RU Dance Club’s Revival is ‘On Pointe’

Jules Banks
Staff Reporter

Karina Aguilar prepares moves for  the RU Dance Club at 510 Wabash, where the club tries out different styles of dance each week. Photo by Jules Banks.

Roosevelt University has a vast collection of clubs and student activities available at the Wabash Campus. With over 60 student led organizations at Roosevelt, RU students are free to explore all types of groups in order to find their fit in the university. Additionally, when students cannot find a club to suit their needs, they are free to make their own.

This is exactly what Karina Aguilar, freshman psychology major, accomplished in the fall of 2018. An experienced dancers herself, she started the group in the fall and recently restarted her efforts to find members in 2019.

Aguilar explained that she felt the need to create the club because dance had been her outlet in the past.

“I have a genuine love for dance, and it was a way for me to relieve stress when I was in high school,” Aguilar said. She said that she had at first tried to take the more advanced dance classes that CCPA provides, but discovered that they were unavailable to her, as she is not a student of the conservatory. “And the only class I could take was a one credit class that wasn’t even on campus and didn’t work with my schedule, so I felt like I wanted something that allowed me to dance,” Aguilar said.

Aguilar has been dancing for eight years, and coached her poms team with Warren Township Cheer and Poms as well as dancing in the Illinois Dance Conservatory.

She encourages other students to both join RU clubs and make their own if they see the need for one on campus.

“It’s the simplest process ever,” Aguilar said. “If you feel like you want something done, do it. It’s so simple and easy, and you can find so many people that would be willing to participate in your club and help you out in running it. Because I haven’t just run it by myself–I have a bunch of people that have helped out in running it.” The club’s sponsor is Mary Williams, with Aguilar as the president.

On Feb. 26, the club held its first 2019 meeting after a brief hiatus in January. Alexis Kane, freshman criminal justice major, said she joined because a friend had mentioned it to her.

“I had no previous dance experience,” Kane said. “The only thing I ever did was dance on my own for fun to music, or with my friends in a room. Nothing too major at all.”

Aguilar had stressed that any level of experience was acceptable; no one would be left behind in the learning process. In the latest meeting, there had been students like Kane, who were new at dancing, and people with five or more years of dance experience.

Kane said she enjoyed many aspects of the club: the opportunity to meet new people, being able to learn new moves and getting exercise while having fun. “Dance club is worthwhile because of the great people in it, the positive energy of everyone,” said Kane. “You get to learn a dance step-by-step to amazing music, and even if you do not have any experience of dancing, the instructor Karina will help.” However, Aguilar isn’t the only leader; members are free to teach the class new styles of dance if they request beforehand.

Alex Halron, freshman marketing major, explained that dance was a new activity for him as well, but as someone with hockey and football experience, the club kept him feeling athletic.

“It’s something to do, it’s something fun,” Halron said. “And it works in my schedule, it’s at a good time of the day.” As an employed student and marketing manager of Wabash Community Council, Halron’s schedule is tight, but he still finds time for the meetings.

“Karina makes it pretty easy to follow along. I picked it up pretty well, I would say,” Halron said. His first time at dance club was at the Feb. 26 meeting, and he plans on coming back. Halron also recommends the club for other people–even students that may feel nervous at the prospect of trying new things.

“Just show up, and have fun, and go. Why not?” Halron said. “It’s good to challenge yourself, I think.”

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