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Block 3: Middle School Dance

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Sophie Mann/Daily Senior Staffer

Beyoncé’s “Crazy in Love” may have brought the tent to its feet toward the beginning of Block 3, but the three hours ended on a calmer note with Dance Marathon’s first ever light show and spoken word performance.

With around 30 minutes to go in DM’s first lockdown block, the emcees made a rare announcement: Dancers were allowed to sit down. A calming mixture of peaceful music and moving lights soon filled the tent, and as dancers relaxed and stretched their legs, Communication sophomore Pauline Moll took the stage.

“A tent full of dancing Northwestern undergrads cannot feed every belly in the world,” Moll said. “But a tent full of dancing Northwestern undergrads can help feed thousands of children so that they might spend their days feeling curious instead of hungry.”

Moll, who first tried spoken word poetry during the summer after she graduated high school, said to The Daily she was proud of the DM community and hoped her performance was “empowering.”

Productions co-chair Kaitlin Jennrich said the lower-energy performance was meant to provide a space for dancers to unwind and recognize the impact they are having by participating in DM.

“We wanted … to give dancers some time to calm down and take a minute to reflect on the wider implications of what they’re doing,” the Communication junior said. “We thought a great way to do that would be to actually bring the whole mood of the tent down and focus it on one point: on the light show.”

Dancers took advantage of the respite from standing and said Moll’s performance was an important reminder of why they decided to dance.

Weinberg sophomore Sebastian Garcia said the performance was powerful because it helped unite the dancers in pursuit of a common goal.

“It’s really easy to get caught up in the spectacle of dancing, but at the end of the day it’s all for the kids,” Garcia said. “It helped us take a step back and objectively look at that.”

Block 3 also featured a celebrity video starring Internet sensation Matt Bellassai (Medill ‘12) who styled a comedic message after his signature “Whine About It” series.

In addition to Bellassai’s light-hearted words, Rich Stephens, vice chairman of the Blessings in a Backpack board of directors, applauded and thanked dancers for their generosity and dedication to the cause.

“Your efforts, what they’re doing, is helping them sleep,” Stephens said. “It’s helping them feel loved. It’s helping them feel more secured, which — guess what — (might make them) become the next possible students to come here to this wonderful university.”

For the rest of our DM coverage, click here.

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