Photo courtesy of Elliot Auch | First-year Elliot Auch has made a splash on campus with his dance solos around Husman Stage. Auch is often the star of students’ Snapchat stories. He will be performing in Xavier Theatre’s Urinetown in October.
You walk outside of the caf, green to-go box in hand, ready to keep moving with your busy day. You know there are Week of Welcome events happening, but you don’t really have the time to do much of anything other than study. On your walk to Gallagher you see a large crowd surrounding the Husman Stage, all watching a tall and flexible student dancing and wearing headphones. He begins to run, slides on his knees across the stage, and shreds on an invisible guitar. No one can hear his music, but everyone can feel it.
His physical expressions draw a crowd, but for Elliot Auch, first-year exploratory major from St. Louis, Missouri, now affectionately referred to as “Elliot the dancing guy,” what looked like the beginning of a flash mob, a social experiment or perhaps a Week of Welcome activity to Sophomore Lensy Arce, was actually just an impulse.
“I had no idea what was going on,” Arce explained, “I was just so surprised that someone had the courage to dance with their headphones on while others were watching … that takes guts, honestly.”
According to Auch, the emptiness of the Husman Stage after a Week of Welcome event seemed like an unmistakable opportunity to dance.
“I really just wanted to dance; I didn’t care about location. I saw my opportunity and felt the impulse. Then people started watching and saying how much they enjoyed it. Entertaining people is something I really love to do,” Auch said.
His dancing brings an unexplainable joy to many who watch, and whether the cause of that is his fulfillment of the spectators’ wildest dreams or his smile-inducing dance moves, Auch believes that“people like how it’s unusual … I personally like how it requires (me) to be continually active, instead of passive. You are continually choosing to dance. It always has to be renewed.”
Arce isn’t the only one dumbfounded by Auch’s “surprising” level of confidence. Tyler Gilkey, sophomore choreographer for Xavier Singers, hopes to see Auch try out for the show choir club. According to Gilkey, not only is he “fun to watch,” but Auch is “a good performer” too.
When peers ask Auch how he acquired the confidence to dance onstage, he reminds them that all he feels he is doing is taking a leap of faith. “I struggle like everyone else. I often doubt my worth. I shrink from the occasion far more often than I rise to it. Every time I walk on that stage, I get anxious. My hands shake. My chest tightens. My shoulders tense up. Confidence isn’t something you have or acquire. It’s a process of continually grappling with who you are, reflecting on what you value and recognizing that sometimes it’s more dangerous to play it safe than it is to take the leap.”
For Auch, continuing to renew the leap isn’t just an impulse anymore, it’s a matter of remaining human. “We have a choice in how we approach the world. Leaping is a choice. You must choose, intentionally and actively, to do it each and every time. That ability, the ability to choose, is the truest expression of what it means to be human.”
You can watch Auch continually choose in Xavier Theatre’s upcoming musical, Urinetown, as he shreds, pops and locks his way through his role as Lockstock the Narrator.
By: Brittany Wells | Staff Writer