Dance Marathon 2016

The Latest

Updated 5:54 p.m.
Tanner Howard, March 6, 2016
    Photo by Eunice Lee / North by Northwestern

    With a grand total of $1,202,216 raised, DM surpassed its total for last year, in the process giving $920,057 to DM's primary benificiary, Blessings in a Backpack. While the physical pain and bodily exhaustion may linger into reading week, we've got the highlights of NBN's 30-hour coverage to remember the high points of DM 2016.

    • NUDM 2016 raises $1.2 million for beneficiariesDance Marathon again demonstrated it's effectiveness as the largest student-run philanthropy in America. Bringing in more than a million dollars, dancers closed Block 10 knowing their dancing made an impact.
    • Sex or Shower recap: You guessed it: NBN asked DM dancers whether they'd rather have sex or shower throughout all 30 hours. Check out our recap for detailed analysis.
    • DM haikus: It takes rare skill to command the mental prowess to write a haiku for all 10 DM blocks. Yet that's ...


    Margaret Corn, March 6, 2016

      Recapping the tears and joy of Dance Marathon's final moments.

      Video by Margaret Corn / North by Northwestern


      Elizabeth Santoro, March 6, 2016
        Photo by North by Northwestern 

        Another successful DM for the books. With a grand fundraising total of $1,201,216 here are this year's fundraising winners announced during Block 10.

        Individual Fundraiser Awards:

             First: Rebecca Rosenbaum – $29,634.29

             Second: Jack McCartney – $10,228.17

             Third: Zachary Elvove – $5,285.39

             Fourth: John Gallagher – $4,005.00

             Fifth: Paige Shin – $3,366.26

        Best New Team:

             Woo Cubed – $5,468.15*

             *highest fundraising per capita

        Most Innovative Fundraising:

             CRC – $9,281.59

        Most Engaged Team:

             Chi Omega/Lambda Chi Alpha – $24,162.10

        Small Team:

             First: FUP – $12,893.42

             Second: NUMB – $12,567.50

             Third: Project Wildcat – $11,162.57

             Fourth: Slivka – $9,364.70

             Fifth: CRC – $9,281.59

             Sixth: Sigma Phi Epsilon – $7,250.35

        Medium Team:

             First: Kappa Delta/Sigma Nu – $42,504.08

             Second: Pi Phi/Phi Delt/ Sigma Psi Zeta – $36,023.92

             Third: DZ/DX – $29,374.67

             Fourth: Chi Omega/Lambda ...


        Morgan Kinney, March 6, 2016
          Photo by Eunice Lee / North by Northwestern

          NUDM announced a fundraising total of $1,201,216 for Blessings in a Backpack and the Evanston Community Foundation after more than a year of fundraising. This weekend's event and accompanying social media push comprised the highest grossing donation day of the entire campaign, said Arielle Miller, Dance Marathon executive co-chair.

          Blessings in a Backpack, which provides meals to low-income elementary school children who would otherwise go hungry on weekends, received $920,057, the second-largest check NUDM has ever written to a non-profit beneficiary. Evanston Community Foundation, Dance Marathon's secondary beneficiary, received $102,228. Blessings in a Backpack will use funds to work with volunteers to provide resources and support that not only feed students, but contribute to stable futures, according to an NUDM press release.

          This year's fundraising total tops last year's total of $1.13 million that benefited Starlight Children's Foundation and funded new hospitals in ...


          Andy Brown, March 5, 2016

            Throughout Dance Marathon, our intrepid NBN reporters posed an important question to scores of tired, sweaty dancers: in this moment, would you rather have sex or take a shower? The results, for the most part, did not deviate from what you might expect. But during some blocks, things got ... weird. Scroll down for our highly scientific*, meticulously gathered, rigorously cross-checked analysis of block-by-block sex or shower data.

            As the night wore on and the sweat cloud got bigger and bigger, the boys' sex drive remained mostly consistent, peaking in Block 5, with 22 excited respondents answering with "sex." The girls started the night with an almost unprecedently high "sex" count, but that quickly regressed to what we assume to be the mean ... until Block 7, when their "sex" counts aligned very closely, and then in the case of Block 9, exactly with those of the boys. There is one safe assumption for these strange increases in female sex drive: Justin ...


            Andy Brown, Austin Siegel, March 5, 2016

              As Block 10 arrives, the sex drive amongst the guys has waned, while that of the girls has all but evaporated like the sweat cloud hanging in the air (which is totally a thing). It should be noted, however, that those who said sex (from both genders) did so without much forethought. Those who elected to say shower, on the other hand, generally had to take a few seconds to reach that conclusion.

              Production by Leo Ji / North by Northwestern


              Tanner Howard, March 5, 2016
                Buffett, probably saying smart stuff about money. Photo by thetaxhaven/Licensed under Creative Commons via Flickr

                Long known as the "Oracle of Omaha," Warren Buffett has spent the majority of his 85 years showing the kind of business savvy that any Kellogg student would drool over. He often demonstrates an intellectual sharpness that's made him the third-richest person in the world as of 2015, a level of mental edge that's hard to come by in Block 10. Learn more about Buffett as he shares his wisdom with the beleaguered dancer masses.

                • He lives in a $31,500 home. You'd expect a guy who's currently worth $61 billion to have lavish digs in cities around the globe. You'd be wrong: Buffett still lives in a five-bedroom stucco home in Omaha, Nebraska first purchased in 1957. It's possibly his most sound investment he ever made.
                • His diet is ... questionable. To outside observers, it appears that Buffett ...


                Margaret Corn, March 5, 2016

                  The dancers are in for another, potentially more painful marathon when their 30 hours of dancing are over. We asked them about it:


                  Tanner Howard, March 5, 2016

                    Star Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler makes his appearance in Block 9. The basketball star has become a Chicago mainstay as fellow Bulls star Derrick Rose has been in and out of the lineup. To celebrate his appearance, here's some facts about the popular player.

                    • He doesn't like to look back ... literally. Butler had a rough childhood: his dad left his family at a young age, and his mom kicked him out of the house at age 13. Understandably, it's a past he chooses to not look back on too much. But he carries that out in some surprising ways, namely by removing the rearview mirror from his car. Perhaps a bit literal, and maybe somewhat unsafe, but still a bold move.
                    • He buys people's groceries. From his turbulent childhood, Butler has learned to appreciate life and always think of others. This manifests itself every time he goes grocery shopping, where he always buys groceries for ...


                    Austin Siegel, March 5, 2016
                      Incredible. Maybe it was Pit Bull or perhaps the pasta dinner, but after polling 25 guys and 25 girls during Block 9, we have ourselves the first Sex or Shower tie of DM 2016. Though several dancers did ask if sleep was an option. Sorry everyone, but we're not that kind of publication.
                      Production by Leo Ji / North by Northwestern


                      Leo Ji, March 5, 2016
                        Production by Leo Ji and Matthew Zhang / North by Northwestern


                        Zoe Davis, March 5, 2016

                          A first-person look at one of DM's greatest traditions.

                          Video by Zoe Davis / North by Northwestern


                          Trevor Bohatch, March 5, 2016

                            In the midst of their last-minute fundraising push, we sat down with Alicia Kranjc and Kayla Brackett, DM finance co-chairs, to discuss their work.

                            How has fundraising been different this year from previous years?

                            AK: A thing that we really pushed this year was early fundraising. We had early registration this year, so that meant the dancers could register last May. And with that we had about 200 early registrant,s meaning they could create their Classy pages, have that Classy page all throughout the summer if they did want to fundraise with that Classy page - and a lot of people did. We also had an emphasis on fundraising initiative days this year, like with Giving Tuesday, which is a day in the fall. We don’t really have a lot of income coming into Dance Marathon, income through the fall, traditionally our trajectory of income is basically just exponential towards the actual date of Dance Marathon, but with that ...


                            Carmel Mu, Trevor Bohatch, March 5, 2016

                              After the slight anomaly of Block 7, where girls (briefly) outnumbered guys in their desire for sex, order to the universe was restored in Block 8. In our totally-scientific poll, girls showed a stong preference for showering, while the guys returned to their horny ways.

                              Production by Leo Ji / North by Northwestern


                              Tanner Howard, March 5, 2016

                                To some, he's a former star of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, playing Will Smith's cousin Carlton Banks. For others, he's more recognizable as a recent winner of Dancing With The Stars, masterfully using his Fresh Prince persona and the "Carlton dance" to rousing success. No matter how you know him, Alfonso Ribeiro is generally a fun and awesome dude, and a needed dose of energy heading into the closing blocks. 

                                • He's currently hosting America's Funniest Home VideosYou probably haven't watched the show since you were a kid, considering it doesn't make sense in the Internet age, but Ribeiro today hosts the long-running ABC clip show. He took over from long-running host Tom Bergeron last year, and has worked to put his own stamp on the show, saying he's taking the show in a "hip, fun, stylish" direction.
                                • He's outlived false death rumors multiple times. The totally-reputable seeming ...


                                Carrie Twersky, March 5, 2016

                                  DM executive co-chairs Arielle Miller and Kevin Harris took a break from their busy schedule and sat down with NBN and The Daily Northwestern during Block 7 to talk about how the weekend is going.

                                  NBN: How’s it going so far?

                                  KH: We’re excited. We’re in the homestretch now. Once you get past lunchtime you can see the light at the end of the tunnel and we’re certainly there now and I think the energy is certainly up in the tent from what I can tell.

                                  AM: The energy seems so good. It’s so fun.

                                  KH: So, yeah, we’re feeling really good. We’re excited and it’s also a little bittersweet that you can see the end in sight. We’ll see, we’ve got a couple house left.

                                  NBN: What is the hardest part of this weekend?

                                  AM: I think it’s keeping everyone up, right? Because it’s just a really ...


                                  Stephanie Minn, March 5, 2016
                                    Actress and singer Hailee Steinfeld. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

                                    Whether or not "Love Myself" is actually about masturbation, actress and singer Hailee Steinfeld's song has been a huge hit this year. Here are five reasons why Block 7's celebrity guest has some pretty cool reasons to love herself. 

                                    • At 14, she was the face of one of designer label Miu Miu's campaign. The ad, with Steinfeld posing on a train track, was banned in the UK by the Advertising Standards Authority for suggesting youth suicide. Yikes. 
                                    • She played The Trinity in Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood" music video. Her character was actually a set of identical triplets. She's credited on IMDB for the role. 
                                    • Her favorite new movie is Straight Outta Compton. "I really didn't have any expectations walking in, because I wasn't aware of how powerful it was, but I really, really loved that movie," Steinfeld said.
                                    • She only likes cheese, meat and ...


                                    Missy Chen, March 5, 2016

                                      30 hours too long for you? Experience DM so far in 20 seconds.

                                      Video by Missy Chen / North by Northwestern


                                      Carrie Twersky, March 5, 2016
                                        Something is in the air in Block 7 because for the first time, after randomly selecting 25 girls and 25 guys if they would rather have sex or take a shower, the girls have finally outnumbered the guys in their desire for sex. Apparently 19 hours of dancing can bring out a different side of some of these ladies, apparently. 
                                        Production by Leo Ji / North by Northwestern


                                        Leo Ji, March 5, 2016

                                          At the end of Block 6, we also sat down with Monique Brunson Jones, president and CEO of the Evanston Community Foundation, the secondary beneficiary for NUDM. Here's what she said about ECF's partnership with DM.

                                          I understand that ECF has been the secondary beneficiary for NUDM for the last 18 years. How would you describe your relationship with DM so far?

                                          Excellent, excellent, excellent. The idea that the students want to do more than just raise the money, but want to learn about the issues is what we're here to do – the idea that we're able to provide a view into the Evanston community about the issues at large is what we love being able to do.

                                          Getting the energy from you guys really helps us go back into the office and try to do better and do more – because you can get burned out if you're in this field for a long time ...


                                          Mira Wang, March 5, 2016

                                            We sat down with Blessings in a Backpack CEO Brooke Wiseman right after Block 6. Here's what she said about their partnership with DM.

                                            How long have you been in the DM tent?

                                            I was here last night and came back about 8 this morning. I’ve been in and out of the tent for all that time. It’s been amazing.

                                            What was your favorite part of DM?

                                            I was here before when everyone ran out of the chute into the tent. It was so beautiful to watch that because it meant all these students have been helping us. And to see them – hundreds of them – running in at the beginning of the Dance Marathon – was overwhelming. It was amazing to see how many students here really care about making a difference in the world at large and to feed hungry kids in the United States. That was a big testimony to the power of what the Dance ...


                                            Jason Mast, March 5, 2016

                                              One Blessings in a Backpack recipient scheduled to speak got a rambunctious introduction when her grade-school son came out on stage break-dancing. 

                                              With a combination of handstands, cartwheels and leg spinning, Laron Carter won the immediate love of the crowd and the emcees encouraged him to step up on the stage and dance more. After his mother, Ashley Carter, spoke, Laron ran around slapping hands like in a rock star at a concert.

                                              But once the dust from Laron's fast-moving feet settled, his mother stepped forward and gave emotional testimony on how Blessings in a Backpack has helped her and Laron. As a single mother and businesswoman, Carter said Blessings in a Backpack allows her to not worry that Laron will be well-fed and nourished, so that he can perform well in school and life. She said Laron loves the program and comes home joyful after he gets a backpack. 

                                              "It's more than just filling a belly," Carter ...


                                              Amal Ahmed, March 5, 2016

                                                NBN sat down with Kaitlin Jennrich and Chris Harlow, the co-chairs of DM’s production committee, to talk about their job this weekend and what the most rewarding part of DM has been so far.

                                                What does Productions do during DM?

                                                Kaitlin Jennrich: Productions is responsible for putting on the 30 hours in terms of logistics. Our team spends all week in the tent leading up to DM, putting up lights and sound equipment, doing cool things to make the weekend of DM special. The weekend of, we’re running it, doing logistics for speakers and sound.

                                                Chris Harlow: Our job is to spend months planning. During the weekend of, our team is the one working on all this.

                                                What’s your favorite part of this job?

                                                KJ: For me, it’s meeting a lot of people with an incredible set of skills. Productions draws a lot from the theater community, and I have learned so much from them in ...


                                                Harrison Simons, March 5, 2016

                                                  We sat down with Katie McLean and Austin Glass, the co-chairs of the Dancer Relations at NUDM, to discuss their job and DM experiences.

                                                  So hour 16, how are you guys feeling?

                                                   AG: Wonderful.

                                                   KM: Great.

                                                   AG: I mean, we’ve been preparing all year for this, this is what we live for this is what we love so you know we’re excited to be here, we’re sad it’s moving on so quickly.

                                                   KM: Retweet.

                                                  I know from talking to a lot of dancers that the hardest blocks are 5, 6, 7, the middle blocks. What are the hardest blocks for you guys, and why?

                                                  KM: Well, I’ve actually been a dancer for the past three years, so this is my first year on a 30-hour committee and on the exec board. So I didn’t really know what to come in expecting as a 30-hour committee member. And I think, in the past, as you ...


                                                  Jason Mast, March 5, 2016

                                                    DM took a serious and relevant turn at the start of Block 6, as Kathy Lyons of the Moran Center for Youth Advocacy talked about how Dance Marathon helps block the school-to-prison pipeline. 

                                                    Lyons, a senior staff attorney at the Center, said that it works to offer legal services and advocate on behalf of children abused in the traditional school system. While Evanston is often thought of as affluent, its demographics actually mirror that of Chicago, Lyons said, with 40 percent of students receiving free or reduced lunch and 600 homeless youth in the school system last year. Low income students, students of color and students with learning or emotional disabilities are more likely to be suspended. Those who are suspended are less likely to graduate, and high school drop-outs are more likely to wind up in prison during their lifetime, Lyons said.

                                                    "What you're doing here is keeping kids in school and out of jail," Lyons said.  

                                                    After ...


                                                    Amal Ahmed, March 5, 2016

                                                      From Block 6, our scientific* poll of whether DM dancers would rather have sex or take a shower is revealing of what 16 hours of dancing does to the human brain. We randomly selected 25 girls and 25 guys to contribute to this poll. This block, the results were perfectly inverted for guys and girls, with showers winning out for the girls as the smell of the tent intensified.

                                                      Production by Leo Ji / North by Northwestern

                                                      *There is nothing scientific about this whatsoever.


                                                      Alex Daly, March 5, 2016

                                                        Professional golfer Justin Rose took to the stage this morning, offering dancers support from a sports celebrity. Here are three fast facts about this English golfer's career.

                                                        • Justin Rose is an English professional golfer, and he’s even finished second to Tiger Woods. You can check out his ESPN profile here
                                                        • Although he’s an English golfer, Rose was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, to English parents. He moved to England when he was 5. 
                                                        • Rose knows how to transform you into a birdie machine. Check out the video below to find out.

                                                        Dancers also heard from Northwestern grad Trevor Siemian, who now plays for the Denver Broncos. Here's three fast facts about this former Northwestern football star:

                                                        • As a student at Northwestern, Siemian became an "every-down player" in 2014. 
                                                        • During his Northwestern career Siemian was a fan of hijinks. He played them largely in the locker room. 
                                                        • The football player once strapped a camera to his helmet ...


                                                        Leo Ji, March 5, 2016

                                                          We sat down with Anastasia Kouimelis, one of the co-chairs of the Food Committee at NUDM, to discuss her job and DM experiences.

                                                          As one of the Food co-chairs for NUDM, what's been the most challenging part of the job so far?

                                                          I think the most important thing for us is giving the dancers the food that they need to keep dancing, and sometimes that's food that's really difficult to get donated. So that's been challenging, but we think we came up with a good snack menu and meal menu for the dancers. It was challenging but worth it for sure.

                                                          How has it been logistically? How do you decide when to have snacks and meals?

                                                          I think DM is a really well-oiled machine, so we work with Productions and Dancer and Beneficiary Relations and some of the other committees to make a minute-by-minute schedule, so we know ahead of time when we're preparing snacks ...


                                                          Jason Mast, March 5, 2016

                                                            A Northwestern alumna-turned Evanston principal took the stage as Block 5 came to a close to stress the importance of helping the community and remind dancers of how their fundraising for Blessings in a Backpack will materially help local children. 

                                                            Michelle Cooney (SESP '96), the interim principle of Lincoln Elementary School in Evanston, said she puts lunch bags into 75 of the school's 530 students each day through Blessings in a Backpack.  Although Evanston is often perceived as an affluent neighborhood, Cooney said 43 percent of her kids are low-income. 

                                                            "Whether you know it or not, your participation here is making a diffrence and helping families within the community during some of their most challenging times," Cooney said. 

                                                            Cooney told her story of coming to Northwestern, which served as an example for how students could join and serve the Evanston community. Coming to Northwestern from Philadelphia, she and a close friend quickly volunteered at Evanston schools and enmeshed themselves ...


                                                            Harrison Simons, Leo Ji, March 5, 2016

                                                              The fifth installment of our extremely unscientific* poll of whether DM dancers would rather have sex or take a shower. We randomly selected 25 girls and 25 guys to contribute to this poll. We ask the question every block and see where the numbers take us. For Block 5, the guys clearly have a one-track mind. 

                                                              Production by Leo Ji / North by Northwestern

                                                              *There is nothing scientific about this whatsoever.


                                                              Caroline Spiezio, March 5, 2016
                                                                Photo via

                                                                Shark Tank star and billionaire entrepreneur Barbara Corcoran showed her support for Dance Marathon in a short video during Block 5. But she's more than your average mogul turned reality TV judge. Here are some quick facts about Corcoran you won't find on TV. 


                                                                Jason Mast, March 5, 2016

                                                                  Presaging an injection of feel-good songs, Amy Kaufman of the Community Partners for Affordable Housing (CPAH) addressed Dance Marathon during Block 4 to explain how the money students raised will help families in need get back on the feet.

                                                                  CPAH purchases and refurbishes aparment building and homes and then sells or rents them to low income people. Kaufman, the director of Community Relations and Development at CPAH, gave the story of a father of four who had to give up his stable job in Chicago for a low-paying position in Evanston after his wife became mentally ill. With the lower salary, he lost his house. Months after he found a rental apartment, his landlord raised his rent by $300 per month, putting them out on the street. That's where CPAH stepped in, giving him a stable home at an affordable price. 

                                                                  "You cannot overstate what it means for someone to have a roof over their head," Kaufman said.  "If ...


                                                                  Jason Mast, March 5, 2016

                                                                    For Dance Marathon, each dancer is entitled to a foot massage. Lining the hallway between Frontera Grill and the C-Store on the ground floor of Norris, members of Dancer Relations sit armed with tubs of lotion and hand sanitizer, wearing blue surgical gloves awaiting the sweaty feet of hundreds of students. NBN sat down with one masseuse, Communication sophomore Jacqueline Lunsford, to discuss life as a Dance Marathon foot rubber. 

                                                                    What’s the worst thing that could happen when massaging feet?

                                                                    I could get foot fungus on my face. That’s the worst that could happen.

                                                                    Could that actually happen?

                                                                    If it gets on your hands then it gets on your face, then yeah it could happen.

                                                                    How many feet have you massaged so far?

                                                                    This is my second turn, so this will be 12 sets of feet. So, really, 24 feet.

                                                                    Have you gotten down a rapport?

                                                                    I like to think I’m a master foot massager among my ...


                                                                    Leo Ji, March 5, 2016

                                                                      Best known for playing Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network, Jesse Eisenberg made a shout-out video appearance during Block 4. You may be familiar with his twitchy mannerisms, but here are five other fast facts about this American actor, director and playwright.

                                                                      • He doesn't have a Facebook page. We tried to find one, but all that Facebook could return was an unofficial page with an excerpt from Wikipedia. The actor is said to keep a low profile, according to When he was cast in The Social Network, colloquially known at "The Facebook movie," he said he knew little about the site. 
                                                                      • Eisenberg had a small (uncredited) role in the first episode of The Newsroom, the HBO series about a fictional cable news network. He was the voice of Eric Neal, an inspector with the Minerals Management Service.
                                                                      • His hair makes me jealous. In an interview with Grantland, he said that his new hairstyle in Now You See ...


                                                                      Leo Ji, March 5, 2016

                                                                        The fourth installment of our extremely unscientific poll of whether DM dancers would like to have sex or take a shower. This block, we randomly selected 26 males and 24 females to contribute to this poll.

                                                                        We ask the question every block and see where the numbers take us. For Block 4, the gap between the girls is becoming more obvious; for the guys, we're starting to see the gap narrow. 

                                                                        Production by Leo Ji / North by Northwestern


                                                                        Jason Mast, March 5, 2016

                                                                          Over 1,000 dancers breathed a collective sigh of relief when Dance Marathon hit Block 4, and the music paused for bit of spoken word.

                                                                          The dancers sat, snacking on clementines and apples like sweaty, poorly-dressed fifth graders at a school assembly, not knowing what was coming.

                                                                          Communication sophomore Pauline Moll delivered, bringing the tired college students back to their youth in a spoken word performance that traced her own fundraising to a single eighth grade teacher's class. The teacher lectured each day on the struggles the less fortunate have, she said, instilling in her the need to serve others. 

                                                                          "I had known about institutional racism and sexism and ablism, and children going hungry for years beforehand, but only peripherally," Moll said. "I had never looked injustice in the eye, or never tried."

                                                                          She compared the influence of Dance Marathon to a metaphor her teacher gave her: dropping pebbles into a pond. Feeding children through Blessings in a Backpack ...


                                                                          Margaret Corn, March 5, 2016

                                                                            Dancing is hard, especially for 30 hours. Check out NBN's motivational video and rhyme your way to the finish line.

                                                                            Video by Margaret Corn / North by Northwestern


                                                                            Alex Daly, March 5, 2016

                                                                              The third installment of our extremely unscientific* poll of whether DM dancers would rather have sex or take a shower. We randomly selected 25 girls and 25 guys to contribute to this poll. We ask the question every block and see where the numbers take us. For Block 3, the results could not be more divergent.

                                                                              Production by Leo Ji / North by Northwestern

                                                                              *There is nothing scientific about this whatsoever.


                                                                              Jason Mast, March 5, 2016
                                                                                Rich Stephens breaks into questionable dance moves / GIF by Morgan Kinney

                                                                                As Block 3 descended into the dregs of mid-2000s pop that are "Rich Girl" and "Dont'cha," Richard Stephens, board member for Blessings in a Backpack, grabbed the show to give a speech of appreciation and put on his most "Glamorous" dance moves. 

                                                                                Stephens opened by expressing his gratitude for the dancers' fundraising work that he said will supply 3.3 million children in need with food for the weekend. He said that by making sure children have the nourishment they need, they can sleep at night and live better lives overall. 

                                                                                "What your efforts are doing is helping them sleep, it's helping them feel loved, it's helping them feel more secure, so they can become the next possible students that come here to this wonderful University," Stephens said. 

                                                                                Flying in from Orlando, Stephens said he took refuge in the sweat-filled haze permeating the Dance Marathon. He ...


                                                                                Tanner Howard, March 5, 2016

                                                                                  Twenty-five year old Matt Bellassai is living the Millenial dream. For the uninitiated, Bellassai is a Medill grad turned Buzzfeed editor turned web star, parlaying the act of drinking at work into Internet stardom. It seems to be working for him; he recently suspended his popular video series to go solo as a comedian. Sound like career success? You bet.

                                                                                  • He came to fame by posting videos of himself drinking wine at work. Bellassai's biggest claim to fame, of course, is his weekly web series "Whine About It," which he started for Buzzfeed last year. He's made two seasons of videos thus far, with about 3.5 million people tuning in weekly. It's certainly the most productive thing somebody's ever done while drinking a bottle of wine at work.
                                                                                  • He's got a customized Chipotle card. In February, Bellassai posted a photo on Instagram of a customized Chipotle gift card, good for a free daily burrito ...


                                                                                  Michael Aronson, March 5, 2016
                                                                                  • One of the finest costumes in the DM tent. This dancer stayed very true to the Nyan Cat look.
                                                                                  • A very successful attempt at dressing to the theme: Scumbag Steve, a classic.
                                                                                  • These girls actually asked me to take a photo of them. Little did they know that I would use the photo as an example of what *not* to do.
                                                                                  • Nice try, but Twitter isn't a meme in and of itself.
                                                                                  • You can do better!
                                                                                  • A rather lackadaisical attempt at "Damn, Daniel."
                                                                                  Photos by Michael Aronson / North by Northwestern

                                                                                  Earlier today, NBN Editor-in-Chief Morgan Kinney reached out to ask me to cover Block 2 of Dance Marathon, themed Dance Memeathon. I was happy to fulfill his request; memes have been a serious pursuit of mine since I was but a wee lad. I was excited to enter into an environment filled with people interested – or at least feigning interest – in memes and write a report on my experience.

                                                                                  I was extremely disappointed, however, when I walked into the Dance Marathon tent at approximately 10:15 PM to find that only an extremely small proportion of dancers had decided to dress to the block's theme. Those that did dress to the meme theme generally did so in a minimalistic way; most participants of the theme simply taped a picture of a meme to their torso or slipped on a pair of white shoes to bear the likeness of "Damn, Daniel."

                                                                                  This is ...


                                                                                  Leo Ji, Will Fischer, March 4, 2016

                                                                                    Sports editor Will Fischer gives us a first-person perspective on Block 1 of DM 2016.

                                                                                    Video produced by Leo Ji


                                                                                    Stephanie Minn, March 4, 2016
                                                                                      Dancers got their fix of The Today Show not at 7 a.m., but 10 p.m. when its hosts Al Roker, Savannah Guthrie and Willie Geist appeared on screen as Block 2's guest celebrities. Here are five fun facts about America's favorite morning news trio.
                                                                                      • Al Roker hates running. But he likes pie. A real quote: “I run so I can eat pie.”
                                                                                      • Roker’s first car was a 1963 Dodge Dart with a push button automatic transmission. It was given to him from the man whose yard he had mowed all through high school.
                                                                                      • Savannah Guthrie is afraid of frogs. Ellen Degeneres teased her with a real live frog when Guthrie appeared on her show. A lot of screaming was involved.
                                                                                      • Willie Geist’s middle-school style involved floral surfer shorts and turquoise high-tops, the “Key West vibe.” He met his future wife in sixth-grade homeroom.
                                                                                      • Geist’s father has Parkinson’s disease. The two wrote a ...


                                                                                      Stephanie Minn, March 4, 2016

                                                                                        Behold, the Block 2 edition of our extremely scientific* poll of whether DM dancers would rather have sex or take a shower. We asked 25 girls and 25 guys the big question, and the girls are starting to feel a little dirty. The guys are just thinking dirty thoughts.

                                                                                        Production by Leo Ji / North by Northwestern

                                                                                        *There is nothing scientific about this whatsoever.


                                                                                        Elizabeth Santoro, March 4, 2016
                                                                                          Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

                                                                                          You're going to want to "Like," "Wow," "Haha" and every other new Facebook reaction after the Block 1 celebrity shout-out by Facebook COO Sandberg. Sandberg made a video appearance as the first guest speaker for NUDM 2016. Here are five fast facts about Sandberg worth sharing.

                                                                                          • She taught aerobics. Sporting a "silver leotard, leg warmers and a shiny headband" Sandberg taught classes in the 80s while at Harvard University.
                                                                                          • She was sophomore class president in high school. Sandberg attended North Miami Beach Senior High School where by the end of her four years she graduated with a 4.646 GPA. Not too shabby. 
                                                                                          • Her own Facebook page has over 1,924,984 followers. Of course we would expect her to have her own FB page but even better? She's a fan of froyo
                                                                                          • She doesn't like the word "bossy." Sandberg helped start the campaign "Ban Bossy" to end girls ...


                                                                                          Elizabeth Santoro, March 4, 2016

                                                                                            It's back: our extremely scientific* poll of whether DM dancers would rather have sex or take a shower. Randomly selected by my eyes, 25 girls and 25 guys contribute to this poll. We ask the question every block and slowly we'll see which desire wins out as the hours tick on.

                                                                                            For Block 1, people still feeling fresh and perky... so our findings are leaning heavily toward sex.

                                                                                            Production by Leo Ji / North by Northwestern

                                                                                            *There is nothing scientific about this whatsoever.


                                                                                            Caroline Spiezio, March 4, 2016

                                                                                              Dance Marathon kicked off with speeches from secondary beneficiary Evanston Community Foundation representative Monique Jones and primary beneficiary Blessings in a Backpack liaison Shannon Fitzgerald.

                                                                                              Evanston Community Foundation works to bring equal opportunities and improved quality of life to Evanston residents.

                                                                                              “A little bit of funding has started a great big conversation, and it’s all because of you,” Jones said.

                                                                                              Fitzgerald spoke after Jones. Met with a roar of cheering, she began by thanking the dancers and the leaders of DM, calling the relationship “more than a partnership.”

                                                                                              “I’ve cried with some of you, I’ve laughed with some of you and in about five minutes I’m going to dance with all of you,” she said.

                                                                                              Blessings in a Backpack provides elementary school children across America with food on weekends when they don't have access to free or reduced price school meals.

                                                                                              For SESP junior Jacob Rosenblum, Fitzgerald’s speech was a reminder of the organization ...


                                                                                              Andie Linker, March 3, 2016
                                                                                                Photo courtesy of Google.

                                                                                                In the midst of worrying how you are going to stay awake and energized for 30 hours, it’s easy to forget about one of the most crucial pieces to the Dance Marathon puzzle: your outfits. Have no fear, Life and Style is here to plan your outfits, so you look fab (but also stay comfy) for all thirty hours of DM.

                                                                                                First of all, wear comfy shoes. I am forgoing any sort of style on my feet because I know they will be going through a lot this weekend. They will thank you when it’s all said and done. #protip: Bring flip flops and comfy tennis shoes, alternating them every few blocks. #DYK: If you don’t change your shoes and socks on a regular basis you will probably develop trenchfoot and need your feet cut off like these WWI soldiers.

                                                                                                Block 1: Baby Got Backpack

                                                                                                Teams usually make shirts for this block, so ...


                                                                                                Yvonne Kim, March 3, 2016
                                                                                                  Image courtesy of Google.

                                                                                                  Dance Marathon is just around the corner (along with extensive NBN coverage) and perhaps you’re being hit with a gigantic wave of muddled emotions. Unexpected assignments that have to get done before the big weekend? Fear about how utterly out of shape you are? Excitement for your first DM experience? Regardless, we’re here to give you a boost and some mental preparation. We know horoscopes are your guilty pleasure whether you admit it or not, so whether you’re an Aquarius ready to dance your ass off or a Libra in desperate need of caffeine, we’ve got you covered.

                                                                                                  Aries: March 21 – April 19

                                                                                                  Uranus is in Aries until 2018, meaning that for you upperclassmen, you’ll never experience DM  in any other phase. Take full advantage of it now. The Aries phase brings forth waves of innovation and self-revolution. Use DM as a means of reinventing yourself, whether this be realizing your ...


                                                                                                  Time Until DM Ends

                                                                                                  Yas [dancing] queen! Congratulations, DM 2016 is over!

                                                                                                  Photos From The Dancefloor

                                                                                                  Overhear something hilarious in the tent? Tweet at @nbn_overheard with the hashtag #overheardatDM.

                                                                                                  Tweet your photos to @nbn_tweets or email them to

                                                                                                  Haikus by Will Fischer
                                                                                                  A dancer sends in a haiku each block; we watch his ability to speak coherently deteriorate.

                                                                                                  Block 1
                                                                                                  It's really sweaty
                                                                                                  How are there nine more of these
                                                                                                  Tell mom I love her

                                                                                                  Block 2
                                                                                                  Sweat rains from ceiling
                                                                                                  No one has died yet I think
                                                                                                  I'm optimistic?

                                                                                                  Block 3
                                                                                                  Body is failing
                                                                                                  Must be a way to escape
                                                                                                  I despise standing

                                                                                                  Block 4
                                                                                                  There's still a fucking day left
                                                                                                  How will I survive

                                                                                                  Block 5
                                                                                                  I am sleep dancing
                                                                                                  This is called insanity
                                                                                                  Free Bobby Shmurda

                                                                                                  Block 6
                                                                                                  I think it's daytime
                                                                                                  I have no concept of time

                                                                                                  Block 7
                                                                                                  80s theme did it for me
                                                                                                  I should survive now

                                                                                                  Block 8
                                                                                                  Really exhausted
                                                                                                  Sandstorm may be illegal
                                                                                                  I can see the light

                                                                                                  Block 9
                                                                                                  Strangely energized
                                                                                                  Did we really make it here?
                                                                                                  Smells like sweat and farts

                                                                                                  Block 10
                                                                                                  Amazing event
                                                                                                  I may never stand again
                                                                                                  But it was worth it

                                                                                                  The Wall

                                                                                                  DM Blocks

                                                                                                  Block 1: Baby Got Back(pack) (7 p.m. - 10 p.m.)
                                                                                                  Block 2: Dance Memeathon (10 p.m. - 1 a.m.)
                                                                                                  Block 3: Middle School Dance (1 a.m. - 4 a.m.)
                                                                                                  Block 4: Skype Interview (4 a.m. - 7 a.m.)
                                                                                                  Block 5: Star Wars: the Block Awakens (7 a.m. - 10 a.m.)
                                                                                                  Block 6: What Team? Wildcats! (10 a.m. - 1 p.m.)
                                                                                                  Block 7: 80's Workout Video (1 p.m. - 4 p.m.)
                                                                                                  Block 8: Set Fire to the Rainbow (4 p.m. - 7 p.m.)
                                                                                                  Block 9: Destination Anywhere (7 p.m. - 10 p.m.)
                                                                                                  Block 10: This Is What Feeding Dreams is Made Of (10 p.m. - 1 a.m.)

                                                                                                  What's Playing At DM