By Sabrina Hsu
Everyone enters freshmen year of college with a mixture of anticipation and apprehension – I was no different. Growing up as an international student, transferring from school to school in itself wasn’t as intimidating as knowing it would take a while to integrate into the already-established friend groups in the school. So when I entered USC, I put all my hopes into the Fall Semester Involvement Fair, wishing for an organization that would catch my eye and help me find a group of people with common interests. Out of all the clubs and activities I joined, Dance-Off was the one I had least expectations for, but it is not an exaggeration to say it was the one that changed my life.
KASA Dance-Off is a competition for fall semester freshmen dancers with all levels of experience. As someone who never danced hip-hop before, I went to the first dance workshop with no intention of staying for the rest of the semester. But the passionate and family-oriented atmosphere that surrounded me when I danced with this group of people drew me in, and before I knew it, I was looking forward to the workshops every week. Of course, it was tough – two weeks before competition we practiced dance more than we did anything else, including sleeping and eating. But ultimately, our success during the competition, and the bonding and friendship that came out of the hours and hours of practice and “suffering” were worth it.
Continue reading Turning Dreams Into Reality through USC’s “Dance Off”
By Hanako Tjia (MSW Candidate 2016)
Having just moved to Los Angeles from Toronto, I was looking forward to all the American-style road trips I would have during my summer vacation. Of the ones I went on, the most memorable trip was my get-away to the Electric Daisy Carnival (aka EDC), an epic three day music and performance-driven extravaganza located at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The annual EDC features all sorts of entertainment, from Electronica music to carnival rides to circus-like performances to interactive art installations. On top of witnessing a visually spectacular scene, from the moment you walk in, you are surrounded by and fully immersed in the Electronica music culture from which EDC originally emerged – the principle of P.L.U.R (Peace, Love, Unity and Respect). With that said, EDC was beyond my expectations. 35,000 people attended this music celebration, taking over the Las Vegas Strip during the day and the Motor Speedway at night.
Continue reading Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect at EDC
By Leanne Park
There were a couple murmurs, but no one raised their voice. It was a warm August night, way too warm for the 50 or so of us to be learning a hip hop dance on the third floor of a parking structure and yet, there we were. With sweat dripping down everyone’s faces, everyone seemed focused on learning the audition piece, but no one seemed particularly frustrated. Everyone except for me, that is.
Brows furrowed and lips pursed in irritation, I probably did not look approachable by any means. I had danced all throughout high school, even performing at pep rallies in front of hundreds of students, but, at the time of this audition, I hadn’t danced for two years and it was hitting me pretty hard that my skills had turned rusty. Even though it was the first of three audition days for USC’s competitive dance team, Chaotic 3, and we had two more days to practice the dance before the actual audition, my heart sank as unflagging doubt seized and took over my initial hopes of making the team.
I contemplated not going through with the final audition. I discussed it with multiple people, complaining about how hard the piece was, and voicing my doubts. However, something told me not to give up that easily. I was a transfer student who fought for my admission to USC and I was determined to make the most of my two years as a Trojan. In my head, I imagined myself being on a USC dance team and I knew that I would hate myself forever if I didn’t at least try. So for the next two days, I practiced the dance feverishly, watched the video of the choreographer a million times, and performed it in front of any and every mirror that I came upon. I wanted to impress the team more than ever. Continue reading “And 1, 2, 3, and 4. Any questions?”