Student Groups’ Spotlight – Macewan University in motion

May 30, 2024 | Student Groups Spotlight

Welcome to Student Group Spotlight! Every month, we will feature a different student group to demonstrate the many diverse groups we have at MacEwan and how they all contribute to a vibrant, thriving community on our campus.

Meet the MacEwan University in Motion Club! We sat down with their president to discuss what this club is, how you can join, and the perks of joining a recreational club.

SAMU: Hi, welcome to the Student Group Spotlight. Let’s get started by telling me about yourself.

Lauren: Hi, I’m Lauren Banesco, the president of the MacEwan Univeristy in Motion club. I’m in my third year of the bachelor of commerce program, majoring in marketing and minoring in digital experience design.

SAMU: What is the MacEwan University in Motion Club (MUM), and what do you do?

Lauren: We are a student-run dance club! We meet twice a week to work on various dance styles and take turns leading the class. This year, we were in a few competitions, so we got to choreograph and rehearse our own routines each week. This club actually started a few years ago, before the pandemic. Still, the pandemic took a toll on it, so when I joined back in 2021, there were only five members since many of them had graduated or moved on, so I helped to revitalize the club and get it to where it is today.

SAMU: Why did you decide to join the club? What’s your favourite part about being a member?

Lauren: I grew up dancing. My mom was a dancer, and my sister and I danced, so dancing has always been a big part of my life. When researching post-secondary schools, I looked to see if they had a dance club. I checked out the SAMU website and found MUM, so I reached out to them on Instagram to learn more and was invited to the auditions, where I joined the group. My favourite part about being a member is the community. The girls in this club are fantastic. I’ve made some of my best friends through university from this club. It’s hard to make friends at school, so having a shared interest is very helpful, and it’s a good stress reliever and something fun to look forward to.

SAMU: How can students join your club? What kind of commitment is expected from them?

Lauren: We typically hold auditions in the fall after the Student Group Expo around the last week of September. At the Expo, we’ll have information sheets and videos playing so students can see our dance difficulty level and ask questions before the auditions. We hold the auditions over two days, and students can RSVP for one of the days. The auditions consist of a warm-up period, and then we teach a small combo for them to perform at the end. You also won’t be performing alone; the smallest group we do is four or five people. It’s free to audition, so students should come and try out. Even if you’re not sure you will make it, it will be a fun experience! For commitment, we are looking for passionate students who want to be involved. People who have been dancing since they were young and want to continue it and keep going at the senior level. We hold practices every Tuesday and Thursday from six to nine in the evening, and commitment is essential to us, so we expect all our members to be at every practice possible.

SAMU: That sounds like a fun process. Where do you host your practices?

Lauren: Our practice spaces are on campus to ensure all our members can easily make it to practice every week! We have two practice spaces, a studio behind the MacEwan gym and a dance studio in Allard Hall.

SAMU: Wow, those spaces must be lovely. Do you have any tips for students looking to audition?

Lauren: Don’t be nervous. I remember that when I auditioned, I was so nervous for no reason. Everyone there is super friendly, and it’s a judge-free zone, so just come out and do your best!

SAMU: What classes and events do you host and participate in? What has your favourite one been so far?

Lauren: We performed in February with Edmonton Dance Eurythmic at their showcase along with other independent dance groups around the city. It was so much fun. Most of us hadn’t been on stage since the pandemic, so it was nice to be there, hang out and see all our hard work in action. I couldn’t stop smiling. It was definitely my favourite event. We are also heading to our first two competitions in April, which will be our first time competing as MUM! We occasionally host drop-in classes on campus and these are for beginners who are looking to get into dance.

SAMU: How has being a part of this community affected your university experience?

Lauren: Being a part of this group has really enhanced my University experience. When I first joined, I was so nervous, and most of my first-year classes were online, so I didn’t know anybody on campus. This group helped me get my foot in the door to meet everyone, and now they are all my best friends. It’s nice to connect with people with interests similar to yours and to be a part of something recreational and unrelated to your career and academics, so it becomes somewhere you can relax, exercise, get away from stress and enjoy the moment. It was also nice to start from the bottom and work my way up in the club. It taught me a lot about leadership and marketing when trying to market this club to students, as well as responsibility since we deal with a lot of finance and people rely on us. It was stressful, but it has taught me valuable skills that I will use in my professional career.

SAMU: What would you say to someone considering joining a Student Group?

Lauren: For our group, if you’re interested in dancing or grew up dancing and feel like there are no opportunities since you’ve left high school, come audition in the fall! For any student group, don’t be shy and put yourself out there; you never know what will happen unless you try.

SAMU: Anything you want to say to students before we end, anything to promote or keep an eye out for?

Lauren: Send us a message on Instagram @macuinmotion. We’re pretty active on there, so if you have any questions or want to chat, reach out. And keep an eye out when we post about auditions and the Student Groups Fall Expo!

You can connect with the MacEwan University in Motion Club on social media through Instagram @macuinmotion.

Follow SAMU on social media through Instagram (@sa_macewan), Twitter (@SAMacEwan), and Facebook (Students’ Association of MacEwan University) to stay up to date on the latest events, programs, and services from your students’ association.
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