BY SHIANNE FIGGE
For freshmen, it can be difficult to find clubs to join on campus that one finds interesting since there are so many clubs a student can join. Some clubs are more well known than others based on membership. I held an interview with the coordinator of the Center for Student Involvement, Brittney Squire, to get a list of some clubs that are more well known and some that are less well known. According to Squire, the Barn Hoppers Club is a well-known club on FHSU’s campus based on their membership.
According to Mariela Estrada, president of the Barn Hoppers Club, the club hosts meetings/events every Tuesday night from 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm usually in the Memorial Union Black and Gold Room or in the Ballroom. However, Estrada also mentioned that at times they hold meetings in one of the gyms in Cunnigham if they are unable to reserve a spot in the Union.
Estrada also described what a typical meeting looks like for the Barn Hoppers.
“…We teach and learn how to country swing dance, two-step, line dance and even how to perform some aerials,” Estrada said.
“This club is entirely student-run, totally free and is open to anyone in the community,” Estrada continued. “We like to base ourselves around the idea that dancing should be fun so we try to keep the meetings as relaxed as possible, members do not have to attend every meeting (even though it is recommended) and people can come and go to fit their schedules.”
According to Estrada, the Barn Hoppers have also recently begun to reach out to the managerial staff at the Wild Rose in order to hold events there on Thursday nights from
9:00 pm-11:00 pm. These events are used in order to reach a larger set of people in a more relaxed environment.
The Barn Hoppers have grown through various mediums of communication across campus.
“We recruit members usually through word of mouth, so often we just have our current members invite their friends or people they know. We have also set up tables at the Back to School Picnics in the past and we have fliers around campus with our information,” Estrada said. “We also have a Facebook page (@FHSU Barn Hoppers) where anyone can look into and find out more information. We are currently looking into becoming involved in Oktoberfest so hopefully, we will attract the attention of new members that way as well.”
Estrada also says they are always looking for other student organizations to co-host events with, as they have worked with Stripes for Hope to hold fundraisers for cancer patients in the past. She also says that they have also worked with Greek Life to hold fun events for their members and have even worked with UAB to teach people how to dance before a concert that they hosted in the Quad.
Although there are many reasons to join the Barn Hoppers, one of the most prominent is simply learning how to dance.
“The style of dancing that we teach is very common for this region and it can be altered in order to fit with multiple other dance forms,” Estrada said.
Estrada also mentions the physical nature of Barn Hoppers, and how it is a healthy and fun form of exercise.
“Dance is in itself a very good form of exercise, it allows students to get active while not even realizing how much their body is doing,” she said. “Barn Hoppers has also worked as a stress reliever for multiple students as it allows them to take a break from the stress of school. It also works as a great way to socialize with other students.”
According to Estrada, she has met some of her closest friends through Barn Hoppers and hopes that other members have the same experience.
“It brings in a large variety of students who share the same love for dancing and it is truly incredible to see how dancing can bring people together. It is an experience that I hope everyone can get involved in.”
If you or anyone you know wants to get involved, check out the Barn Hoppers Facebook page @FHSU Barn Hoppers or on the Tiger Link page @Barn Hoppers to see when and where meetings are held as well as any other news about the club.
The next Barn Hoppers meeting is next Tuesday, October 16 from 8-10pm.