Here we are again — back to Rochester after three shimmering months of summer. Some of us are arriving for the first time, while others return for their final year. Either way, our recent days of hot summertime fun are gone. Soon, the nights will get colder and, before we know it, winter will close in around us.

I’d like to acknowledge the conflict we’ll soon face against our free time. Yes, the workload at our school is demanding and the classes are challenging. Rochester glows with killer STEM classes. But amidst all this math and science, do we have any room left for arts and leisure? During the first of those orientation icebreaker games, what’s your answer when someone asks, “What do you do for fun?” 

To any first-years reading this, I encourage you to think about what this question means. What do you do when there’s nothing else to do (if you ever find yourself in that situation)? What makes you feel as alive and young as you actually are? To returning students — do you even have fun anymore? 

Despite the pressure we put on ourselves to follow our path, we’re still a group of teens/twenty-year-olds figuring things out. That means there’s plenty of arts, entertainment, and action to explore on campus this year. Here is an overview of the performance groups on campus with shows for every personality. 

1. Dance. There are 11 dance groups that offer showcases throughout the year. You can find every genre of movement from Irish, such as UR’s Celtic, to hip-hop, like BSU’s Indulgence dance team. In between, you’ll find the Ballet Performance Group, Xclusive step team, Swing Dance Club, and Louvre, a group that bridge all the gaps between jazz, contemporary, and ballet. There are also the  movement groups that seek to promote cultural and folk forms of dance into the Rochester community on campus and beyond, like Sihir Belly Dancing Ensemble, Rice Crew (from the Korean Students Association), Phoenix Fire (from the Chinese Student Association), Rochester Bhangra (Punjabi dance), Rochester Raas (South Asian folk dance), SALSEROS (part of the Spanish and Latin Student’s Association), and Tinikling (a folk dance put on by the Filipino Student’s Association). Regardless of your preferences, there’s a kind of movement for everybody and performances almost every weekend. 

Photo taken by Katie Karesbetsos.

2. Theater. Although this program has slim pickings compared to the diversity of dance groups on campus, the UR theater world still has a number of shows throughout the year. In addition to the showily produced performances staged by the International Theater Program, TOOP (The Opposite of People) is a club that puts on several shows in Drama House OBOC (Off Broadway On Campus) is UR’s musical theater revue group with peppy gatherings throughout the year and a giant performance in the spring. ROC Players also puts on musicals, typically organizing two full productions throughout the year. 

3. Music and Film. Eastman (a shuttle ride from River Campus) is Rochester’s golden boy of music and, during the school year, offers concerts almost every night free for students. If you don’t want to breach that bubble around campus, though, our own music department has a number of performances in the fall and spring. Check out their website for a full list. If you’re a movie guru, UR Cinema group has constant showings of newer movies in Hoyt Auditorium that add some wahoo to your daily life. 

Regardless of your major, we can’t forget that we’re still in college. We all have something to say, and the performances from groups on campus prove that’s the truth. It doesn’t matter the reason why you came to college (or this college in particular), there’s no better way to connect with your peers than to see what they have to say. Maybe you’ll figure out what you have to say for yourself, too. 

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