On-campus activities offer break from daily routine


Photo: Rebekka Brown/Iowa State Daily

The Air Force Drill Team practices Thusday evening on the practice fields by the Molecular Biology building. This is one of the unique activities in which ISU students participate.

Edward Leonard

Last weekend marked an opportunity for me that few people get. When I told my friends about this opportunity, their universal reaction was awe and admiration. The words of one friend in particular — we shall call him Kevin — come to mind, “Dude that’s really gay.”

On Saturday I was a contestant in a ballroom dance competition. Kevin’s political incorrectness — and the fact the majority of the male contestants did possess a certain femininity — aside, it was an absolutely fantastic time.

Now I’m not the best dancer in the world, but I was able to move myself around the floor, dragging my hapless partner along with me, with enough grace to not get kicked out. But I also got to watch some truly phenomenal students strut their proverbial stuff in everything from Waltz to Salsa to the Hustle — yep, there is an actual ballroom hustle, and it’s done to techno.

How did I get this opportunity, you may ask? Excellent question. I did it through Cyclone Ballroom, a competitive ballroom club team. It’s a really fun group of students who teach each other how to dance various forms of ballroom, compete — very well, I might add — at dances around the nation and have a great time doing it.

As college students get into the meat of this semester and midterms rear their ugly heads, we begin to look for ways to deal with our increased stress levels. Now the general consensus on campus seems to be that going and getting hammered every Friday and Saturday night is the best solution to that. It’s true, that is definitely one way to handle it, but it’s not the only solution.

Ballroom has become mine, but it’s not for everyone. I personally love the idea of grabbing some random girl and twirling her around a dance-floor for a few hours, but I can see how some people might not be quite as keen. But Cyclone Ballroom is one of approximately one gazillion organizations on campus that offer some truly excellent activities to distract from the daily grind.

We all know that ClubFest happened already, as it does at the beginning of every semester. That’s all said and done, but many students didn’t get a chance to go and find out all of the opportunities they have as students here. ClubFest was at the beginning of the semester when everyone was just getting adjusted to their schedules, and it’s tough to figure out what nights of the week you can cram in another meeting.

But now it’s a different story, and most clubs are still, and pretty much always, open to new members. I didn’t go to ClubFest, but I heard about Cyclone Ballroom through a friend of mine. Keep your ear to the ground and you never know what you’ll find.

We have clubs for everything, no matter what your interest is. Everything from the already mentioned ballroom to swing dancing to skiing, and of course everyone’s favorite club, Cuffs — look it up, or don’t. It’s really incredible.

So if you’re one of those students who wants to spend every Saturday night inspecting bar stools, that’s OK. But if you want to get a little more creative, I encourage you to look around. Go to Central Campus and read some of the chalk-messages on the ground. Ask your friends what they do for fun. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find a new passion.

Or maybe just a bunch of guys twirling around in tight shirts.