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Good Friends, Good Music, Good Dancing

Until Next Year, Comp Team

By Chelsea Visser

Change—it’s in the air this time of year. School is letting out. People are graduating. Television shows are airing, quite frankly, disappointing finales. There’s something palpable aside from the inevitable tension that comes from finals or graduation or lousy TV; there’s the sense that things are about to shift, and it’s good to take a moment to stop and reminisce.

This whole year, competitive team practice was a constant in my life: dancing an extra four to five hours on top of whatever else I was doing through the club, three days a week excluding outside practices. It was a bit frantic sometimes—I spent a good portion of beginner lessons trying to get through at least some homework—but it was time I wouldn’t have wanted to spend anywhere else.

So when the final comp team practice came around, it suddenly hit me: what the hell was I going to do with my Tuesdays and Thursdays? When was I going to see these people again? When practice came to a close, everyone stood around talking. Nobody wanted to be the first to leave. So when somebody suggested going to Annie’s, we all leapt at the opportunity.

Annie’s Parlour is a few blocks away, and I’m sure over half the dance team ended up walking down University Avenue, laughing and yelling back and forth across the street. We took over at least two huge tables, and everybody spent a good few minutes trying to find the perfect seat. A bunch of us ordered malts, splitting the huge shakes with someone else nearby, which of course led to good-natured arguments over what flavor to get, who would share with whom, etc.

The chatter went on through malts and fries and burgers, and I couldn’t help taking a minute to look around the room. I nearly hadn’t tried out for comp team—I hadn’t been dancing long, and the idea of actually competing was terrifying—but now, I couldn’t picture anything else. These people swapping stories, laughing, and debating something or other were ridiculous and talented and some of my very best friends on campus. And some of them weren’t coming back.

We had a lot of fun dancing for hours and then dancing some more, or trekking across town for ice cream, or squeezing together on a bus for hours at a time—okay, maybe fun doesn’t quite describe that last one, but still. I was going to miss them. We all ended up on the sidewalk outside Annie’s, hugging and promising that we’d all talk to each other again soon. Walking back down University, people split off in twos and threes, prompting more rounds of hugs and yelled goodbyes. It was bittersweet, especially when it was my turn to split off. Somewhere over the last year, this weird group of people had become something like family, and it was going to be a long summer without friends and foxtrot.

The important thing, I reminded myself, is that in a few months, most of us will be coming back and I’ll find myself surrounded once more by good friends, good music, and good dancing.