186 South College

grab your coffee, sit back and hang out with the UD Honors Program for a while

“A Duty to Dance” by Caleb Owens

Throughout my life, I’ve always had difficulty managing my innate desire to dance. Perhaps the urge goes back to childhood road trips, restrained by a seat belt while watching High School Musical on a loop and wanting nothing more than to “bop to the top.” Maybe the film Happy Feet kickstarted my early desires to dance. Regardless, at some point in my early development I acquired an irrepressible need to let my limbs loose at the sound of catchy music, wherever and whenever that may be. Unfortunately, the rest of the world couldn’t relate.

I never had much desire to pursue formal dancing of any kind. Attending my sister’s tap dance and hip hop recitals left me with a distaste for choreographed dancing (although they did create a special place in my heart for Mariah Carey’s Christmas album). I found the “grinding” method frequently employed at high school dances to be useless. What I was looking for was the kind of formless, liquefied dancing seen on the old iPod Nano commercials. Purposeless, liberating, free. I gave it a try, and after a few perplexed stares I ended up with an inhibition that prevented me from dancing publicly, despite my strongest inclinations to do so.

Years went by, and I gradually regressed into a danceless state. I lost touch with the passion of my youth, my movements becoming expressionless and robotic. I never even gave dancing a thought. That is, until I stepped foot into Russell Dining Hall.

With Caesar Rodney Dining hall and its elite status in the world of UD cuisine, I would at first walk by Russell with disapproving glances. In fact, I would openly degrade the dining hall. But in a Pauline form of conversion one morning, my blindness was lifted.

In an overslept panic, I came to terms with hypocrisy and rushed into Russell. I darted to the oatmeal section, haphazardly tried to pour myself a cup of coffee, and sat down. Amidst all of this mental and physical commotion, I realized that my head was bobbing to the beat of Beyonce’s “Love on Top.” I looked down and noticed that my legs began to move as well. Before I knew it, I had surrendered myself to the melodious magic of Beyonce and was standing up dancing. The retro atmosphere of the dining hall simply fueled my movements, and in a rapturous release I was vindicated of all of those years of dancing repression. I simply didn’t care who say, and continued to dance for the whole day.

On that day, I realized I made the right college decision. All uncertainty was erased, and I knew that, if I can dance here, I can thrive.

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1 Comment

  1. Love this! UD will always be a place where you can dance your heart out. <3

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