UK 101: A Few Words of Thanks

Many people in UK 101 know how I like to show appreciation whenever possible, but I thought in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I would do a special post and show how thankful I am to my fellow teammates and friends.

Two years ago, I was a lost little freshman having no clue what I wanted to do with my life.  Then one night as I was walking back to my dorm, I found some people popping and doing body rolls to R&B music playing in the background – they were the coolest looking bunch I had ever seen on campus.  I had always been interested in this kind of dance but never got the chance to take classes.  I inched over to the other side of the studio and asked what this was all about.  They told me they’re Mason’s hip hop team, Urbanknowlogy 101.  Tryouts were next week and I decided to go check it out.

It was the first time I had been exposed to this kind of dancing, let alone auditioning to be a member on the team.  All I had were my ballet and jazz technical backgrounds to help me with picking up choreography so I wouldn’t look completely dumbfounded and overwhelmed.  Shocked is the best way to explain my reaction when I heard my number called for the group that made the cut.  Though, the excitement was short-lived when I realized how much work was required to stay on the team.  My priorities were elsewhere at the time, so I didn’t exactly focus on improving outside of practice, which caused me to fall behind and constantly feel insecure about my dancing.

With the help of older members, I was able to reevaluate what I really wanted out of this experience.  My ultimate desire was to perform, and the only way I could do so was to get out of my comfort zone and push myself.  Instead of telling myself I remembered things from practice so I could practice later, or that there was no way I could dance a certain style, I paid extra attention to the choreographers during practice and listened to the music on my own during my free time.  Come sophomore year, nothing made me happier than knowing that I could be on stage as a proud member of UK 101 with my teammates who worked just as hard to be in their spots.

When I began applying for the Taiwan scholarship earlier this year, I had very little knowledge of what I wanted to research about.  I knew I wanted to include business concepts with dance, but that was about it.  As time passed, I realized that UK 101 is a big reason why I like being at GMU so much.  This team is what keeps me motivated to do well in school, to perform at every opportunity possible, and to simply keep me happy.  And that’s when it hit me, that it is possible to travel the world, maintain a technical job, and live my passion as long as I enjoy what I’m doing and work hard for it.  Not only did UK 101 give me a group of friends who share the same love for what I do, but it allowed me to find what kind of career I would be pursuing in the future.  I’m always futuristic and worried about where I would be two years from where I currently stand, so it’s a big step for me to recognize a bigger goal to help me reach where I want to be.  Thank you UrbanKnowlogy 101.  You’ve truly made a difference in my life.

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