Dance Marathon began registering dancers for its 2009 event on Monday in the “symbolic kick-off” to a year in which the group wants to ramp up interaction between dancers and their charity beneficiaries, a DM official said.
Public Relations Co-Chair Katie Ressmeyer, a Medill senior, said the group wouldn’t get a full sense of how many people signed up for the 30-hour dance until after registration ends tomorrow. About 750 people signed up last year – a DM record — prompting the group to put up a tent to accommodate all the dancers.
Officials plan to give dancers more of a chance this year to meet members of this year’s main beneficiary, Project Kindle, before the actual event on March 6. When committee members and dancers first meet on Oct. 28, they will be introduced to some representatives from Project Kindle, including some of the kids who have participated in its summer camps, so that dancers can get a “first-hand account of what the organization is doing,” Ressmeyer said.
Project Kindle holds free camps for children affected in some way by HIV/AIDS. Last year, Dance Marathon raised nearly $660,000 for Bear Necessities and the Evanston Community Foundation, which will be DM’s secondary beneficiary for the twelfth consecutive year.
Ressmeyer said that DM has focused on reaching out to freshmen who might not have heard of the event, and to student groups such as dorms, religious organizations, and fraternities and sororities. The group’s executive board has held an information session and gone “dorm storming” to extend the event’s reach.
Registration will run again from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday. Students must register in groups of two, at a cost of $80 per couple. Before the dance begins, each couple must raise $800.