This year marks the 14th anniversary of RUSH performances at Northwestern College. RUSH is a student-led dance concert that NW students have annually performed since 2004. This year will feature 10 performances ranging across a variety of themes from hip-hop to ballet. On any given year, around 100-150 NW students participate.
Assistant Professor of Theatre Drew Schmidt explained that RUSH was created by former NW students’ desire to dance just for the fun of it and include the whole campus as well. Because of this, everyone who auditions for RUSH is placed within one of the varied performances, making this campus event one that literally anyone can be a part of.
“A typical RUSH performance is about three minutes,” Schmidt said. “It’s bold, excellent, beautiful and fun.”
An additional unique aspect about RUSH is the different themes and stories behind the chosen music and incorporated dance movements that follow. Randyl Lynn Getz, a junior theatre major, is one of the choreographers for a performance as well as the stage manager of the event. Getz’s dance theme is a hip-hop swing dance to the song “Stay” by Zedd.
“The dance is about two people going back through their memories,” Getz said, “where the girl in the song is questioning whether she should talk to the guy, stay or let him go. Overall, the message behind the performance is treasuring the time you have with someone.”
RUSH holds a special place in Getz’s heart because dance is her favorite art form – it’s also something she’s done since she was four years old.
Schmidt appreciates RUSH for the teamwork that is naturally a part of it.
“I love RUSH because it is also about making people look good together,” Schmidt said. “Here, students support one another with the outcome of joy that’s celebrated with everyone.”
Elizabeth Johnston, a sophomore public relations major, said that she enjoys RUSH because she can meet new people and it is student orientated.
“It’s really awesome to see the creativity student choreographers can have,” Johnston said. “For example, the message behind the song and dance that I’m in is about mental illness, which I think is really cool.”
Johnston first participated in RUSH her freshman year and enjoyed it immensely. She’s looking forward to being on stage after all the hard work she and her team have put into this dance performance, as well as being flipped over backwards within the dance.
“RUSH is just a fun way to get through the winter months,” Johnston said. “It’s also a way for me to get my boogie on!”
RUSH performances began this Thursday and will continue throughout the weekend. Tonight’s performances are scheduled for 7 and 9:30 p.m. Tomorrow, Saturday, March 24, performances are scheduled for 4, 7 and 9:30 p.m. Take the opportunity to come and cheer on your friends!