Societies Guide: Drama and Performance

Campus is a hubbub of performance, theatre, dance and comedy, with several shows put on every week. There’s really no excuse not to bring your inner actor/singer/dancer out

From dance to theatre, performance societies are a great way to showcase your talent in a group. With a range of options from stand up to Scottish dancing, York offers a varied selection suitable for all interests and abilities. Singing, dancing, modeling, acting and comedy are all represented offering a great chance to do something new. Most societies will take part in a few competitions or performances a year with an array of socials and practices in between. Each performance is often a date for the York calendar with most students having been to a York panto or dance show.

Ballet Society
Ballet Society is a relatively small but friendly society. They offer Beginners and Advanced Ballet classes from a fully qualified RAD teacher who has a multi-discipline Dance School in York. In the first term all classes are free work, after which there is the possibility of starting some syllabus work if people want to. They also run one or two socials each term so members can get to know each other better and meet up outside of class, and there is also the chance in the spring term, for members who wish to, to participate in Edinburgh University’s Dance Competition.

University of York Caledonian Society (CalSoc)
CalSoc is York’s Scottish Dancing Society. It holds rehearsals every Tuesday in preparation for the famous St Andrews ball, which sees students congregate from calsocs all over the country. But their work doesn’t stop there with bi-weekly socials and dancing events throughout the year. Dances are easy to pick up and everyone is fully explained and demonstrated, giving no excuse not to don your finest and join in.

CalSoc in action at York Carnival

CalSoc in action at York Carnival. Photo credit: Tom Witherow

Central Hall Musical Society (CHMS)
Central Hall Musical Society is responsible for some of campus’ largest and most successful musicals. If you want to get involved in acting, singing, directing, or maybe just dressing up, find out all about Central Hall Musical Society. Last year’s performance was West Side Story, so there are no limits.

Comedy Society
Comedy Soc’s ultimate aim every year is to take a show up to the Fringe Festival, performed by their own members. To get there though, they perform throughout the year on campus to prepare. Comedy Society’s most famous show would perhaps be “Have I Got News for York”, performed several times a term. If you want to write, perform, or just watch comedy, then Comedy Society is obviously just your match.

York Dancesport
Dancesport is the international name for competitive Ballroom and Latin American dancing. The society is responsible for bringing to campus the successful “York Come Dancing”. However, no experience is necessary as there are beginner and advance lessons every week, taught by a professional teacher! It’s a great way to meet new people, as well as get a surprisingly large amount of exercise as well. If you want to take your dancing to the next level, there’s also the chance to represent the University on a national level or compete for York against Lancaster in Roses.

Dance Society
Dance Society is a society that provides dance classes for all abilities, from beginners to advanced, including street, salsa, jazz and tap.

DramaSoc performed the Vagina Monologues in the Barn in February

DramaSoc performed the Vagina Monologues in the Barn in February

DramaSoc
If you have an interest in theatre, then you’ll find something to suit you at DramaSoc. The society allows students to be involved in every aspect of amateur theatre. It claims to be one of the most active societies on campus, a claim made because they aim to put on a production every week. To help
matters, the society also manages their own studio in the form of the drama barn.

Fusion
Fusion is a Spring term dance and catwalk performance in aid of the university RAG charities. As well as a chance for both consummate performers and beginners to take to the stage for three nights in Central Hall, there is also plenty of demand for choreographers, fashion designers, make-up artists, technical wizards and much more – – look out for auditions in weeks 2 and 3 of Autumn term! With rehearsals, preparations and socials throughout Autumn and early Spring, this is the perfect opportunity to meet loads of people from different courses, colleges and year groups whilst raising thousands for good causes. You can read Nouse’s review of the show here.

Gilbert and Sullivan Society
One of campus’ many performance societies, the G&S Society performs a Gilbert and Sullivan show in the spring term of each year. The society doesn’t audition for chorus parts, so anyone can get involved. If you’re into a wider range than just Gilbert and Sullivan, then the society performs another “musical of choice” in the summer term.

Pantomime Society (PantSoc)
YUSU Society of Year 2012, the Pantomime Society puts on at least two pantomimes a year, and last year did four! The society is open to anyone, and everyone who auditions gets a part. Their shows are big and elaborate, drawing actors of all abilities. With socials every two weeks including nights out, trips to the cinema, and even ‘Flamingoland’, there really is something for everyone. You can read Nouse’s review of the 2013 summer panto here.

GamePlan in the Barn; photo courtesy of DramaSoc

GamePlan in the Barn; photo courtesy of DramaSoc

Samba
A Brazilian Samba band founded five years ago and still going strong, its members come from all colleges and all years. They are heavily involved in campus life, performing at college, YUSU, and RAG events, as well as York community events.

Find contact details of each society on the YUSU website

Have we missed your society off, or does your society’s profile need updating? Email [email protected] to update your listing.

2 comments

  1. The happily ever after soc, is a bit out of date.. Looks like this could have been copy and pasted??? Latest performance will be in 2009?>.. hmm

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  2. @John Thanks for pointing this out. They held a showcase last year, but seems they haven’t ratified this year.

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