Dance club, my home away from home

The best part of my day is after classes when I can attend the clubs I have chosen at the beginning of the school year. There is a huge range of choices of clubs and activities here at EF Academy New York, so you can choose whatever hobbies you enjoy the most. One of my choices was the Dance Club, led by Ms. DaSilva every Monday after school. After an exhausting day, there is nothing better than having a place where you can be yourself and have a fun workout. Besides that, it is a great way to meet people from all over the world who have the same passion as I do.
When I first arrived at EF Academy, I learned about the importance of fulfilling the CAS (Creativity, Activity and Service) requirement. At first, this acronym seemed like a random one that I would quickly forget, but after we had our huge club fair, I quickly understood the reason why CAS is so important. CAS is all about being dedicated: to developing skills and achieving goals, overcoming obstacles and learning new things that will make us more responsible, independent and committed people. I love the fact that we are in a school where we can develop not only our academic but also our social and emotional skills.
Dance club is one way that I keep myself both happy and focused – it helps me stay healthy in a fun way. I also love that the Dance club has helped me from feeling homesick. Being so far away from home, it is so easy to start missing loved ones. I decided that I would not give in to feelings of homesickness, and the Dance club helped me to keep my mind off of missing my friends and family at home.
I particularly love dancing and I have a vast dance background – I’ve been dancing for more than twelve years. Back home I danced Street Dance, Hip Hop and Jazz. Also, in Brazil, my home country, dancing is something that is part of us; it is part of our culture and I am just not the same without it. It is kind of funny to explain, but when I listen to a great song, my heart beats faster and I just feel like I can’t stay still!  Dancing is definitely one passion that we Brazilians can’t live without. I love that dancing is like a universal language: it doesn’t matter where you come from, what your social status is, what language you speak, or what color your skin is. Dancing has a special power to connect people no matter their differences.

I was thrilled when I found out that I would still have the opportunity to practice my passion here. To me, dancing is so much more than simply moving my body. It brings me joy, it brings color to cloudy days, and it makes me connect to my higher self! It is a great way to feel at home despite the fact that I am thousands of miles away from my home.
As you read, my experience is a medley of different types of dances, and our dance club here on campus is exactly like that! What really caught my attention is the fact that the students have the freedom to create choreography that appeals to them. We not only learn a variety of styles and new steps, but we have a crucial part in this process because we also teach choreography and dances that come from our home countries.  One example of that was when we learned salsa music presented by students from Mexico and Spain, Hip Hop presented by an American student, and Samba presented by my Brazilian friends and me! It feels good to find a home away from home and for me that home is dancing. It is so cool to see people from different parts of the globe learn all types of dance, a constant reminder that we should always appreciate our differences and do our best to learn more about each other’s culture.

Written by Carolina Tomiyama, former EF Academy New York student