Standing room only at Rock the Lake: Stans, first-years and transfers overflow the auditorium

Performers took the stage Sunday during Wildcat Welcome for Rock the Lake, an annual mega-variety show, in McCormick Auditorium. This event showed the enormity of small worlds at Northwestern, with various groups in the crowd cheering for their favorite performers and organizations. 

Many first-years and transfer students glimpsed on-campus performing arts with 10-minute showcases from 25 student organizations.

Dale Duro Latin Dance Co., a participating organization, was particularly excited for this show, according to Weinberg junior and president Diana Gonzalez. 

Dale Duro is performing at Rock the Lake to showcase some of our great dancers, in hopes of attracting many new members looking for a Latinx community,” Gonzalez said. 

This year, NU had food trucks around Norris University Center where students could grab food with provided tickets. A capella fans could watch their favorite groups in the Starbucks inside Norris University Center, where singers serenaded fans new and old while slurping frappuccinos. 

Getting to the auditorium was a challenge this year. Some students filled up all the seats even before Rock the Lake’s scheduled start. Those who arrived on time stood along the auditorium walls, overflowing into the aisles. 

Student demand to watch NU’s dance groups was significant, so the SOURCE lounge had a live video setup. Students and faculty watched the event on a large screen on Norris’s third floor while snacking on chips and various cookie flavors. 

The line outside McCormick Auditorium for students who wanted to see Rock the Lake extended outside the auditorium. After the first hour of performances, an SOA staff member reminded the audience there was a long line outside and to relinquish seats so someone new could sit down.

Weinberg freshman Anna Truong said she enjoyed watching different groups.

“It was really cool how Freshman Fifteen integrated a lot of recent songs that came out,” Truong said. “I think Brown Sugar was a great group … They integrate (South Asian) culture and then they infuse it with American songs also, and it sounds wonderful.”

K-Dance made its Rock the Lake debut Sunday. Its president, Weinberg senior Michelle Lee,  said the group originally hesiated to sign up for Rock the Lake as it hadn’t performed at the event before. 

Lee said she thought the show was a success — she noticed lots of cheering from the crowd. 

“I was actually surprised with the (positive) reaction,” Lee said.

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