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: 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.
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 said, like 5, 6, 7, can be tough because it’s the low point, it’s the downwards bellcurve. But now as a 30-hour committee member, leading a 30-hour committee, I think it’s hard to say which block is the hardest or the easiest because they all go by so fast and they all have highs and lows just like life.
AG: Yeah, I would say our goal is to make sure the dancers are doing well, having fun. So obviously we’re going to have to work a little harder during those blocks that are harder for them, but I think we’ve been doing very well at that so far.
KM: Yeah, they’re also a lot more rewarding.
Well so speaking of rewarding, what’s the most rewarding part of your job?
AG: Seeing the dancers smile. Seeing that they enjoy themselves. Sitting down and giving them a foot massage and knowing that they’re actually having a good time and seeing that smile on their face, being able to connect with them personally, and kinda check in, see how they're doing one-to-one and just get them excited to keep going. Really just seeing that smile on their face and seeing people enjoy themselves. That’s what we’re here for, to make sure everyone’s having a good time.
KM: I personally really enjoy seeing students interact with the beneficiary, because for a lot of students participating this is the first time they’ll be interacting with the beneficiary directly. And we have really, really awesome kids that we have partnered with from our superhero schools, particularly Stag Elementary. They did a dance performance last night and they’ll do some this afternoon. Wow, can’t believe it’s already that happening… And they’re such incredible girls, and it’s really great to introduce them to dancers.
What do you want your legacy to be as the heads of Dancer Relations?
KM: Good Q.
AG: That’s a great question. I mean for us, this a pretty thankless position. I think Katie and I both took it because we aren’t ones who look for gratitude, we just kinda want to make sure that everyone is having a good time. So, if people are able to look back on this and say “you know what, that went well, I really enjoyed it, I had a great time in the tent,” that’s all I’m looking for. That’d be a great legacy for me.
KM: I know for me, having been a dancer for three years, my particular legacy that I’ve been trying to leave, or hoping to leave, is coming at Dance Marathon and leadership in Dance Marathon from the P.O.V. of a dancer, because that’s what this is really all about, is the dancers. And having had that perspective, I think is not unique to the exec board, but can be sometimes. We have members who have only ever danced, but it’s not always that way. My legacy would be making Dance Marathon the best it can be for the dancers.
And finally, what’s your favorite part of the 30-hour dance?