Club of the week: DanceSoc

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The Dance Society (aka “DanceSoc”) is a student-run society providing 20 weekly classes of varying styles and levels, catering for over 300 St Andrews students, staff and locals. Classes are taught by students for students and cover a variety of dance techniques from ballet and highland to hip-hop and breakdance.

At the beginning of the second semester DanceSoc is looking forward to its annual ball, inspired this year by Venetian masquerades and carnivals. The Carnival Ball will be held in Younger Hall on Saturday 22 February, with all profits going towards our nominated charity, Children in Hope. As a follow-up to our sell-out Prohibition Ball of 2013, this night promises to be filled with feathers, frivolity and fun; stand-out dance performances; a live big band; and DJs to keep the festivities flowing. Tickets are £15 each and go on sale Wednesday 15 February, 1pm – 4pm at Rascal’s. A second round of tickets will go on sale at a later date.

In addition to our weekly classes open to all students, DanceSoc also prides itself on having two competitive dance teams, the Blue Angels and the Angel Apprentices, who take part in national and international competitions throughout the year. Last year The Blue Angels competed at the IDF World Championships and were placed 6th and 8th place in the group ‘Fantasy’ and ‘Dance Show’ categories. Their vice-captain, Ashely Gierlach, was also awarded 4th place for her ‘Dance Show’ solo entry. The Apprentices are now looking forward to their first opportunity to compete alongside the Angels at the upcoming Edinburgh Dance Off competition in February.

Last semester was busy for DanceSoc as we hosted our first preseason, followed by a jam-packed ‘give it a go’ session in the sports centre studio during Freshers’ Week and an exciting, festive-filled Christmas showcase. This was a one-off event, offering students a chance to perform in a relaxed environment before the annual show which occurs in second semester.

Throughout the year DanceSoc nominates a charity to support, which is voted for by members at the beginning of the year. This year we are continuing to upport Children in Hope, a charity which aims to support and educate orphaned and disabled children in rural India. Throughout the year we run bake sales and other fundraising activities, involving DanceSoc members and the wider University community. This year, through ticket sales of our annual ball and show (as well as rumours of a charity danceathon) we hope to improve upon our fundraising achievement last year where we raised over £2,000.

A new addition to our DanceSoc repertoire is our participation in this year’s On The Rocks student arts festival. This provides an extra opportunity or choreographers to come forward within the society and to work with a smaller, auditioned team of dancers. We hope this will encourage dancers within the society to enhance their performances, creating emotional and exciting theatre.

Many students will remember the striking advertising for DanceSoc’s previous annual show, Razzle Dazzle. Referred to within the society as The Show, our consecutive May performances offer all members of the society the opportunity to perform on a stage in full regalia of costumes, show lights and an expectant audience. Last year’s show was inspired by the glamour of Hollywood and we are getting excited to market our new show theme in the next coming months.

For now, weekly classes continue with teachers encouraging students to improve their performance, having developed their technique and skillset over the course of first semester. Music will be selected, costumes sewn, lights raised and tickets sold: DanceSoc, as ever, has a busy semester ahead and we are all very excited to share our “dancey love”.

To be club of the week, please email the editor at sport@thesaint-online.com.

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