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Meet Aaliya Amrin
Hong Kong

"Dance was an excuse to misbehave beautifully. I used to do it just for kicks in high school, little gigs here and there, but I had never trained. I didn’t actually compete and perform with teams until college. Grueling practice regimens and sleepless nights leading up to competition season eventually took its toll. I remember I took a semester off from dance my sophomore year and that was the first time in college where I felt off my game. I wasn’t able to pinpoint what it was, why I was so intrinsically unsatisfied, until I picked it back up again. I soon realized it not only centered my week and gave me some sort of routine, but also the trophies really do make the late nights worth it. It’s a great feeling knowing that at the end of my day, I have some kind of dance from 7 - ­9. I guess, it became my thing.

One of my biggest regrets in life was not being technically or classically trained in dance. I have a friend who has graduated now, and he’s a big part of why I got so into it. Before, I was pretty average I’d say, just another dancer on the team. He took me under his wing, and would keep pushing me. “Only do this if you want to, and if you do, then do it so well that no one can take their eyes off you,” he would say. His tough love taught me to never be okay with mediocrity. I saw him push the boundaries of exploring choreography. I saw him constantly push himself. He is one of the best dancers I know today, he’d inspire any mover, and he wasn’t technically trained either. This was probably when I realized that I don’t want to be jack of all trades and master of none. Competing instills so much discipline and taught me a lot more than a class could have. It has made my originally past-­time hobby, now a concrete part of who I am.

Doing something fun is great, but being great at what you do is important. Honestly, I feel like I’ve spent far more hours after­school than actually in school, and I don’t regret that decision at all. In fact I think some of my proudest and most valuable achievements have come from being so involved on campus.

A semester goes by in a blink, and just like that I’m here talking about my past 8 semesters. It seems endless when you’re starting off, but it’s not nearly enough to spend your time doing shit that you don’t love doing. Just like that I decided that I want to work to succeed at things that I do love. And the way to grow is to send a message, evoke something, call to action, and entertain. In that sense, creatives have immense potential for good. And that is so much better than just scratching the surface."

In her time here Aaliya has been involved with USC Zeher, Gamma Phi Beta, Break Through Hip Hop, SCIA, Trojan Vision’s The SCoop and is the Executive Vice President of The Expat Society.