Airband: Reviving an Old Tradition

Janelle Cammenga- Staff Writer

When you have an excuse to break out your dance moves, win $500 and throw bags full of sugar around the stage of the BJ Haan, you know you’ve been a part of a good tradition. Dordt Airband is a perfect example of just such a tradition.

Director of Residence Life Derek Buteyn shared Airband was not a completely new concept upon its re-establishment in 2012. The college had done Airband “way back in the day,” but had stopped putting on the competition years before. However, when the student life team noticed a void of activity in the beginning of the year, they realized they needed to do something.

“You have to think short term and long term,” says Buteyn. “How can we set it up to be good 10 years from now? You have to hit a home run from the beginning. People have to say, ‘That was awesome, I can’t wait for next year.’”

And thus, Airband was reborn.

“All you have to do is lip-sync and have fun,” says Buteyn. This year marks the fourth Airband competition since its 2012 re-establishment.

Airband was a perfect fit for amping up the beginning phases of the school year, and the $500 prize contributed considerably to its success and popularity.

“It’s an excuse to dance on stage in front of hundreds of people. Doesn’t everyone have that dream?” said senior Luke Venhuizen, a two-going-on-three-time participant in Airband.

It’s not just the cash prize that makes this event so popular, but also the enjoyment the audience gets. For example, the process of getting onstage is more casual than most competitions.

“I’m tempted to do a solo,” Venhuizen said. “Just walk up there and say, ‘Can I go again?’”

When asked about his favorite Airband performances, Buteyn said, “the more extravagant, the better.” He mentioned a particular performance done by soccer team members who wore cutoff shorts, but when pressed to explain, Buteyn refused further comment.

Every new year of the event is promising and guarantees a night full of laughs. This tradition is one which promises memorable performances and low-key expectations, as well as a few well-spent hours you won’t regret.

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