There is an incredible range of dance and performance groups on campus. So, if you like to dance, odds are you’ll find a group that fits your style and technical background, while simultaneously finding a fun group of friends. Some are more focused on technique, while others heavily emphasize student-choreographed pieces and artistic creation. Some are entirely student-run, while others have professional artistic directors and teachers that help with performances.
I was part of Penn Ballet during my freshman and sophomore years. My involvement in the group enabled me to continue the classical ballet training I had during high school. It was a truly enriching experience, and there were many opportunities to step up and take on managing and artistic leadership roles within the group.
However, I sometimes missed what Ballet gave me before coming to Penn: the possibility of being away from the frenzy of everyday life to focus exclusively on dancing (merely because I was on campus while we rehearsed).
A close friend of mine, who at the time taught yoga lessons on campus, recommended I look into options downtown. As I searched, discovered academies and schools where I could go take lessons more focused on technique than performance. I tried a couple places and soon found 1 or 2 that I really enjoyed. The classes are taken alongside some of Philadelphia’s best dancers and taught by incredible teachers. Additionally, there is something very special about walking downtown every now and then, getting away from campus and occasionally even going to a café to study before or after class. It became a space where I could think and reflect with a new set of clarity and continue to pursue one of my greatest passions.
As I write this post, I am reminded that the list of things to do in Philly is long and diverse. I have opportunities to explore the city right at my finger tips that range form visiting a museum to taking a run along the river. Though at times it seems hard to take the time to explore these options, I have discovered it is definitely worth the effort!