We checked in with Dance Marathon 2014 executive co-chairs Anna Radoff and Josh Parish to ask about what their job entails, what they liked about Team Joseph and what it feels like to have the end in sight.
How do you guys think DM has gone so far?
Anna: So well!
Josh: Yeah, really awesomely. You know, getting back into this part of the day is always exciting, because visitors are coming back and lockdown is always somewhat more of a lull. Dancers I think are a little tired right now, which is normal, so we’re trying our best to keep happy.
Anna: Yeah, but no issues. Everything’s going well. Exec is very, very pleased with how it’s going so far.
Josh: If we continue on this track, we’ll be good.
What did you guys think about starting off with the Obama video?
Josh: We were waiting for that moment all week.
Anna: I think that was the coolest thing to ever happen to me in my Northwestern experience.
Josh: You know, we wanted to start with it as opposed to doing it where we traditionally would have in Block 10, to be able to share with all of Northwestern alums and all of our supporters. Hopefully, the goal is that it drives people to view the livesream, people to donate online and people to keep track of the event.
Anna: We’re up to 7,000 views on YouTube, so it’s really awesome to see that it is being shared and it’s getting out there.
Following up on some of the stuff you talked about in the feature for our magazine, what's the difference having Joseph here during Dance Marathon, as opposed to having a beneficiary where the namesake is not here?
Anna: Something we’ve always talked about with Team Joseph is its sense of urgency, and being able to see Joseph I think really exemplifies that. Having Katie Penrod speak last night, hearing a sister talk about how her brother needs help when you can see her brother and see he needs help, is something that is just incredible and really unique.
Josh: It’s funny because the organization is founded around him, but he’s not really idealized or anything, because when you meet him he’s just a really normal, cool eleven-year old guy.
Anna: With great card tricks!
Josh: Yeah, with great card tricks and a great sense of humor. He’s into all of the same things that normal eleven-year-olds would be into so the chance to see that just reminds you of so many folks that you know, whereas sometimes if they’re not there it’s hard to imagine.
So what do you guys do during DM? Do you do any dancing?
Anna: we do dance quite a bit. At least we’ve been trying to. I think for us, we’re both 120 Hour Club members so just getting into the tent as much as possible reminds you that the dancers have the hardest job by far!
Josh: We really do a lot of troubleshooting. The little things that come up, whether it’s something like the Norris staff needs a door unlocked or there’s a dancer who lost their way to the bathroom, we’re always down to help out or go grab something from somewhere, and periodically check in with all of the different co-chairs, especially the 30-hour ones, to make sure that meals are getting served and the production schedule is following along accordingly.
Anna: A lot of it, too, is making sure all of the pieces that are happening are coordinating with each other and helping to facilitate that, because sometimes they forget when they’re so focused on their own thing.
Josh: We stick to a pretty strict schedule, which especially as a dancer I didn’t realize. But it’s really minute-by-minute, and so it takes a lot of coordination to make sure we don’t get behind or ahead.
Alright, so how do you feel about being halfway done?
Anna: Nostalgic, already.
Josh: The second half always goes faster for me. Maybe it’s the daylight, maybe it’s the visitors around, but I’m so proud to watch the board.
We concluded by asking them to share their favorite dance moves with us. They showed us moves they called the "Joan Radish," a pseudonymous combination of their names that they sometimes use to sign off DM-related emails. Results are GIF-ed above and below.