The Student Spotlight features amazing students engaged in the arts at NC State University. Even though we don’t have traditional fine arts majors, we believe that the arts are for everyone. We make arts experiences accessible to all, and our students celebrate and benefit from the arts.
This spotlight features Roné Roux, an international student, who flourishes and whirls and twirls in many forms of art as well as academics. Get to know the student who chose NC State University for the arts and the academics and is leaving with a special place in her heart for the arts and the university.
For more information on the visual and performing arts programs of NC State, visit go.ncsu.edu/arts and sign up for our emails.
Roné Roux, international student
Please tell us about yourself and what brought you to NC State University?
My name is Roné Roux and I’m a postgraduate exchange student from South Africa. I’ve just completed my second semester exchange at NC State, and it has been as thrilling as the first one (which was in spring 2022). Back home I majored in music, and my master’s focuses on arts entrepreneurship, which is why I came to NC State. When choosing between universities for an exchange, NC State stood out for two reasons: the arts entrepreneurship courses and the Dancing With Wolves Ballroom Dance Club (DWW). The arts entrepreneurship courses have been amazing for my studies and the dance club helped me to find my feet (no pun intended) here at NC State.
Can you share your experience with Dancing With Wolves?
Upon arriving at NC State in January 2022, it was my first time in the States and everything was new and unfamiliar. It was snowing, people were driving on a different side of the road, and I was discovering the most fascinating combinations of things, like disc golf, chicken-and-waffles and pizza-and-ranch.
During my first week at NC State, I joined DWW, which was the best thing I could have done. With weekly lessons and numerous social events and competitions (both local and national) throughout the semester, there were plenty of opportunities to socialize and meet new people from different fields of study. No previous dance experience is required to join, it’s open to any level of dancer and the top-tier dance instructors are always happy to answer any questions.
Dancing With Wolves representing NC State at the Southeastern DanceSport Championships, Atlanta, 2023.
DWW’s warm and welcoming vibe made me feel right at home and it didn’t take long before I made friends for life. Through them I found a support system, something we all need, which made adapting and settling in a lot easier. Also, dancing is a lot of fun and my favorite form of exercise.
There are few things as thrilling as spinning around the floor to a Viennese waltz with the perfect dance partner.Roné Roux
Roné Roux and Micah Sargent, competing at Southeastern DanceSport, Atlanta, 2022.
NC State made such a big impression on me last year, I decided to enroll for a master’s degree in arts entrepreneurship back home and come on another exchange this spring to begin my research. Coming back to NC State this year, it didn’t feel like I’d been away for half a year and I immediately felt as at home as before. I rejoined DWW and our weekly classes were my time to relax and unwind during this busy semester. This spring we had three dance socials and three competitions (one at NC State, one in Chapel Hill and one in Atlanta, GA). While in Atlanta, I was reminded of what a valuable skill ballroom dancing is. At the competition there were dancers from ages 7 to 70. It just goes to show that ballroom dancing is something you can do well into old age and I hope to one day be one of those elderly couples busting moves on the dance floor.
Through my involvement with DWW I’ve found a support structure, made friends for life, and developed new skills I can use for as long as I’m physically able. I am so glad I joined DWW and will always be grateful for the time I got to spend with this great group of people.
Can you talk about the other forms of art that you are involved with?
Roux playing the organ at her church in South Africa.
The arts have always been a big part of my life. Growing up in a small rural town called Baardskeerdersbos (South Africa), our radio was never quiet, and music always filled the air. Back then my dad painted for a living and some of my fondest memories are painting with him in the attic as the hours rolled by. To this day the smell of oil paint and turpentine carries a feeling of nostalgia with it. It wasn’t until later that I discovered my deep love for the performing arts. In fact, most of the highlights of my life have some or other connection with the arts. Some that come to mind are being cast to perform in a musical in London, producing my own musical and seeing it performed on stage. Today I’m also a full-time organist for my church back home and founder and owner of Roné Roux Productions (a theater production company).
Roux performing with Roné Roux Productions theatre company.
While on this exchange at NC State, I partook in various art activities including University Singers and Chamber Singers, which I really enjoyed. In addition to my studies and research in arts entrepreneurship, I also worked with several arts programs here at NC State this past semester. My work with Arts Administration, Arts Outreach & Engagement, NC State LIVE, and University Theatre has been such a wonderful experience and provided more insight into the arts.
We are nearing the end of finals for the semester, what are your plans now? Will you visit NC State University again?
I’ll be sticking around for a bit to explore more of the States and I have a few road trips planned. After that, I’ll be returning home to continue working on my master’s degree. Although I’m not yet sure when I’ll be back, I’ll definitely visit the States and Raleigh again in the near future. This place and the people here will always have a very special place in my heart. Thank you to everyone who helped make my time here such a memorable and life changing experience.