Students overcome fears and inhibitions through dance


Jannelle Mattson and Matthew Marshall join hands as the music plays and glide through their steps as dancers of varying skill level move around the floor.

The dancers demonstrate years of practice, training, and familiarity in a beautiful display of dance performance. While Mattson and Marshall have invested time throughout the years in dance, they share a common trait with those gathered with them on the dance floor – a love of dance.

Some of the dancers are only beginning to learn the steps while others have been dancing for much of their lives. These varying levels of skill are one thing that makes the club so unique.

“The dancing is learned but there is also a lot of skill,” Mattson, a civil engineering major from Oregon City, Ore., said. “I’m a big believer that you can learn anything if you put in enough hard work. Sometimes it takes longer to learn the steps, but if it’s something you want to learn then do it.”

Mattson said that although she was afraid to dance at first, she has overcome her fear, found a new passion and learned valuable lessons along the way.

“It teaches you a lot about posture, presentation and how to have fun,” she said. “I was scared to death to dance, but I fell in love with it so I just kept doing it!”

However, this love for dance is not just shared by women. Matthew Marshall, a mechanical engineering major from Bountiful, said he took dance classes with his sister growing up. Though, he insists no one has be an expert to join the club.

“I try to recommend (the club) to anyone,” Marshall said. “I can’t say that they have ever come, but I am very adamant about getting people to come, regardless of whether or not they can dance.”

Josue Abarca, a recent graduate of the Marriott School of Management from Oakland, Calif., said that he enjoys the dance instruction because the lessons are dependent upon the skill level of the dancers.

“In other clubs there is just one lesson for everyone,” Abarca said.

Although he said that other BYU Dance clubs he has attended are fun, BYU’s Social Dance Club stands out from the rest because anyone can learn and have a good time regardless of dancing abilities.

“It’s more custom-made for your skill,” Abarca said. “If someone wants a new hobby where they can meet people, or if you are worried about not knowing how to dance at all, I would start out at this club, and don’t let (it)  scare you!”

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