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Dancing to Relieve Stress

By Lydia Carlson

I normally hate New Year’s resolutions. I always break mine by the third week of January. I like to think that this happens because I choose a task too hard for me, such as losing weight or getting up early on weekends. During this winter break, I spent a long time thinking about what I wanted to resolve to do for this year. Something realistic. Something that wasn’t going to be hard for me to accomplish. This year, I hope I got it: I want to de-stress with dance.

I am a very academic student--I read every textbook from cover to cover; and I start papers the moment they are assigned. I like doing well in classes, and I like to know that my hard work pays off. However, there is a downside to this as well: I get very stressed out very easily. I can’t sleep when there’s an assignment looming over me, I get sick to my stomach during a test, and I’m a wreck during finals week.

My family, being ever so worried about me, suggested very strongly that I find a club, a new hobby to help me forget about my classes for a while. A friend of mine invited me to tag along with her at our university's ballroom dance club. It was already halfway through the semester, so I thought I was going to be left behind during the lesson, but I didn’t feel out of place at all. The class was full of beginners like me, and we all moved together at an easy pace. After the lesson, I was able to chat with some new friends while attempting to dance every so often. It was the first time I was able to sit around, laugh, and relax with a group of people that term. I immediately regretted that I hadn't joined the club my freshman year, or even at the beginning of the semester.

So with that regret in mind, I want the ballroom dance club to be the thing I can count on when it comes to getting rid of some stress. I’m not interested in being a hotshot (at least for now), but I want to be in a group of people who are all interested in coming together to have fun in a healthy way. While I’m probably still going to be super nervous during exams, and school will always come first, I at least know that I’m going to keep my Tuesday and Thursday nights free so I can go dance.