Nicole Chan on the Art of Dance

I started dancing my sophomore year of high school after being inspired and enamored by Korean pop and the artists’ undeniable cool. Being in my school’s Korean pop dance group (shout out to R41n!) solidified many of my strongest friendships and helped me become comfortable with my own body. The latter is exceptionally important and why I always encourage others to try dance.

Dance has become an important facet to my identity in college. In the beginning, dance related activities like the flashmob and talent show gave me a place of being and a place of belonging within the NYU Shanghai community.

I am currently working on the 100 days of dance project, something I whimsically committed to after joking that I had been visiting the NYU dance room every single day. I will dance to almost anything (except for Chris Brown because I do not support artists who are violent against women) and I will dance almost anywhere (the bottom of stairwells, the junction between hallways, empty parking lots… basically anywhere that has space and some reflective surface). Dance is therapy for my body and mind. It is an escapism that lets me de-stress in an alternate space.

To all the people who say they can’t dance: it’s not that you can’t, it’s that you won’t. Relax, stop caring so much about what other people think, and let the music carry you.

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Nicole is a special snowflake who grew up in a very dull Chicago suburb. As a result, she learned from a young age to seek out and appreciate the alternative and unconventional. Nicole freestyle dances as a form of stress relief, and is heavily influenced by korean pop, American pop, and hip hop. Nicole uses photography as storytelling device to encapsulate ideas and ignite conversations on social issues. Her dream is to work for National Geographic, and her spirit animal is a honey badger.

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