Thirty hours of dancing means 30 hours of music for the dancers in Dance Marathon. But there are songs out there that better embody certain blocks than others do. In true high school boyfriend tradition, here’s a mix CD of sorts that takes you on a block-by-block journey through the 30 hours that make up DM.
Block 1: "Don't Stop Me Now" – Queen
Ah, the first block. For these initial three hours, nothing can get in your way of completely owning each and every block ahead of you. You perform your most impressive dance moves for the circle of people that inevitably forms around you, and by the time the block ends, you could swear it has been the best and fastest three hours of your life. "Don't stop me now!" you shout at the Dancer Relations committee members as you strut back into Norris.
Block 2: "Hella Good" – No Doubt
With one block in the bag and nine to go, it's time to channel your inner Gwen Stefani and "keep on dancin'." You're still working some of the same moves from Block 1, however the wild creativity in your dance style is gone, leaving you flailing your arms maybe a little more than is necessary. Your jubilance toward still feeling great after six hours of dancing carries you into your next ten minute break before Block 3 begins.
Block 3: "Hot in Herre" – Nelly
This year, Block 3's theme is "Adult Swim" so it's pretty obvious what to wear – or not wear. Block 3 is when the dance floor heats up, not only in theme and music, but also in temperature. Up to nine hours with hundreds of students packed in one tent will have that effect. So when you're thinking about taking off your clothes (to expose modest swimwear underneath, that is), this is the block to do it.
Block 4: "Go It Alone" – Beck
The sweaty, scantily-clad part of your evening has ended and you realize during the break before Block 4 that all you really want (besides a foot massage and a box of Popsicles) is a trip to the bathroom. But that's easier said than done during DM. Dancer Relations members escort everyone to the bathroom to make sure you don't just fall asleep on the john, and while it's an innocent enough effort to keep dancers dancing, sometimes you just really want to "go it alone" and travel to and from the bathroom at your own discretion. Or maybe that's just me.
With the dawn of a new day comes that same feeling you get when you've pulled an all-nighter to study orgo. Knowing your eyes have essentially been open for almost 24 hours, you can't help but think of your roommate still snoring in bed as you continue dancing. This is a dangerous line of thought, my friends. You try and tell yourself "the end is near," but really "you're gonna do it again" since this block only takes you into the halfway point for DM.
Block 6: "Zombie" – The Cranberries
Breakfast killed you. You grabbed some yogurt, a bagel and an energy bar and sat down to enjoy your food and watch Boomshaka perform, then all you remember is someone shaking you awake for another three hours of dancing. That taste of glorious sleep only left you dead tired, and your "head hangs lowly" as you shuffle about like the undead. But the war between sleep and dancing is an illusion – it's all "in your head," except at this point, that's just about all that's in your head.
Block 7: "Zzyzx Rd." – Stone Sour
As you're "falling asleep and can't see straight" during Block 7, you have philosophical thoughts about the unimportance of the number seven in the scope of 10. You decide that seven is the stupidest number ever, but that doesn't help your cause. By now, you "don't really mind if [you] just fade away" and wake up in bed. Or, you know, on the ground in the corner of the tent. But Dancer Relations won't let that happen – you've seen too many fellow dancers attempt it. Instead, you continue swaying to the music, not even noticing the songs changing and the hours passing.
Block 8: "Stronger" – Britney Spears
After the 10-minute break between Block 7 and Block 8, you feel like a new person. Call it a second wind maybe, but it's probably because you're getting in the home stretch of things. This makes a huge difference. The music is better, your dance moves break out of the six-hour sway that had been going on and overall you're feeling "stronger than yesterday." This is the point when you realize it's time to overcome sleep deprivation (and hunger, if you're like me) and proclaim to the world, "Now it's nothing but my way!"
Block 9: "Lose Control" – Missy Elliot
Feeling the adrenaline rush that promises to propel you through six more hours of dancing, you let loose on the dance floor in a way that makes your Block 1 dance moves look like child's play. What's that song? You don't know. You twerk anyway. The music makes you "lose control." Suddenly there's a light at the end of the tunnel when the young beneficiaries of Danny Did take the stage and express how they want to grow up to be just like all you dancers. If this doesn't "get your back off the wall," nothing can.
You were successful in holding back tears in the presence of the children during Block 9, but Block 10 makes you (and literally everyone around you) weep like no one has ever wept before. The last three hours are a blend of heightened emotions, from complete ecstasy at having made it to the final block of DM, to the wave of joy that comes from the record-setting donation being presented to the beneficiary that will, no doubt, change many lives. You break down and everything is beautiful and everything makes you cry tears of pure happiness, which is kind of like me when I listen to Louis Armstrong's most famous song, thinking to myself "what a wonderful world."