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Clara Lim is a fourth year Medical student, and Project Leader for UCL Dance Society’s volunteering outreach programme: DanceIt! DanceIt provides dance workshops to local schools and community centres. They want to bring dance classes to those who may have less access to them, and also occasionally do mini-performances for them, and giving tickets to their annual showcase in the Bloomsbury Theatre. Last month, they went into Holborn Community Association - take a look at what they got up to and the joy they brought to beneficiaries! 

Clara decided to become Project Leader after regularly volunteering with the Project last year. Often, the Project organises the dance workshops in place of a school’s PE lessons - many of the pupils like this, as it takes away the competitive element of sports and physical activity that so many dislike. They also accommodate to the styles of dance that the pupils are more interested in learning (which tends to be hip-hop, unsurprisingly!). She finds that those who are originally quite shy are often able to come out of their shells, but the Project makes sure they’re comfortable and not doing anything they don’t want to. They can even just sit and watch their classmates if they wish!

As for the volunteers, Clara feels that the project has definitely allowed them to step outside their comfort zone; many of them are not used to teaching dance to people with little or no dance background, and the experience of doing that has definitely allowed them to grow. She would also like to see the Project expand in the future, and while she doesn’t see dance as a future career, she would love to continue dance and workshops for as long as possible.

When asked why she would recommend volunteering, Clara says that the experience of getting to meet new people and give them an experience they wouldn’t be able to get elsewhere is why she enjoys it. The beneficiaries they work with really appreciate it, and the fact that they are giving back to the community in a unique way really helps the volunteers and the beneficiaries.

If Clara’s story has inspired you, you can find out more about Dance It! on our directory, as well as all our other Student-Led Volunteering Projects. You can also take a better look at a DanceIt session, through the eyes of our Photojournalist!