After College

Going Back to Tally

All credit for photography belongs to FSU’s own Anthony Young.

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The weekend before Thanksgiving, I was able to visit Florida State University and my old stomping swing dance grounds. And I am so glad that after all the hemming and hawing, I was able to find a cheap ticket (thanks to Jet Blue) and visit my old scene for this year’s Floor Divided. (It didn’t hurt that Steven and Virginie were the featured teachers either. *wink*)

I knew it was going to feel different, being back on a campus I had spent four years on, so I wasn’t surprised when I all I could think of was how small it felt. (To be fair, I was probably unconsciously comparing it to New York City, which makes everything look small in comparison.)

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The event itself was amazing and I just glowed with pride over everyone involved. (Many of them had worked for me in the first Floor Divided and previous Seminole Stomps. (Which, by the way, I hear they’re bringing it back again next year. And they’re putting birds on things? Yeah. I don’t get it either.) Okay, enough with the plugs, back to the blog.) It was clear they put a lot of work into the event, and it was amazing to attend their event.

I cannot tell you how much it meant to me. Many of these individuals I had not seen since I graduated in early May and here they were, more accomplished, more sure of themselves. I always say that my proudest accomplishment was what I had been able to do in FSU’s Swing Dance Club, but it was never truer than when I saw my old students happy and dancing and having an amazing time. (Because really, isn’t that what Lindy Hop is all about?)

But like most nostalgia, I was also made to see how much I had changed in the few short months I had been away. I definitely wasn’t the same person that had been president for three years, nor was anyone else the same. I had grown as a person and as a dancer and clearly no longer had a place at FSU.

Of course, that’s not to say I didn’t feel welcome. On the contrary, all of the hugs and smiles made me feel more at home than I had felt in a very, very long time. My one regret was I had so little time to spend.

582031_10202514100522123_1048748194_nProbably the thing that I am most thankful for was the time I got to spend with Ellie, my best friend for the majority of my college career. I mentioned to her that on the whole, I’m glad I had left Tallahassee when I did, even though I missed everyone so much it hurt sometimes. And she agreed wholeheartedly. She pointed out how I probably wouldn’t have been able to stay away.

And she was right. As much as I missed everyone, I couldn’t help but see how much the club had grown after I left. And it would have never gotten to this point if I had stayed.

Nor would I have started on my larger journey as my own person and dancer.

I love with New York City. I love being my own independent woman. I love working and having an apartment. And I love the dancing here.

My mom always told me that college would be the best years of my life.

And while I loved and still love FSU, I couldn’t help but answer how sad it would be to peak at 22.

And I’m so glad I was right.

I am so thankful for my time at Florida State. But it’s clear we’ve all grown and have started forging our own paths. The club that I spent three years applying all my blood, sweat and tears is flourishing under new ownership.

And while I have left and am finding my place in this life after college, it’s good to know that I can always go back and visit.

3 thoughts on “Going Back to Tally

  1. This is exactly how I felt going back the first time. I couldn’t believe the changes. When I started dancing, and Eric was in charge, the scene was so small it had only 4 people at one point. I was stunned the first time I returned after graduating and you had managed to organize an entire event! Going back, going home, is one of the best feelings in the world. And you should feel so proud of all you helped accomplish and start while there. 🙂

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