By Maryna Barysheva
Editor: Mariia Lysikova
Photographer: Veronika Shevchenko
LCC Dancing Crew, an ongoing art initiative on campus, unites students of diverse backgrounds to combat common stereotypes about dancing.
With a hope of the club’s legacy to persevere for years after her graduation, Kateryna Hlova, a fourth-year International Relations and Development student from Ukraine and a leader of the dancing crew, shares her team’s vision.
“For us, the process of dancing extends far beyond the competition, being a form of artistic self-expression,” said Hlova. “It is one of the ways we give back to the LCC community, expressing our appreciation to the students, staff, and faculty.”
LCC dancing crew rehearsing the number before the performance
Hlova emphasized that her crew welcomes both newbies and dancing professionals, explaining that the current performance group includes people who spent their whole life dancing and those who just started in LCC.
Oleksandra Andriuschenko, a senior Communication student from Ukraine, joined the club during her freshman year without any prior dancing experience. For her, dancing seemed like a fun alternative to the gym in a company of people she knew.
“Scared and indecisive, I spent a lot of time studying during my first year at LCC, experiencing a lack of involvement,” shared Andriuschenko. “After joining the dancing crew, I decided to perform once, but, as you can see, I am here for 4 years already.”
Embracing the Body-Positivity Movement
As many young people are ashamed to dance because of body insecurities, LCC Dancing Crew fights for inclusion in dancing.
For Hlova, the club’s accessibility and openness to welcome new members remain the first priority and a definite determinant of the long-term mission.
“We want more people to join and understand that dancing is for everyone,” said Hlova. “As long as you’re blessed to hear the rhythm, you can dance.”
Though not fully aware of how to accept herself yet, Andriuschenko advises embracing one’s imperfections, recognizing that most outsiders don’t notice the little flaws.
“When you doubt yourself, accept the things you cannot change and work hard to improve whatever depends on you,” commented Andriuschenko.
Ksenia Ševcova, LCC Professor of English language and Public Speaking, agreed with Andriuschenko.
Ksenia Ševcova, LCC Professor of English Language and Public Speaking, at the dancing festival. Photo taken from Ksenia Ševcova’s personal archive
“Skinny people can be horrible dancers,” jokingly noted Ševcova. “Dancing is less about your body and more about the way you feel the music.”
Is There a Place for Dancing After Graduation?
Though full-time employment is a major change in the lifestyle, it does not hinder dancing enthusiasts from their hobby.
Combining a hectic work schedule and weekly Latin American dancing classes, Ševcova says that for her dancing is a way to relax, improve her mood, as well as maintain good physical and mental health.
“It is vital to have a hobby which adds colors and meaning to your life, ” said Ševcova. “Living only for your family or work will eventually kill the joy of life.”
Andriuschenko supported Ševcova’s opinion, sharing her plans to continue dancing after receiving her bachelor’s degree in May with a smile.
“If you really enjoy it, you will find time for any hobby,” said Andriuschenko.
What Does the Future Hold for Dancing Crew?
With the dancing veterans graduating in two months, the future of the dancing crew remains unclear.
Though inspired to pursue a career in politics, Hlova cannot hide strong emotional feelings attached to the group of girls she is leaving behind as she shares her farewell words before graduation.
LCC dancing crew sharing a group hug after the performance
“I really believe that the club will sustain its spirit, and girls will continue building meaningful relationships, transforming the way we see dance - without self-interest, without pride,” shared Hlova.
According to Hlova, the transformational power of art does not lay in precise movements or perfected skills.
“You can’t do art without love,” smiled Hlova.
Dancing is an art, and we put a piece of our heart into it.