Contrary to popular belief, Dordt’s Harlem Shake gorilla was not played by President Hoekstra.
“I tried to tell everyone the truth, but some rumors are hard to shake,” Hoekstra said with a chuckle. “I almost wish that I was the one in the suit. However, at the ripe age of 55, I could only dream of having moves like Jagger,” he said.
The question still remains: who was the mystery gorilla?
Dash De Groot was the student who solved the mystery for the Dordt community. De Groot was at the dance that night, and he was in the restroom shortly before the video started. He distinctly remembers hearing a man complain about not being able to zip up the back of his costume.
“The Canadian accent gave it away,” De Groot said. “I would recognize that voice anywhere,” he added.
De Groot’s suspicions were confirmed when the gorilla said, “I caun’t reach the zipper!”
The gorilla was Bill Elgersma, well-known English professor and hockey coach. When confronted with the revelation, Elgersma said, “What is this all aboot?”
After an incessant barrage of lengthy emails, late-night phone calls, and several phony summonses to the president’s office, Elgersma cracked.
“I just caun’t take it anymore!” Elgersma said. “It was me. I was the gorilla, and I have no regrets,” he said.
When questioned about the reason for the secrecy, Elgersma explained that he didn’t want to lose his position of authority within the classroom and on the ice.
“I just couldn’t afford to lose the respect of my students, colleagues, and players,” he said.
But one mystery still remains: why would Dordt sophomores, Kyler Van Berkum and Luke Dykstra, claim ignorance? They admitted to knowing who the gorilla was, but they had secret motives for remaining silent.
This mystery was solved by Elgersma himself shortly after he admitted to being the gorilla. Warn and defeated, he came clean and admitted that the students in question were kept quiet with the promise of a A in his Core 180 class.
Dykstra said, “That A would have totally brought up my GPA. Now I have three days to read Pride and Prejudice and The Odyssey.”
Although Elgersma isn’t proud of the bribe, the 12,000+ YouTube hits have helped him overcome his guilt. When asked why he wanted to be the gorilla, Elgersma said, “I always knew that I had extraordinary dance moves, and this was my chance to share them with the world.”
Crystal Bell, Staff Writer