Dance Dance Sniff Sniff

The Third Term is traditionally a bad time for doing anything productive. There’s something about the combination of returning from an exceedingly long holiday devoid of any intellectual endeavours, the frigid winter weather, the highly anticipated Ser Season and the proliferation of Huisdanse that make the start of the Second Semester a Perfect Storm of work avoidance. Add to that the completely and utterly rational fears about H1N1 and you have an uphill battle to accomplish anything within the sphere of academics. This has been a particularly harrowing time for me as I am usually the first person to pick up any sort of flu or cold and the last person to get healthy again. I have a large amount of pride in that I have remained unaffected by illness throughout the past four weeks. It is my opinion that my uncharacteristic health has been due to my replacing all meals with oranges and religiously following the medical advice issued by the University which includes such gems as “Cough into the back of your elbow.” What wonderful advice. I’m not being sarcastic people; you should seriously be coughing into the back of your elbow. I have a dance coming up and I can’t afford to be struck down by your disease-carrying sputum when I should be partying it up.[1]  Getting sick after writing this article would be hugely ironic. Or maybe not. I’m not entirely sure what irony is.

Of all the factors inducing a lack of academic prestige in the Third Term those Dances are most to blame. They create a nightmare scenario of Maties students either joyfully hopping from one generic dance venue to another, eating the same meals over and over again or sitting at home in your pyjamas wishing their lives contained more generic dance venues and repetitive meals. Either way it’s not conducive to a productive work environment.  Luckily for those not gifted with the good looks and sokkie-feet that ensure a hundred huisdans invites, there are other ways to entertain yourself.

Despite the fears associated with large assemblies of people in this day and age, I managed to survive a sleep-over in the Neelsie and obtain much sought after Ser Final Tickets; items so valuable some are able to trade them for ridiculous amounts of money, a Huisdans date or an offer of marriage. The show itself was highly entertaining for a number of different reasons[2] and aside from the inconvenience of having “I Got A Feeling” permanently burned into my brain, I had a great time. I was most impressed by the choreography of the groups. After a couple of practice sessions at various 21st Events I can just about recreate most of the Pieke Ser’s Dance moves, a skill that will hopefully aid me in not looking like a complete idiot while dancing. This is, of course, a huge problem. Guys inherently look like ill co-ordinated and inebriated ragdolls while dancing. Those of the Lady-persuasion do not suffer in the same way; they only need to lift their arms above their heads and they wouldn’t look out of place in an R&B music video. Watching Ser I realised that with a large group dressed up in matching outfits and pulling out choreographed moves to Black-Eyed Peas songs, it is a lot easier pass for cool. Unfortunately, buying matching outfits for all your closest friends and practicing your dance moves together over the weekend so that you can rip it up on the dance floor ends up making you look even less cool than you did on your own.

My dance strategy is simple: I approach the dance floor with the assumption that everything I do is going to end up looking pretty stupid anyway and then I make sure that my moves are the most ridiculous. That way when people comment on how stupid I look while I’m dancing I can say with complete sincerity: “It’s alright, I meant to dance like this. I’m being ironic.” At least I think I’m being ironic. I can never tell.

In all seriousness though, take care of yourselves and try to stay healthy.


[1] If you are ill and reading this in bed, I apologise for belittling your sputum and wish you a speedy recovery in a room as  far away from me as possible.

[2] “When I saw Sonop Ser I started believing in Polygamy” was one particularly passionate comment I overheard.


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