Get excited, dancers. This year’s Dance Marathon promises to be better than ever.
Participants gathered inside Ryan Auditorium Wednesday night for the Dancer Kickoff Meeting. After months of raising money for StandUp for Kids, dancers are finally just a few weeks away from the 30 hours of dancing they’ve been waiting for.
Dancer Relations Co-chairs Elizabeth Green and Aaron Jacobowitz reminded dancers to sleep well and exercise in preparation for the event. Although they announced that showers have been eliminated from the list of luxuries for dancers who collected over $1,200, they also promoted the Spirit Competition, a new add-on to the main event that encourages students to attend Dance Marathon-related events, such as the upcoming Battle of the Bands.
“There are a million different ways to get involved,” Green said. “They have been great events so far and should continue to be.”
“Come out! It’s really, really fun,” Jacobowitz added.
Emcees Chika Nwosu and Wade Askew also introduced this year’s Block Themes, or music categories played during the ten three-hour intervals of dancing, including “Dirrrty BLOCK!” and “Only the Good Die Young.” As the event staff modeled each theme, the emcees encouraged dancers to dress up accordingly, promising a fun time.
Rick Koca, the CEO and founder of StandUp for Kids, also drew cheers from the crowd with his enthusiasm.
“You all ready to dance your ass off?” Koca asked the crowd.
At the same time, Koca reminded the dancers why they were there. The money raised for StandUp for Kids will help the organization provide shelter for homeless children. He explained that there are about 1.3 to 2.9 million homeless children living on their own in the United States and expressed his gratitude to the dancers.
“It really means a lot to me that you would do this, that this would be important enough to you,” he said. “Thirty hours is a long time but I‘ll be here with you and I want to thank you.”
Of course, most participants are excited for the dancing. Lauren Troy, an Executive Co-Chair for Dance Marathon, has been working on the event since May and can’t wait for the event to start.
“It’s just really invigorating,” she said. “We’re super – super – pumped to finally see a year’s work come to fruition.”
Dancers better get ready; the 30 hours of dancing will begin at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 5.