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I do some pretty random things, but recently I did something I could have never predicted a few months ago: I put on a jingly hip-scarf and all the glittery things I owned and danced in front of a crowded room of people. This semester I took a Middle Eastern dance class, and as part of our grade we had to perform with all the other dance classes at an end-of-semester showing. Considering that my last formal dance experience was as a four-year-old ballerina, this was something completely out of the ordinary for me. My friend Elizabeth and I made a semi-impulsive decision to sign up for the class early this semester, because we wanted to try out dance yet quickly decided we didn't want to commit to one of the on-campus groups. Luckily, there are a ton of 2-credit courses offered in the dance department, so we figured why not? After comparing our schedules and seeing which classes still had spots left, we registered for Middle Eastern dance.

The class itself was unlike anything else I've taken in college. In addition to learning a ton of belly-dance moves, we also did a lot of unrelated (yet fun!) activities. During midterms week, we had an entire class period devoted to meditation. We all spread out on the floor with a ton of blankets and followed along with our instructor's guided imagery. It was a fantastic stress reliever, and I'm pretty sure I even fell asleep at one point! Another day, our teacher was sick, so we had another dance instructor come in and give us a Pilates lesson. It was a great workout, and really fun! I think one of my favorite days, however, was the time we all brought in markers and crayons, listened to Middle Eastern music, and drew whatever came to mind. Not your typical college assignment by any means, but I love coloring, so I'm not complaining!

The majority of days we spent learning various moves and choreography for three different dances. We performed two of them at the end-of-semester show, and for the second one, I got to play the drums! Though I was nervous, it was so fun to be able to dress up, dance, and show off what we had worked so hard on in class. Looking back on this semester, it was pretty insane (in the best way possible!). In addition to being involved in clubs and working at my on-campus job, I took 22.5 credits—way more than the standard 16! There were definitely times when I felt overwhelmed, but looking back on it all, I'm so happy I decided to take Middle Eastern dance, and I'm already making plans with my friends to take dance next fall when I get back from Argentina!

A little blurry, but this is our veil dance!

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