“You only get out what you put in”.
This is the defining mindset that many feel makes Swansea Dance Society unique. To enjoy the society to the fullest, we encourage people to get involved: try a new style, teach a class, run for committee or participate in our socials or charity weeks.
We feel the past year has brought out the best in our society. It’s taught us that our society’s success isn’t defined by the number of classes, the wildest socials or the competitions won. We’re defined by the dedication, commitment and perseverance of the people in our society, and this has shone through more than ever.
“Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity – not a threat”
The word on everyone’s mind over this past year has been ‘unprecedented’. Without a doubt, this year created challenges that made us rethink what we could and couldn’t do. But across the society, there’s been a willingness to be flexible and innovative that’s enabled us to push forward and make a difference. We’ve designed a new dance logo, introduced new additions to our merchandise, made the difficult change to teach classes online and changed our annual showcase to account for social distancing and mask-wearing.
Dancing through a pandemic
This year, we’ve been socialising and dancing with each other virtually.
Socials are a big part of the way people connect in any society, and this opportunity hasn’t been lost over the past year. We’ve hosted a range of online socials such as: Freshers 90s/00s themed quiz, Valentine’s Cooking Evening, Glow Up Night and Online Games Social.
Our events have also looked different, and we’ve been thinking out-of-the-box to keep our society active, engaging and supportive of our member’s well-being. For example, we’ve been enjoying weekly Yoga & Coffee Mornings since January, led by members of our committee. This has been a great way to de-stress and socialise with other dancers. Our YouTube channel has been active this year, as we’ve worked together to choreograph and edit videos to take part in online events such as Swansea University’s Centenary Celebrations, the Virtual Variety Show, SU Instagram Takeover, Virtual Taster Day, Saint David’s Day Celebrations and Virtual Dance Competitions.
Charity is at the heart of many of our events and is an important motivation for our society. The challenges of this year have pushed us to be creative. Our selected charity for the year is Llamau, who aim to eradicate homelessness for young people and vulnerable women. We raised £162 during our ‘Clash of the Committee’ Online Event, where teams filmed and choreographed a dance to go head-to-head for members’ votes. We also submitted a group dance video to motivate participants during Llamau’s annual Stay-Up event.
Other charity work included raising money for Sea Life Trust through an online quiz and competition, and our Valentine’s Cooking Social fundraising for the New Pathways Charity.
The Swansea University Dance Society are honoured and grateful to be recognised as Society of the Month. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the whole society who have stepped up in such challenging times. We are looking forward to welcoming you back to face-to-face dancing, events and socials soon.
So, thank you to the organisers, the participants, the teachers, the members for such an exciting, inclusive and fun society. Your commitment and active participation have made these events and ideas so successful. This award is for you all!
Photo credit cc by nc Dan Craggs 4.0