By: Munema Zahid
You’re sitting at the Khokha (in a reopened campus) and sipping on a cup of elaichi chai when a horde of students gather near you. Suddenly, “Haaye Dil” starts blasting from the speakers and they break out into a dance.
This flash mob would be one of the events the Dance Society of LUMS has envisioned for the year, in addition to a Theme Week, online dance lessons, and an interschool all-arts competition in collaboration with other societies. Founded at the start of the semester by Alina Anjum ‘22, the society aims to provide an all-inclusive platform for people who appreciate dance.
“We want [DanceLUMS] to be for everyone. Even if people aren’t a part of it, they can feel free to come up to us and volunteer as teachers or performers,” emphasises Wadood Ahmad ‘22, Vice President of Projects and Events at the society.
The society aims to promote physical and mental health, cultural inclusion, and artistic expression. In highlighting cultural inclusion, for example, it can bring together students from different cultures to teach each other their particular dances. This would encourage the intermixing of groups that are normally exclusive to their own culture, contributing to its ultimate goal of fostering a genuine sense of community.
At the individual level, Dr. Tehnyat Majeed, Adjunct Professor of History and the society’s patron, mentions how people can use group dance to explore specific themes that are important to them, from their daily lives to the pandemic. Not only will this help each dancer channel their emotions and experiences into art, but it can also act as social interaction by helping people be a part of something bigger than themselves.
“As human beings, we need to think of our moving forward together rather than individually,” she says.
Moreover, Anjum ’22 finds herself coming back to the therapeutic power of dance, as it helps you focus your attention solely on your movement. She says, “When I’m sad, when I’m doing nothing, when I need to work out, I just like dancing.”
During a time when everyone is plagued by stress and uncertainty, DanceLUMS may be able to provide the freedom of expression we need in order to ground ourselves.