Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
“The first time I attended an RnM show, I think I maintained an erection for the entire performance,” said Jason Ming ‘15. “After that, I learned to control myself.”
While this account is only one of many, it is certainly characteristic of the intense physical and emotional sensations that the student body experiences at each Rhythm ‘n Motion performance. As the dancers gyrate onstage, audience members can be seen adjusting their pants, fanning themselves, or whispering “think of Rebecca Chopp” in attempts to maintain composure.
Sexual Health Counselor Lema Hayes ’16 said, “I always tell my residents to attend the RnM shows simply because it’s a great place to vicariously live one’s sexual fantasies without the effort of actually trying to find a partner to enjoy those fantasies with!” And with a packed house, it seems that Swatties took Hayes’ advice. While some students say they attended the show “just to support friends” many more admit they return every semester for the arousal.
But while upperclassmen students have expectations for arousal, Paul Block ’17 said, “As a freshman, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Then all of a sudden, there was grinding and twerking and booty-shaking and I felt more aroused than when I watch Game of Thrones.”
Airya Kurthipala ’14, co-Artistic Director for the group, responded to the many instances of arousal and said, “We specifically choreograph dances that will result in maximum arousal. You don’t see any boring ballet shit from us, do you? No, you see some hardcore penis-raising action.” Additionally, Janna Hoo ’16, two-year member of the group, said, “People look at me all day and think I’m this timid Korean girl. But then they see me on the LPAC stage and view me as some sort of sexual icon! I dig it!”
Additionally, students are frustrated by the fact that Genderfuck is not immediately after the RnM show. Last year, students were able to relieve their pent-up arousal at the infamous party, but this year Swatties will have to find alternate means to come off the high of arousal that the RnM dancers provide.
But students’ feelings can be summarized by the experience of one administrator who prefers not to be named, but can be identified by reaching 2048 here, when she said, “I knew it’d be a good show because after just the African Opener, I went from desert to waterfall in two seconds flat.”