Joel and Clara Marasigan

The Spirit of UBC


ubcdanceclubOn the Friday evening, as we sat at our usual table on the short wall of the UBC Gala Ball, Michel Guimond (a good friend of ours and judge at the event) turned around and asked Joel and me, “Did you ever compete in the Newcomer Club Closed events when you were at UBC?”  I replied, “Yeah, I sure did!!!”  Believe it or not, I was part of that crazy group of students who did their first competition ever at the UBC Gala Ball after their Newcomer year at the Dance Club!

For so many of us, the UBC Dance Club is where we first discovered our passion for dance.  For me personally, I owe the Club A LOT!  If it weren’t for the Dance Club, I would never have met Joel (my partner in life and in dance); I would not have traveled the world and met so many fantastic and inspiring people; and I would not be doing what I enjoy so much today, which is spreading the love of dance to everyone I possibly can!

The UBC Dance Club holds such great memories for me.  I remember the good old days, when I’d burst out of my evening lab, run across campus and race up the stairs as fast as I could, just so I could learn the new steps of the day.  Back then, doing my first Underarm Turn on that grimy SUB Ballroom floor was the most exhilarating thing ever…especially after being cooped up in the classroom and library all day!

Even if you didn’t start dancing at the UBC Dance Club, think back to when you first started.  Remember that feeling of excitement of learning something new?  For me, it was a thrilling sensation all over, much like a first date (…a good one, that is)!  It’s so exciting and new, that you just don’t want it to end.  You are sad when you have to leave, but you look forward to when you’ll meet again.  And if it’s a really good guy that you’re dating, you just keep coming back for more!

Imagine a bunch of students like me, intensely hooked on dancing, all packed together in the SUB Ballroom… and there you’ve got the essence of UBC Dance Club!  Most of us really crazy ones (like Joel and myself) end up being on the executive board, simply because we have so much enthusiasm about dancing that we don’t know what else to do with it.  We need some sort of release, because we are just exuding with excitement!

2009 UBC Dance Club Executive

2009 UBC Dance Club Executive, Photo taken by Raymond Chou

This energy, enthusiasm and spirit of the Club is what drives the UBC Gala Ball each year.  What an amazing feat for a group of students who are busy with full course-loads at school and many of them with their own practice schedules on top of that.  Every year, there is a gang of about 16 plus students who are working towards degrees in Pharmacy, Engineering, Psychology, Political Science or various others.  Most of them don’t have any experience organizing such a large-scale event, but somehow, year after year, they manage to pull it off!

This year was no exception.  In fact, I felt that the student executives of the Dance Club did a fantastic job this time!  The UBC Gala Ball was well-attended, professionally done (with the behind-the-scenes commotion kept well under wraps) and full of energy and enthusiasm that only a bunch of crazy kids are able to generate.

As I’m sure many of you will agree, one of the things that really sets the UBC Gala Ball apart is the FUN events!  If you weren’t there on Friday evening, you missed a heck of a good time!  I am very proud to say that it was the executive that I was a part of (back in 1998, in which Joel was President) that started the crazy FUN events.  I am glad to see that the tradition has continued (although there’s a little less cross-dressing these days, but it’s still all good)!

Obviously, Joel and I have a personal attachment to the UBC Dance Club.  Our roots run deep, especially since it’s the place where we first starting dancing and where we first met.  We support the Club in all its endeavors, and especially its annual UBC Gala Ball. To show our support, we have sponsored the Gala Ball for the past 3 years, ever since we started teaching there.

The Gala Ball may not be perfect; it may not be as well-run as competitions that are professionally organized by the same people year after year; but you’ve got to admit that each year, the student executive of the Club meet up with the challenge, give it their best, and put on a successful event for all of us to enjoy.  Even with all the obstacles and setbacks that the Club experiences each year, it is able to sustain the essence of what the Club is all about … which in my opinion… is to have FUN dancing!!!

Congratulations to the Club for another successful event, and we hope that everyone will join us in supporting the UBC Gala Ball in 2010 and for many years to come!

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