We sat down with Anastasia Kouimelis, one of the co-chairs of the Food Committee at NUDM, to discuss her job and DM experiences.
As one of the Food co-chairs for NUDM, what's been the most challenging part of the job so far?
I think the most important thing for us is giving the dancers the food that they need to keep dancing, and sometimes that's food that's really difficult to get donated. So that's been challenging, but we think we came up with a good snack menu and meal menu for the dancers. It was challenging but worth it for sure.
How has it been logistically? How do you decide when to have snacks and meals?
I think DM is a really well-oiled machine, so we work with Productions and Dancer and Beneficiary Relations and some of the other committees to make a minute-by-minute schedule, so we know ahead of time when we're preparing snacks and sending them out. We try to stick to that as much as possible – obviously, we're flexible here and there – but it makes it really easier for Leigh and I as co-chairs, and also for our committee to stay on track and get the dancers fed.
Why did you decide to apply to be NUDM exec, and be on the Food committee?
I decided to apply for exec because I think Dance Marathon is one thing that has the potential to unite this entire campus, and I've felt that way since my freshman year when I first danced.
I was actually never on the food committee before I became co-chair, but I'm passionate about food because I think it's an essential part of making Dance Marathon happen, and keeping the dancers on track. This year, it's been really cool to tie some of our work in with the work we do feeding children in the Chicago area and across the country.
What's one things you would like the dancers in tent to know about your job?
Know that we're so excited every time we send a snack out to them, and we hope that they're enjoying it.
Do you have a tip or secret to share as a food co-chair?
I don't know if all the dancers notice this, but towards the beginning, we try to give them a little more carbs, because it helps their bodies keep going and gives them the energy they need to dance for 30 hours. And the later snacks are a little lighter — we serve more fruits and veggies towards the end.
What's your favorite DM dance move?
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.