The wonderful thing about Swarthmore is that there are many things to do on campus. Students find a variety of activities to do on campus at all hours of the day. One of these activities/clubs is Rhythm N’ Motion (RnM).
I joined RnM my freshman fall and have stuck with them for the last two years. When I got to Swat, I really wanted to do something that would let me perform and showcase my talents. That’s when I found RnM. I watched some of their videos on YouTube (shameless plug—here’s our channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/RnMDanceCo) and loved seeing every piece performed. I knew that I needed to join this group.
To give a little background about RnM, we are a Tri-Co dance group. This means we have students not only from Swarthmore, but from Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges. We alternate our rehearsals between Bryn Mawr and Swarthmore every week, and we get to eat at each other’s dining hall (which is a huge plus, since Bryn Mawr food is A+). Our group concentrates on putting underrepresented dance styles at the forefront and making sure they stem from the African Diaspora. This can include things like jazz, hip-hop, rap, and anything that stems from these styles of dance and music. At the end of each semester, we perform all of our pieces at the Lang Performing Arts Center (LPAC) in front of at least 200 people for each show.
My freshman year I was nervous to even dance. I had no kind of professional dance training or education and, honestly, my experience was being on a step team and learning Janet Jackson, Britney Spears, or any pop diva’s choreography. However, RnM gave me a sense of confidence and comfort to actually put myself out there and challenge my body to move in ways that I didn’t even know could move. The shows that we put on make me excited to be able to show the campus what this dance group can do. Here’s a video of Beyon-Slay, the first piece Naomi and I choreographed together:
I was definitely put up to the challenge later on that same year when a friend, Naomi, and I decided to choreograph for the first time. We decided to make a piece using “Naughty Girl” and “Bow Down” by Beyonce and it was scary for us, considering we were freshmen and this was our first piece. It was such a learning process and, in the end, we created a piece that even the seniors loved! The piece continued to be used, even for our auditions the next semester, and we performed it a second time at Haverford’s Fall Dance Showcase.
Fast forward to the present, I am now a secretary and a frequent choreographer for RnM. I love every second of being able to show the newer members the ropes. RnM has given me a family outside of academics and I love hanging out and dancing with them. They have given me a space to create and show to this campus the kind of dance and inspirations that rule my life. I would have never gotten to do this at any other institution comfortably. Joining Rhythm N’ Motion is probably one of the best decisions that I have made here on this campus.