“Sébastien! Come dance with us,” yelled some girl I’ve never met before, but she seemed to think she knew me well enough to drag to the front of the room.
This was my first AIESEC dance experience: full of awkwardness and confusion. I didn’t know where the concept of arbitrary dancing came from. Ever since that time, it was always a forced motion that I had to perform, simply because everyone around me was doing it. It wasn’t until last year during my exchange that I realized what AIESEC dancing is all about. I had the pleasure of meeting the Local Committee in Copenhagen, as I had contacted AIESEC UNIC (Universities of Copenhagen) once I learned that I’d be in the area for a while. They took me in, introduced me to the rest of the Local Committee, and at the their meeting, we danced. This was the moment that revealed to me just how big AIESEC really is. They knew all the same dances, had the same running jokes, and had a few traditions of their own that I immediately adopted.
These dances aren’t just a celebration of how AIESEC can break through borders, but it is something we all have in common. Language barriers, cultural differences, and lack of familiarity can create an awkward stalemate between people where no one wants to make the first move and get to know the other person. AIESEC dances break that barrier; we may not all speak the same language, but we all know the same dances. Each choreographed move raises the members’ spirits. It doesn’t matter if you’re an introvert or an extrovert, an engineering major or a creative writing major, from North America or from Asia—these dances are a way for us to share a moment, however brief, where we are all where we are supposed to be. When AIESECers are dancing together it feels as if all in the world is good. So look for me on the dance floor or at a meeting, because I’ll be dancing my heart out.
By Sébastien Monzón Rueda, Outgoing Exchange