For the past month, dance has owned the lives of nearly half the student body as they’ve prepared and performed for RUSH.
Choreographers have been working on their pieces since before Christmas. But for senior Alex Menning, dance has been going on for a lot longer than that.
Menning first fell in love with dance when he performed on a co-ed RUSH team his freshman year of college. The next year, he helped orchestrate one of the most popular NWC events, Northwestern’s Best Dance Crew. It was this competition that led to the creation of the most famous dance crew on campus, West Slide Story.
“I used to watch America’s Best Dance Crew, so I got some guys together from West and told them we could probably dominate this thing. I choreographed and we won. Then we won the next year, and now we’re a featured performance in this year’s RUSH,” said Menning.
West Slide Story has six members: Menning, seniors Ed Rodriguez and Dan Laird and juniors Joel Hegeman, Aaron Bauer and Dan Sikkema.
“My favorite performance ever was probably NBDC this year. We did some really cool stunts that I didn’t think we could pull off, but we did,” said Menning.
Menning said his choreography is inspired by a combination of High School Musical, Step Up 2 and Stop the Yard.
West Slide Story will perform for the last time ever at Saturday’s ten-o’clock RUSH. The tears in Menning’s eyes showed how truly invested he has become in this group when he admitted he is “pretty sad” that this will be their last time dancing together.
In response to rumors that a group of girls may be conspiring to put together an “East Slide Story” next year, Menning said, “If that’s true, those girls are probably from Fern because they copy everything West does. Hopefully, they just don’t scare anyone.”
As Menning and the other senior members of his crew get set for graduation, he plans to go to med school in the fall. However, his part in West Slide Story will not be soon forgotten.
“He’s made a dynasty of dancing,” said senior member Phil Hegeman.