Whether it’s Zumba, salsa, swing, hip-hop or tango, Portland State likely has the groove you’re looking for. People love to dance—not only because it’s fun, but also because it can be a liberating experience.
Just dance, gonna be okay
Whether it’s Zumba, salsa, swing, hip-hop or tango, Portland State likely has the groove you’re looking for. People love to dance—not only because it’s fun, but also because it can be a liberating experience. Many people want to take a class to improve their dance skills, and learning a new style can be somewhat complicated, but in the end, it’s a healthy and rewarding activity. Dancing is a broad topic that breaks into many different paths, so there’s certainly a dance style out there for everyone.
Campus Rec has different types of dance-focused clubs, such as tango, dancers and steps of rhythm. Many clubs are free to join or only cost a small fee. Also, classes don’t require any advanced training, and they provide an easy way for students to let loose and forget about a long day of classes.
Established in 2004, Steps of Rhythm is a student run club that strives to empower its members and create a hip-hop based atmosphere with a positive and friendly learning environment for all dancers, regardless of skill level. In addition, members of the club may be given opportunities to perform. The club allows students to show off their creative side by not only teaching moves with a hip-hop flare, but also by offering opportunities to team up with other members and perform at shows. Steps of Rhythm members have an upcoming performance in the Peter Stott Center at 7 p.m. on May 29.
Another popular dance style for students, although very different from Steps of Rhythm, is the Argentine Tango club. Tango is great for those interested in learning a Latin-based style and offers a fun activity for couples. The tango club meets every Tuesday this month at 8 p.m.
“I first took a basic tango class outside of PSU then came to the tango club here,” said PSU junior Aja Consonantia. “The club allows me to express myself physically and emotionally.”
If you’re looking to learn a variety of different dances, then the Dancers club is the place for you. The club takes input from members to decide what style will be taught at the time, whether it’s swing, salsa, blues, western or the cha-cha. Also, don’t worry about finding a partner, because that can be arranged during class. The Dancers club meets this month every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. and Friday at 4 p.m.
Recently, the popularity of Latin-based Zumba has only increased, and it’s the only dance class offered at Portland State through the Group X program. The Group X program allows students to participate in more alternative forms of exercise such as yoga or Zumba. Also, students can conveniently just show up to the classes, as opposed to signing up in advance.
“Zumba, along with yoga, is our most popular class at the Rec Center,” Group X student coordinator Kjerstin Brinton said. “Some of the evening Zumba classes have had upwards of 60 participants, reaching the maximum capacity of the room. We have wonderful, energetic instructors who truly do a great job teaching the Zumba classes. They are extremely popular classes because of their unique, dance workout routines that feel more like a party than a workout.”
There are three certified Zumba instructors and classes are offered frequently: Mondays at 5:15 p.m., Wednesdays at 11 a.m., 5:15 and 6:15 p.m., Fridays at 4 p.m. and Saturday mornings at 11:30 a.m. For many students, Zumba is their number one way to work out while having fun and letting loose.
Take a study break and do some dancing, but hurry to sign up as classes fill quickly. Dancing allows you to tap into your spiritual, creative and artistic sides while doing something physical and healthy. But really, you don’t need a reason to dance, do you?
As Fred Astair once said, “I have no desire to prove anything by dancing. I have never used it as an outlet or a means of expressing myself. I just dance. I just put my feet in the air and move them around.” ?