Northwestern manages to incorporate dancing into many aspects of campus life. Whether it’s the West Hall Dance Party, Lamrof, RUSH or even an impromptu dance party in the red room of the Franken Center, students who want to let loose and shake what God gave them find a way to express themselves.
This Saturday at 7 p.m., Dancing with the Profs will bring out the classy side of NW’s dancing repertoire. This is a dance competition in which students choreograph routines and perform them with members of the faculty or staff. The judges critique the pair’s performance, just like on TV, and the students make the ultimate decision with a live vote.
Junior Jennifer Nilson and assistant professor of kinesiology Dean Calsbeek will be performing a salsa to “Let’s Get Loud” by Jennifer Lopez.
“There was a little anxiety when I found out about doing the salsa,” Calsbeek said, after saying that his only dance experience was from his days as a NW student.
“(Jennifer) is amazing,” Calsbeek said. “I thought she was extremely patient and understanding in allowing me to learn at my own pace and stop to ask questions.”
Nilson has taught the salsa before in a RUSH routine, but this is her first year participating in Dancing with the Profs.
“It was something I wanted to do last year but couldn’t,” Nilson said. “This year, I kept getting emails, and I didn’t even apply until the last day, but I knew it would be something that would challenge me and force me out of my comfort zone.”
Both say that they are confident in their routine, and Nilson said she is excited to see what everyone else has come up with.
“We’ve creeped on a few people to see who our competition is, but we’re both in it just for the fun of it,” Nilson said.
The biology department has declared a rivalry between their three faculty competitors, Calsbeek, Elizabeth Truesdell and Laura Furlong. Truesdell, after being persuaded by her students to participate this year, will be doing a swing dance with senior Andrew Klumpp.
“I’m doing a little bit of stressing,” she said. “I don’t want to land on my head or get kicked in the face, which has actually happened.”
This is Truesdell’s first experience outside of college with dancing as well, but despite her sore muscles so far, she said they are “in it to win it.”
The practices have proven to be difficult for many of the participants who are not familiar with dancing. Sophomore Sarah Bartz and vice president for student development John Brogan were signed up to do what Bartz referred to as “epic Spanish ballroom,” but due to a recent back injury, Brogan will be unable to participate. Charlie Couch from the Registrar’s office will be the replacement dancer for Brogan.
Additional student choreographers are Lee Stover, Kory Jensen, Dan Sikkema, Eduardo Rodriguez, Karla Houk, Noel Wotherspoon and Brittany Kiel. The other professors performing are Kim Van Es, Laura Heitritter, Kris McDonald, Sharon McGarvey, Ray Gibler, Piet Koene and Michael Kensak.