by Molly Barari
Custer’s Elizabeth Anderson, 16, and Luke Anderson, 19, have been called the Black Hills’ version of Dancing with the Stars’ famous sibling duo Julianne and Derek Hough. Lizzie and Luke smile at the comparison. They hear it all the time. And they don’t mind.
Lizzie is a junior at Rapid City Christian High School, and Luke graduates in May. While they both excel at school and realize its importance to their futures, Lizzie and Luke live to dance.
Although Luke is older, Lizzie was the first sibling to dance. When she was three years old, her mom, Jennie Anderson, enrolled her in dance classes at the Custer Family YMCA with teacher Jodi Larabee. Luke would come watch Lizzie’s classes and do the dances with her at home.
During the Christmas season, Lizzie had a Rudolph nose for a recital, and the Rudolph nose blinked. “I thought that Rudolph nose was the coolest thing, so I stole it,” said Luke, with a laugh. There weren’t any other boys in the dance class at the time, but Jennie saw how much her son enjoyed movement. Luke started officially dancing with Lizzie at the YMCA at age 6 – and they have been dancing together ever since. They danced at the YMCA until 2008, when they enrolled at Lo-Ru West Dance in Custer for a short period.
“In 2012, we started at Dance Elite in Rapid City,” said Lizzie. “Dance was becoming our world, so our family made the commitment to travel into Rapid City every day so we could get advanced training.” Serendipitously – in the fall of 2013 – their dad, Paul, started teaching physical education at Rapid City Christian. It was a great opportunity for Lizzie and Luke to begin attending school there, and to honor their increasing dedication to dance.