10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Nov 19, 2007
Just out of curiosity-- does USNA have any kind of dance club? If I go to USNA I won't be able to continue with dance competitively so I was wondering if there was any way I could even just get some rec stuff in. Also, are there any kind of aerobic type rooms that are open for use if I wanted to go and practice one day?

Finally, how does USNA look at dancers? I'm a competitive Irish dancer. I'm not worlds quality or anything but by the time I apply I should be in the 2nd highest level with a regional competition or two under my belt. I would devote all my time to it except I want to go to USNA so I play 2 varsity sports. They're tolerable but if I had the opportunity I would quit them in an instant for dance (then maybe I could atleast go to nationals!!). How should I say that in an interview? Obviously I'm not going to say it how I just did, but should I portray dance as more important to me than sports?
The Academy is full of people with all kinds of interests. You will not be looked at "poorly" in any way just because you are a dancer.

As for describing why you do two varsity sports, you can either be up front and honest about it ("I do sports because they are a requirement for USNA"), or you can spin just a little ("Well, my primary goal has been to be a great dancer. I find that participating in sports helps that by building stamina and strength, and that the dancing allows me to be a better athlete. Toss in that they are required by USNA, and it all seems to fall in place rather nicely.")

As for dancing at USNA, back in the day I seem to remember there being a ballroom dance club or somesuch. However, the stories coming out of USNA lately would indicate that IF such a club still exists, it wouldn't be very high on the priorities list. In short, I wouldn't place bets on the possibilities unless a current Mid can confirm otherwise.

As with so many things in life, you have to give and take. Dancing MAY (and I emphazise MAY) be something you have to sacrifice in order to attend USNA. The extent of the sacrifice may range from minimal to total. Think about what's important to YOU.

All this being said, if we assume that there is NO official or unofficial club at USNA for dancers, that doesn't mean you can't practice dancing on your own time. Just understand, however, that "your own time" isn't much during Plebe Year (as in "almost none"), and that it's not like you have a lot of time afterwards to pursue interests that fall outside the Yard.

I'm not going to make any judgements here because none are warranted. This miserable rock we live on need dancers AND warriors, and if it can get away with both in one package, then why not? What YOU need to determine for yourself is which is more important. If dancing has to be completely given up to attend USNA, would you be willing? There is no right or wrong answer to that question.

Good luck on your decision. :thumb:

For the record, I can't dance to save the lives of my children. A 3-legged elephant on a broken skateboard rolling down the side of a mountain would exhibit more grace and artistry than I do on a dance floor. :biggrin:
I find that participating in sports helps that by building stamina and strength, and that the dancing allows me to be a better athlete.

You also could say that athletics helps you to be a better dancer!!

Irish Dancer - don't fret about dancing. I think it is great. It is true that academy mids/cadets as a group have a common set of characteristics - no one wants a cookie-cutter brigade/corps.
Don't worry about interviews - If I was on a committee and had just interviewed my 4th soccer player in a row (all of whom were all-county, team captain and high scorer - LOL) and you came in and said you danced - well then - I would wake up!!
Dancing helps form the same types of qualities in young people that athletics does. Not only does it make you physically strong - competing builds character. You learn how to win and how to lose gracefully. You show committment and passion about an activity that you enjoy. Bring that committment and passion to the brigade and you will be a great mid!
Good Luck!
Trust me-- if I got into USNA, I would give everything up in a heartbeat!! Having to give up dance isn't an issue (especially since unless I go to UNC-CH I would have to anyways), but it would be nice to do it occassionally. What about the pipe band- don't they have highland dancers? I know RMC does, and I'm pretty sure that USMA has one but I don't know about USNA.

Thanks for the good ideas on how to bring it up in an interview-- and it's a plus that something that I do for me could help me get in!
Thanks for the good ideas on how to bring it up in an interview-- and it's a plus that something that I do for me could help me get in!

As a general rule, there are very few things that cannot be legitimately spun as a positive during an interview. Even being fired can be spun IF you learned from it and see it as an opportunity to grow.

I'm happy to see your commitment to USNA. Way to go! :thumb:

Fear not about the dance, though. You'll be able to do it as soon as you get the hang of the place and figure out the times available to you. After that, have fun! :smile:
Pipes and Drums does infact have a dance element. Sorry, I don't know all the terms, but I know for a fact they have the highland dancers. Additionally, there is no official sanctioned "dance team," but a pretty good number of mids do get together for various dancing nights including ballroom, swing, and salsa. Outside teachers and civilians come in and teach mids. Mids have been know to enter competitions and do well at them.

Bottom line, if you want to dance, you won't be alone. But everything will have to be on your own time.
Hello there, wow it's great to hear from another irish dancer intrested in the USNA. That's fantastic, being an irish dancer myself i was kind of discouraged at first thinking that there might not be any other dancers there. I was just going to resolve to take my shoes with me and practice whenever i might have a minute. Like you said i would drop everything for the USNA no doubt, but still im sure we could keep it up if we really want to!
Take your Gillies but remember Hard Shoes will wreck the floor and I don't think your roommates will appreciate that. Annapolis has some Irish Dance Studios but it will be hard for you to get to them. Just think. You will have the strongest ankles and leg strength of anyone at Plebe Summer. You can dazzle them with your footwork.
I'm glad to see another person with the same question as me! I've recently started to get very serious about tapping and I'm going to be in a huge tap festival in Philadelphia. I have no problem giving it up to go to USNA, but I had wondered if there was an open room for me to occasionally go practice in during whatever free time may exist, if any at all.
I don't see any problem with you practicing, but you really won't have time plebe year, except maybe on weekends. Even then, you'll probably just want to get out to your sponsors and relax. But hey, if you can find the time, more power to you! I'm sure you'll be able to find other mids who are interested.
Irish-this is an old thread that i just stumbled upon. My experience is that you will find that there are people with different interests and skills everywhere including USNA. You might find it interesting to learn that one of the leading American Ballet artists of the 20th Century- Edward Villella is a graduate of NY Maritime- (Ft Schuyler). He was a Golden Gloves boxer in college and graduated with his 3rd Mates license- unusual combination which just reinforces that you can find the time to pursue the things you are passionate about in any environment and in fact may discover that there are others who share your interests everywhere.