The first thing I noticed when I walked into the Curtin Dance Society was the atmosphere, as people from all over the university and beyond came together to enjoy a common love for the art. Right from the start, I felt like I belonged, and from salsa to ballroom, bachata to hip-hop, the Curtin Dance Society presents an opportunity for anyone and everyone to come and train their skills.
For some, though, it goes far beyond that. Sanjeev Ravindran Sunnie, who has been with the club as a teacher for about two years, believes the environment of the club goes beyond dancing.
“The main part of this club is creating a family,” he says.
“Creating a family at university whereby everyone in the club is friends is very important and the Dance Club really has that.”
Currently sitting at over 300 members, each session will see anywhere from 30 to 50 people show up to take part in whatever style is on the menu for the night. While the teachers for the class will often rotate between the committee members and organisers in (Anna Banai, Angelo Garcia and Ravindran himself), this isn’t always the case.
On exchange from the Czech Republic for the semester, Management student Karolína Andělová discovered the club through the Student Guild website, and in the short time she has been here, she has fallen in love with the culture and people themselves.
“It’s been amazing with the guys since I found the club,” she says.
“You just come in and everybody is so friendly, and they immediately take you in as a part of it. No one will make you feel bad if you’re not good because everyone knows you’re trying your hardest.”
Former competitive dancer Karolína Andělová (centre) teaches the class the basics of the jive style.
No matter the form or style, the club has earned the culture it continues to cultivate, with no one looking out of place or not getting involved during the time I spent there for one of their sessions. Tall or short, fit or not, everyone had a place on the dance floor as they followed Andělová’s instruction.
For Jack Walton, who joined last year and has since become involved with the club’s committee, the culture and sense of family are some of the key aspects every club should strive to have, and it’s that connection he believes is the best part of the club.
“It’s really accepting, it doesn’t matter who you are,” he says.
“If you make a mistake it really doesn’t matter. You just have fun, and while I was so reluctant to come to another dance club [because of other dance club experiences], this club has just changed my whole perspective.”
The Curtin Dance Society operates out of Club HQ near the Curtin Tavern. They hold sessions every Monday and Wednesday night from 6 to 8pm.
Find out more information about them here: https://www.facebook.com/curtindancesociety/