Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 9
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman Dance Clubs Ignite Dance Fever

Whitman College is full of students with a wide variety of passions and interests. Just by looking at the number of extra-curricular activities and student-run clubs, one can see a reflection of students’ hobbies.

Yet, maybe more than anything, Whitties love to dance. Covering a variety of styles and disciplines, dance clubs on campus offer an outlet for anyone with the urge to move their feet. Ranging from Latin to tap to swing and spanning a spectrum of skill levels, there’s something for everyone.

The Irish Dance Club, also known as River Rince, is a club that is perhaps best known for their engrossing performances at Mr. Whitman and Walla Walla’s Best Dance Crew. The club’s main focus, however, is to promote Irish culture and heritage through traditional dances. The club is divided into an informal practice group and a higher-level performance company.

“Irish dancing was, and continues to be, a large part of Irish culture, and has been influenced by each event in Ireland’s history,” said sophomore member Noelle Butler in an email. “It used to be used to tell stories, such as Irish folktales and mythology, and also was a way to celebrate Irish music and culture in a changing world.”

If performing in front of your peers isn’t for you, try the Folk Dancing Club. Members of this group take turns teaching each other folk dances from around the world in a casual setting. Sophomore Alex Ayal’s specialty is Israeli folk dancing.

“I’ve been Israeli folk dancing for many years now, so I only teach those. But the people who go regularly all know different dances, so we just switch off teaching each other,” said Ayal in an email interview.

A third club on campus is the Social Dance Club. The Social Dance Club focuses on dances such as swing, waltzes and foxtrots, among others. The club has a casual atmosphere and its core attendees are people who want to have fun through dance. The social, physical and mental benefits of dancing are numerous, according to junior Marijke Wijnen, so Social Dance club becomes a necessary outlet.

“At Whitman I spend a lot of my time doing things that are very heady, so dancing is a nice balance because you don’t have time to think. Your body just takes over,” said Wijnen in an email.

Butler agrees.

“[Dancing] is also a great way to exercise. I am not a huge fan of running, but through dance, I am able to still get myself to exercise, and have fun at the same time,” she said.

Dancing isn’t just a physical release; it’s mental and emotional, too.

“It’s just an awesome form of self-expression that you can do with other people,” said Ayal.

To reap these benefits, try one of Whitman’s dance clubs. If you’re interested in River Rince, email Noelle Butler for more information. Folk Dancing Club meets on Wednesdays at 7:30 in Sherwood 213. If you’re interested in the Social Dance Club, contact Marijke Wijnen for more information.

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