately, Greece abolished their monarchy, so he's a prince in name only there.

Fun Fact: Like Prince Sebastien, Prince Phillipos also went to college in the United States. He earned his B.A. in foreign relations from Georgetown University in 2008. Fortunately, for us American girls, he is actually still living in the US and he works in New York City as an analyst at Ortelius Capital.

4. Prince Albert of Thurn and Taxis (34)

Ever heard of Thurn and Taxis? No? Me neither. Anyways, Prince Albert is from the House of Thurn and Taxis, which is essentially a very old German aristocratic family. He is the son of Prince Johannes XI of Thurn and Taxis and Countess Gloria of Schonburg Glauchau. His family is well known for their breweries and castles, so unless you're gluten-free, you can't really complain.

Fun Fact: He's not just a prince. He's also a racecar driver and 10 years ago he was ranked 11th on Forbes Magazine's List of The 20 Hottest Young Royals.

5. Prince Mateen of Brunei (26)

Prince Mateen is basically like all the guys you already know, except he's royalty. He's the prince of Brunei, which is a small country on the island of Borneo, south of Vietnam. He is one of the five sons of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, and he also has seven sisters. Maybe that's a little different than the guys you know, but one thing he takes very seriously, just like most frat guys, is his Instagram.

Fun Fact: Mateen enjoys playing polo, flying in his private plane, cuddling cute wild animals, and keeping up his Insta game with 890k followers. You can follow him @tmski.

6. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai (35)

Sheikh Hamdan also has a killer Instagram with 6.3 million followers. Anyways, Sheikh Hamdan is the billionaire crown prince of Dubai and the second son of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is the prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and essentially the king of Dubai (Emir). He's actually next in line for the throne because his older brother died in 2015.

Fun Fact: Hamdan's hobbies include skydiving, zip lining, and diving, just to name a few, so if you're an adrenaline junkie, Sheikh Hamdan is the prince for you.

7. Prince Hussein of Jordan (23)

Prince Hussain is the son of the extremely beautiful, Queen Rania and Abdullah II of Jordan and next in line for the Jordanian throne. At 23, he's already a second lieutenant in the Jordanian Armed Forces and he was the youngest person ever to chair a UN Security Council Meeting

Fun Fact: Like Prince Phillippos, Prince Hussain also graduated from Georgetown University in Washington D.C.. Also, like Prince Mateen and Prince Hamdan, he's Insta famous with 1.3 million followers and you can follow him @alhusseinjo.

8. Prince Constantine-Alexios of Greece and Denmark (19)

Like Prince Phillipos, Prince Constantine-Alexios also has two countries. Lucky for us though, he is also living in the US right now attending Georgetown University in Washington D.C. (like pretty much every other prince, amirite?) He is the oldest son of Crown Princess Marie-Chantal and Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece.

Fun Fact: He's Prince William's godson, so that's pretty neat. However, if that wasn't cool enough, you might like to know that this Greek/Danish prince was actually born in New York. Oh yeah, you can also follow him on Instagram @alexiosgreece where he has 88.7k followers.

9. Prince Joachim of Belgium (26)

Prince Joachim of Belgium, Archduke of Austria-Este is the third child of Lorenz, Archduke of Austria-Este and Princess Astrid of Belgium. Although he bears the title, "Prince of Belgium," he is also Archduke of Austria-Este, Prince Royal of Hungary and Bohemia, and Prince of Modena. Unfortunately, he'll probably never actually be king in any of these countries as he is ninth in line to the Belgian throne.

Fun Fact: Prince Joachim has degrees in economics, management, and finance, but he decided to join the Nautical School in Brugge after completing college and is currently an officer in the Belgian Navy.

Hope is not lost for all you girls dreaming of finding a Prince Charming that's literally a prince. After reviewing the data, my best advice is to transfer to Georgetown where princes are basically around every corner.

Cover Image Credit: @meghantheduchessofsussexstyle/Instagram

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Summer Depression Is A Real Malady, Just Ask Any Young Adult

Since summer seems analogous to sublime happiness, when you don't feel elated you automatically assume something is wrong.


Driving from Pasadena to West LA along Beverly Glen, on the eve of summer (for UCLA students) an odd melancholy washed over me. Each year summer rolls around, I can't help but feel this bittersweet anxiety that nestles itself in my chest and pokes its head every once in awhile. As I drove, windows down, radio on, I contemplated the whereabouts of this angst: Where lay its root?

As if by fate (a concept I firmly believe in), "summer depression" by girl in red queued up and I couldn't help but smile to myself, a poetic coincidence.

The song sang my thoughts better than I could have spoken them: "Summer depression, there's so much time to question my life." When you're a student, you're used to never ending deadlines and minimal free time.

When summer resumes, all the youths who are so accustomed to constantly being busy are suddenly struck by no set schedule.

Some fill the time with travel, or work, or other activities, but, for many, the underlying anxiety remains.

This is due in part to the expectation that summertime is meant to be filled with adventure, excitement, happiness and relaxation.

So when one becomes bored or, on the other end, realizes she's working her summer away, "summer depression" kicks in.

It doesn't help that social media makes it seem like everyone and their mother is partying from dusk 'til dawn in Ibiza or building hospitals in Western Africa.

We spend all school year waiting for summer, only to be disappointed when are expectations aren't meant: hence summer depression.

To make matters worse, since summer seems analogous to sublime happiness, when you don't feel elated you automatically assume something is wrong.

The fact of the matter is—summer is just like any other time of year. It's totally fine if it's no more exciting, or less exciting, than every other part of the year. The regular fluctuation of emotions associated with daily life are totally normal as well, even in the summertime.

There's no necessity for fancy excursions or copious amounts of time relaxing. It may be cool to have a kick-ass internship in New York city, but it doesn't mean your summer is any less simply because you're working at a cafe in Westwood.

Summer is what you make it, just like spring, fall, and winter. The only thing of importance is to try to enjoy your time.

Cover Image Credit:

Isabelle Roshko

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