Hosted by the enemy

Part 1: Dancing with the enemy.

Every school has a “rival” school that drives extra motivation and excitement when it comes to competitions. This is a strange but effective way to unite the student body, but what happens when you stray away from your “home” school and go dancing with the enemy?

Dordt’s enemy is a hop, skip and a jump across a few corn fields to Orange City, where Northwestern College, home of the Raiders, lies waiting ready to attack at a moments notice.

The story I am about to tell you is one of bravery, happiness, and heartbreak—but mainly tom-foolery. 

Once upon a time, a brave Defender turned the tables on the Raiders and secretly invaded Northwestern’s campus in early January. It was a cold, wintery night when he made his advance to the rounded building of the De Witt Theatre Arts Center, where the brave Defender was spotted immediately due to the fact that he was hopelessly lost and confused. 

That brave Defender… was me. (I know; a plot twist for the ages.) The quest I was on was to make it to Northwestern’s RUSH auditions, even though I had no idea where they were. RUSH is a completely student-run dance performance that Northwestern hosts. I was joining on as a choreographer/dancer for this performance, but I was the only Dordt student involved in the entire show.

Luckily, Northwestern students are not as bad as most “enemies” are supposed to be. I asked a random girl (‘sup, Caroline) where they were and she immediately asked, “Are you a Dordt student?” Guilty, I replied that I was. She was very welcoming and told me exactly where to find the auditions.

After running back and forth from a choir concert at Dordt and auditions at Northwestern, I finally got my team together. We practiced twice a week for a couple months and created a dance that my grandma would be proud of (sorry, inside joke with my dancers, I will try to avoid those from now on).

However, the real story lies in part 2: Sleeping with the enemy.

After almost a week of beautiful, unseasonal warm weather, a cold front came sweeping through the midwest with anger and fierceness that Iowa has not seen in a while. Snow came piling in, causing traitorous conditions that even the most brave Defender couldn’t plow through.

Basically, after the first night of shows I tried to get back to Dordt in a snow storm. I didn’t even make it halfway to Dordt before I wasn’t even sure if I was on a road anymore. So I turned around and went back to the land of Raiders. I called a friend who called a friend who called a friend who called me (so grateful to Tetta, Becky, and James). I finally got out of the storm and into a dorm.

Everything was hunky dory with the sleepover with a Northwestern RA until the next morning. The excitement from the night before was just the beginning of an eventful 24 hours. I walked out of Hospers Dorm tired, hungry and ready to fail a test I didn’t really study for, but something was missing. My car. My poor car was MIA. I instantly knew that it was towed because I was standing by a sign that read, “No parking overnight,” that I did not notice the night before.

I proceeded to call Tetta, who called Becky, who called around to find my car. Drew, who is the head of the theatre department at Northwestern, called me eventually and he picked me up to drive around town to find my car. Eventually, we found it at the edge of town at an auto shop where it was towed into a snow drift; we had to dig it out with a shovel. After many attempts and picking up Drew’s brother (also much thanks) we got it out and Drew yelled, “Don’t stop until you get to Dordt!” I listened.

Wet, tired, and defeated, I finally walked back into my apartment ready for bed, but alas: I had to take a test. However, that’s not very interesting so I’ll just skip ahead.

I drove back to Northwestern that night and the next day for a total of 7 shows. Overall, I had a blast, everyone was super nice and welcoming, and my team was outstanding. We had such a good time and I am really glad and honored that I got to be a small part of Northwestern’s RUSH.

Cheers to Northwestern for accepting an outsider/enemy into their fortress and showing a Defender a Raider good time.

- Luke