Students from Dordt will be joining their Northwestern teammates next week Thursday through Saturday as they participate in RUSH, one of the greatest dance events of the season. And not just because Dordt and Northwestern students are teaming together to perform.
RUSH is a student-run show that takes place at Northwestern College, featuring teams made of a mix of Dordt and Northwestern students. They will perform dances choreographed by Northwestern students that include a variety of genres, such as hip-hop, lyrical, contemporary, lindy hop, modern, tribal, and musical theater.
Students audition at Northwestern a few weeks before the performance, and are put into specific groups doing specific dance styles according to their strengths. From there, choreographers work with students on the pieces that will be performed the night of RUSH.
Senior Emily McFarland, a two-time participant in RUSH, described it as “a fun-packed showcase of talent, different genres of dance, and creativity, all rolled into a predominantly Northwestern production.”
Alex Updike, a senior and criminal justice and psychology major, called it “a student-organized, student-produced, and student-led dance production which encourages participation from dancers of all ability levels.”
One of the best parts of the show, participants will agree, is that you don’t have to have any previous dance experience to join. “Even if you don’t think you can dance, that’s not an issue,” Miguel Lanten, a senior, emphasized.
At the same time, learning a new style of dance with people you’ve never met can be intimidating. “It’s been a chance for me to get outside my comfort zone,” said senior Sarah Kahanic. “At first it was a little intimidating trying out for a dance show at our rival college, but the students at Northwestern are very friendly and the choreographers are just happy to have more dancers they can work with.”
At the end of the day, the dance itself isn’t what participants remember the most. “The dancing was really fun, but what was even greater [were] the friendships that I developed,” said Updike, who has participated in RUSH for two years. “Believe it or not, there ARE cool people at Northwestern, and to this day, I still hang out with some of the members of my first dance.”
“The people in that dance became some of my very close friends that I still keep in touch with two years later,” McFarland added.
Getting to know people along with a new dance was a highlight for Stephanie Black, agri-business major.
“I enjoyed getting to know people from Northwestern, and had a blast performing salsa with everyone else. All the other dancers were really fun to hang out with off stage and on.”
“It’s not about being perfect,” said Kahanic. “Although you’d be amazed at how good the team can get in such a short time. It’s about expressing yourself and having a great time dancing with other students.”
Kahnic and Lanten will be performing the song “Feel Good Inc.” by The Gorillaz, in a style that combines elements of krump, hip hop, and swing. Updike is dancing the lindy hop.
The performances are Thursday, September 27 at 7:30 and 9:00 p.m.; September 28 at 7:30 and 9:00 p.m.; and Saturday, September 29 at 4:00, 7:30, and 9:00 p.m.
Hannah DeVries, Staff Writer