Dancers take a break, break their fast at Block 5
    Shelbie Bostedt / North by Northwestern
    Shelbie Bostedt / North by Northwestern

    It’s early morning here on campus, and while most Northwestern students are peacefully sleeping off their Friday nights, Dance Marathon participants are only just now approaching the halfway point on roughly zero hours of sleep.

    At the start of Block 5 (7 a.m. in the world outside the tent), dancers get a chance to recuperate a bit while eating breakfast. DM brings in student groups - Fusion Dance Company, Freshman Fifteen and the Northwestern Drumline this year - to entertain and give the dancers a bit of mental stimulation while their bodies recover. It’s a small blessing in the middle of what is starting to seem like a never-ending cycle of dance and pseudo-sleep.

    “I don’t know who’s performing yet, but I’m really fine with anyone as long as I get to sit down for a bit,” said Siddharth Daftary, McCormick junior.

    For those trying out DM for the first time, Block 5 feels like a milestone.

    “I didn’t think I’d stay awake this long,” said Alex Wilke, McCormick and Bienen freshman.

    Wilke has added reason to be impressed by his own wakefulness, though. While his fellow dancers were resting and eating their cereal, Wilke was performing alongside his fellow singers in Freshman Fifteen.

    Whether resting or performing, though, Block 5 provides a much-needed boost to most dancers.

    “I’m tired and my feet hurt, but I’m in it,” said Daftary.

    Wilke felt much the same way, even though he was standing and singing instead of sitting and eating.

    “I caught my second wind on stage,” he said.


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