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It’s that time of the school year again. You spent hours sitting in the registrar’s office, emailing professors about getting off waitlists, and running to and from Book Culture in the rain. You think you can relax this weekend, catch up on sleep, maybe hit the gym again—only to be swamped with emails from clubs about auditions. Ah yes; the stress of applying to various student organizations and clubs begins.

Want to know what auditions are like? Spectrum got you covered. Read on to learn about one of our staff writer’s audition experience.

It was 10 p.m. on a weekday night and I was on the floor attempting to do a split. Attempting being the key word. “Why?” You may ask. It all started at the activities fair…

I was just about to leave the jam-packed Butler lawns when I heard my favorite RiRi song blasting nearby. I followed the music and reached Onyx’s table. Onyx describes itself as “Columbia University's only women's hip-hop dance group” and as “a collective of empowered women united by our love for hip-hop dance.” After talking to the group of beautiful, powerful women, I had no doubt I wanted to try out. Especially since they emphasized that “no preparation or experience was necessary” and that “all dance backgrounds” were welcome.

Fast forward to the night of the audition. I wasn’t nervous in the slightest. I showed up in casual workout gear, expecting a chill session of dancing, talking, getting to know the team. I was surprised to find an entire group of girls with numbers taped to their chest flexing, jogging in place, and doing a split. The environment was intense, to say the least.

I suddenly felt my entire body tense up. But I wasn’t about to give up so easily. I mustered all the courage I had and attempted to seem as confident as the others at the audition. That confidence was short lived, as the Onyx leaders told us they’d quickly teach us some choreography and that all we had to do was repeat. Seems easy enough, right? Wrong. My 8 years of ballet training were clearly useless as I repeated their quick, sharp steps in a clumsy, uncoordinated and graceless way. At this point, my body felt like a mess of limbs. It couldn’t just be me, could it? The moves WERE hard, weren’t they? I observed the rest of the girls. The ones in front clearly knew what they were doing, almost effortlessly repeating the steps. There weren’t more than two girls at the audition who were suffering as I was. I guess I was naive enough to think “no experience necessary” really meant “no experience necessary.” I stayed for a while, thinking somehow the steps would get easier. But I was wrong. Eventually the few girls who couldn’t keep up peeled the numbers of their shirts and slunk away. I joined them a few minutes later.

The key takeaway from my experience was that some clubs, no matter how open and inviting they seem, are incredibly intense. It isn’t your fault if you don’t make an audition. Don’t be disheartened or discouraged by the audition process. There will be a club that will be the perfect fit for you (I mean, did you know Columbia has an anime club?!) While Onyx was indeed a lovely club full of badass women, it just wasn’t me.

So, chin up. Don’t take yourself too seriously and do some more club hunting on social media! Oh and never, ever attempt to do a split—even if you could do it four years ago.

Columbia Barnard Club Onyx Auditions
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