As NUDM 2013 entered its last leg, dancers found themselves high-fiving University President Morton Schapiro on their way into the tent for Block 10. After everyone gathered inside the tent and the airy feeling inside the tent was once again replaced by steamy claustrophobia, Schapiro took to the stage to give everyone another quick pep talk, peppered with his trademark humor.
"I slapped a bunch of your hands on the way in," he began. "And it was disgusting!"
With everyone wearing the same white DM 2013 shirt for the final block, it's become difficult to distinguish dancers from official DM committee members or other supporting visitors. Schapiro's response was to add one of his signature purple sweaters to the mix, wearing it under his DM shirt for fear that "you wouldn't recognize me" without it. But his jokes quickly gave way to a heartfelt salute to the tent's dancers.
"It's amazing what you're doing," he said. "I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Nobody is better as a representative of Northwestern."
Schapiro was followed by snacks from Andy's, but Block 10 didn't really kick off until Mike Stanton, the father of Danny Did's namesake, gave a speech on behalf of the entire Stanton family. Like Schapiro, Stanton had spoken to dancers at the beginning of NUDM 2013.
"They say you can't know what DM is until you've experienced it," he said, over 20 hours later. "Man, were they right."
Stanton gave a history of his late son Daniel Stanton, the inspiration of the Danny Did Foundation. According to Stanton, young Danny was an energetic and loving young boy, who "woke up most mornings looking for a hug," and then spent his days colroing, reading and playing with toys.
"Above all, though, Danny was a member of his family," Stanton said to the crowd. "He was a thoughtful big brother to Tommy. He was Johnny's compadre and constant sidekick. He was Mary Grace's little enforcer. He was always my little helper. More than anything, though, Danny was his mom's little buddy. Danny's love for Marianne, and Marianne's love for Danny, was and is immeasurable. It's a love that a thousand deaths will never conquer."
This speech was immediately followed up by a three-pronged blast of '90s nostalgia, courtesy of Backstreet Boys, Hanson and the Spice Girls. Dancers reacted by hugging each other and singing along as the tent once again surged with energy. As McCormick junior and second time dancer Emily Foley said, even when DM veterans kind of know what's going to happen as the night goes on, moments like these retain their emotional impact.
"I thought it was great," Foley said about the speech and Block 10 energy. "It's one of the reasons I love DM so much."