Once upon a time, the lights of the Byre Theatre dimmed and the opening notes of Alice in Wonderland drifted out over the audience and pulled us down the rabbit hole into a wonderland of dance. The annual DanceSoc Showcase began with a brilliant introduction piece performed by the teachers and committee that tantalized me with snippets of each style of dance about to be performed that evening. Too quickly, the words Beginners Jazz flashed on the screen along with a video introducing the class. I love the idea of this quick overview, but as someone who didn’t have a program, it would have been nice to have the name of the class and their dance stay up a bit longer on the screen.
For all those who have somehow missed watching a showcase in the past, the DanceSoc Final Showcase is a spectacular display of talent and heart as each dance class offered at the university gets to perform a piece highlighting their individual style while maintaining the theme of the entire show. This year, the theme is Once Upon a Time, which will encapsulate our favorite stories from the Wizard of Oz to Boy meets World in 27 dances with more than 9 different styles represented. Hannah, the show’s director, insists that anyone, regardless of personal experience with dance, should come along to marvel at the familiar characters taking shape on stage and enjoy this unique way of experiencing old stories.
It has always amazed me how expressive the human body can be: the slow curve of the back, the fold of the legs, even the flip of a ponytail can convey the bitter sorrow of heartbreak or the uncontainable joy of freedom. There is such power and tension in each sinew, in every aching stretch of muscle and the name Surface Tension was perfect for this beautifully well-choreographed, emotionally charged showcase of 5 incredible dances.
Nobody likes Valentines Day. I mean maybe, somewhere out there in the corners of the universe, there is that one person, but most of us somewhat sane people rather despise the day. It’s kind of awkward for everyone; couples feel the pressure to do something cheesy and romantic while single people down bottles of wine and tubs of ice cream in relief that the torture of avoiding all red, heart-shaped items can finally be over. Plus, we can’t forget all those miserable fools lost in undefined and complicated things; do you say Happy Valentines Day or is that going way too far into the land of vomitrocious couples do and thus you guys can’t do?
It’s that time of year again when I’m really quite thankful purple is one of my favorite colors. All around the town, dedicated volunteers sporting their dark purple t-shirts are putting on various performances, activities, and events to raise money for three amazing charities: Families First St Andrews, Macmillan Cancer Support, and Medecins Sans Frontiers. These Willy Wonka colored volunteers belong to the team running RAG week, an abbreviation for Raising and Giving Week, which officially started on Saturday night with their launch party in the Main Bar of the Union.
At least my death will probably make the papers: maybe not CNN, but definitely my hometown’s Libertyville Review ‘cause I’m tragically adorable enough. These were the thoughts running through my head as the small-enough-to-see-the-cockpit, rickety “plane” jerked and dipped its way through the roaring polar winds towards our destination somewhere north of the Arctic Circle. Peering fearfully downwards through the biting sheets of icy flakes, I gulped at the jagged, white peaks pointed threateningly up towards us like the teeth of a terrifying snow monster; being eaten by a creature of ice was not exactly how I envisioned this trip going.
Students on a typical Friday are usually running out of lectures dreaming of shots and games of Ring of Fire. On this particular Friday, however, the distinguished meeting room in Lower College Hall was filled with students in clean-cut power suits and work dresses. The occasion for such business attire was The Carnegie Club’s IDEAS conference, an event where students could learn and get advice from the great minds currently spearheading education, business, and charity. Chatting amicably, the attendees were each given a notebook, pen, bottle of water, and well-designed schedule, a nice touch that gave the event an official, polished feel. Almost right on time, the president of The Carnegie Club, Hendrik Geiger, strolled onstage and delivered some quick opening remarks, explaining how the theme of this conference was born from the dictum of its namesake, Andrew Carnegie. Carnegie’s advice was:
Sometimes after a particularly pointless lecture or a failed internship application, I feel terribly unprepared for the real world after university. I may be able to string together 2000 words about international relations theory, but I lack knowledge about acing interviews or networking efficiently. Luckily for me and anyone else out there that feel like we need a few tips about preparing for the future, The Carnegie Club of St. Andrews is hosting an IDEAS Conference on Friday, October 17th from 9:30-4pm in Upper and Lower College Hall. For only £18, the conference aims to help students learn how to innovate their future, getting advice from leaders in education, business, and charity like Per Hillström from Morgan Stanley and Lauren Currie from Hyper Island. The conference will be composed of three panels: Education, Business, and Charity; the inspiration for the three panels comes from the dictum of the club’s namesake businessman, philanthropist, and Lord Rector of the University in 1901, Andrew Carnegie. His advice was:
You know you’re long overdue for a holiday when you find yourself wanting to dump freshly-brewed coffee over the third person that uses a latte related pick-up line on you. Granted, I worked at a Dunkin Donuts drive-thru in a gas station so I wasn’t attracting the classiest of clientele, but still: calling me as hot as a chai latte isn’t going to work. Luckily for my sanity, a relaxing vacation in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic was fast approaching. Armed with plenty of sunscreen, we arrived to an over-crowded hut lacking air conditioning and crammed to the tip-top of its thatched roof full of tourists. After buckets of sweat had been expelled, we finally piled into a large van to be whisked away to our resort, Now Larimar.
On a clear, sunny day, the rolling fields around St. Andrews feel rustic and charming, a beautiful backdrop against the grandeur of old stone buildings and 600 years of history. On days when creeping fog tiptoes its way around town however, the ghostly haze transforms the fields into an abandoned-looking wasteland. Given the weather, early Wednesday morning saw many frantic CROSSWALK attendees attempting to sell their tickets online. As I chatted with people on the bus ride to Kinkell Byre, many expressed their exhaustion after Freshers’ Week and a slight reluctance to start drinking again, especially at 2pm.