Starting your own club
Stefanie Markidis' parents enrolled her in a dance class in a desperate attempt to stop her climbing all over the furniture.
Now ten years on, Stefanie, 20, is taking that hyperactivity and channelling it her own dance crew.
"I've been dancing for ages. But recently I just felt like there were all these clichés and expectation that I had to deal with in the dance world. No one was dancing just for the hell of it," Stefanie says.
"I got pretty tired of all this, so I took a year off from competitive dancing and started my own group, my own little side project."
Starting with a few friends, Stefanie quickly turned her side project into a fully fledged dance club.
Now each week, Stefanie's crew meet to learn the dances she has choreographed. She's even considering entering competitions.
By starting her own club, Stefanie says she has found a way to express all her creative ideas.
"I've been in some heaps of different crews and been to lots of Victorian and National competitions. But I've always wanted to do my own thing," she says.
"I absolutely love the style and the expressive nature of hip hop. So I know I want my group to push the boundaries of that genre, to have fun and create something I'm proud of, artistically and personally."
How to start your own club
Inspired by Stefanie's story and want to start your own club?
Turning your passion into something you can share with others through a club is fantastic. But starting your own dance/chess/soccer club from scratch can be hard. Especially if you don't have anywhere to meet or practice.
One of the best and easiest ways to start up a club is through your school or university. Both have people and resources that can help you, and you can usually use the facilities or equipment for free.
Starting a club at school
When Marie Mercuri was a year 12 student at Sacred Heart Girls' College she decided to start her own writers' club.
Together with some friends, Marie put together a school newspaper to show off the writing talents of her fellow students.
"It was a lot of work. We had to design a newspaper, decide the different sections and find students' work to publish in every edition," Marie says. "But it was a fantastic experience. I loved being able to take my ideas and make them a reality."
Here are Marie's tips for starting a school club:
- First work out what your club is about and what you want to achieve - there's no point going to your principal with just a vague idea
- When you have a well-thought-out plan, approach a teacher (make sure you show them just how passionate and organised you are)
- Once you've convinced them with your amazing persuasive skills, the hard work starts - you have to find other like-minded students to join your club
- Then you need to decide when and where your club will meet (you'll also probably need a teacher to act as your club's supervisor and mentor)
Now all you have to do is get to work achieving your dream.
Starting a club at university
Starting a club at university is a lot like putting together one at school, says RMIT City Campus Clubs and Societies Officer Tom Dickens.
"You've got to have a good idea, just like you would for a high school club. But at university you have way more freedom to explore the possibilities," Tom says.
"At the RMIT city campus we have a F1 Motorsport Lovers club, a club for Artists Formally Known as Vince, and an endless list of cultural clubs."
But while the sky's the limit, Tom says there are still some rules you have to follow:
- You need at least ten people
- Once you've got your members, you have to elect office bearers (i.e a president and club treasurer)
- There are a series of forms you must correctly fill out before you can start your club (you can usually download these from your university's societies' website)
- When that's done, you need to organise a meeting with your clubs and societies officer - they will decide whether or not to approve your club
- Finally, if you have been approved and want to run fundraisers or raise money, you'll need to go a bank branch that has an agreement with your university and set up a bank account
Get out there
And that's all you need to put together your own club started! Stefanie did it, Marie did it and, armed with these tips, there's no reason why you can't get out there and do it too.
Articles Written by Elisa
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