Whether you’re in a large, showcase-hosting group such as Danceworx or a smaller troupe such as Velociraptors, there are certain truths of the Berkeley dance community that you and a few hundred other UC Berkeley dancers know to be self-evident. From AFX to Abba Modern and from Main Stacks to [M]ovement, here are 10 inevitable joys and struggles for any member of the dance community.
1) You have a paper to write and a midterm in two days, but it’s showcase season, so that trumps everything else.
Hey, Cs get degrees, right?
2) The only reason you go to the RSF so late is because that’s the only time you can use Combatives.
Whether you need to practice or choreograph, you’ve probably been in here at least once to take advantage of the mirrors and nice, dance-ready hardwood floors. You probably have the group class schedule at least halfway memorized so that you can work around it and get a mirror spot as soon as open hours begin.
3) All your friends who stayed at UC Berkeley over the summer keep posting pictures from summer teams and workshops, and it’s just making you so sad and jealous.
Yes, yes, we do wish we were in Summer Stacks with you instead of spending the summer as an unpaid intern.
4) You’ve practiced anywhere and everywhere.
Workshops outside Haas Pavilion, showcase auditions at the Barrows Wind Tunnel, choreographer office hours in front of Lower Sproul construction, performances on Sproul Plaza’s steps and rehearsals on the bottom level of the Underhill parking garage — you’ve seen and done all of them. If it’s a flat, open space on campus with hard ground, you’ve probably danced there.
5) Choreographer office hours > professor office hours
Well, you didn’t understand that chemistry lecture at all, and you really should go ask the professor about it, but you also need to polish the new hip-hop set with your choreographer so that he puts you in the front when he does formations, and they’re at the same time … yeah, you’re going to hip-hop.
6) Sproul Plaza performances are a special brand of crazy.
Your partner for the lift has a class and isn’t here, you’re doing jazz and tap in your black sneakers, a random student jumps on stage with you, the determinedly blind Sproul-goers keep walking in front of the videographer’s camera and you’re trying not to look awkward crouching on the sides of the steps when you’re supposed to be “offstage.” We all love Sproul shows, but we all hate them a little, too.
7) An embarrassing amount of your money goes toward apparel and costumes.
Sure, you don’t technically need another bro tank with your group’s logo on it, but you definitely want one. And you already have a top that will work for your choreographer’s intended color scheme, but that one you just saw at Urban Outfitters would make you look so cool onstage. Hey, this makes up for the inexpensive membership dues, right?
8) Nothing makes you look cooler on Facebook than your dance or group’s most recent photoshoot.
Not only does your new profile picture match the pics of all of your teammates, but you also look like a supermodel, only more badass. Why can’t you look that good in every picture you take?
9) There is always someone better than you.
You don’t understand how Jane Doe is pre-med and in four dance groups and interning off-campus and still managing to have the best technique of anyone in your dance, but you’ve learned not to question it and to just wallow instead in your eternal jealousy.
10) You found a special kind of family.
Your dance group contains all the different personalities and skill levels. Maybe you barely know any of them yet, or maybe you’re a seventh-semester veteran. Either way, performing with these people makes you happier than you could ever describe, and you’re so proud to call them all your teammates.