BY ADRIANA PERRY
More than 80 people came to Finnegan Fieldhouse on March 1 to see the first-ever “Scrum Down Hoedown” fundraiser, a night of talent and camaraderie put on by Franciscan University’s Baronettes dance team and the F.U.S. Rugby Football Club.
Both teams performed the opening act, dancing to “Shut Up and Dance” by Walk the Moon. A number of musical performances followed their dance sequence. These varied from an audience-participation song led by Tim Wood and other members of the rugby team to the timeless pieces of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” and Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” sung by Elijah Simon, Lauren Ramseyer and McKenna Callahan to a baton performance by Christina Praetzel. Franciscan soccer players Michele Volk and Daniel Binette provided introductions and humor as emcees for the night.
The Rugby Club and the Baronettes performed together again to close the evening, combining line dancing and swing dancing to a medley of the songs “Footloose” and “Fake ID”
The idea to host a joint fundraiser was initiated by Roni Buehnerkemper and Jean-Marie Bralley, captain and co-captain of the Baronettes. What had been a proposition last semester materialized into something more than just another fundraiser or showcase.
“We’ve been having four practices a week for the last three weeks,” said Tim Wood from the Rugby Club. Sharing his own thoughts on the unifying element of the “Scrum down Hoedown,” he said, “It was great to see how both teams came out to work together. It’s cool to see two sports merge together. And it’s not even two similar sports that are working together but completely different genres.”
Buehnerkemper commented on the new perspective that the teams’ commitment to producing a great performance has made.
She said, “It’s given our teams a better understanding of one another. For example, there’s a move called the grapevine we do. In the middle of practice, I was saying for everyone to ‘step behind,’ and Tim (Wood) was saying it’s like the ‘karaoke.’ It’s a lot easier to communicate as long as we know how to translate. It’s so funny.”
All of the hard work paid off on the part of both teams.
“I liked it! It was entertaining!” said Franciscan alumnus Dorothy Sewing. She also commented on Praetzel’s performance, “I thought that Christina did really well tonight.”
Esther Power, first-year theology graduate student, said that one reason she came was to watch a friend perform.
“One of my really good friends Mary Clare is on the dance team, and I really wanted to see her dance,” she said. “I had seen her perform at the basketball game a couple of weeks ago, and they did a really good job so I wanted to see her again. Plus, to see the rugby team dance because that sounded entertaining.”