Giving’ theme drives dancers

Michelle Ma and Michelle Ma

By the end of Wednesday night’s mandatory dancer meeting, Dance Marathon 2005 participants already were practicing their moves to this year’s theme song, “You Get What You Give” by the New Radicals, filling the McCormick Auditorium in Norris University Center to almost full capacity.

“There was a great turnout,” said DM Executive Co-chairwoman Melissa Borschnack, an Education senior. “This year’s meeting (had) a lot more participation and energy.”

Dancers met representatives from DM’s two beneficiaries and Executive Board members, learned the correct way to “can,” a popular fund-raising method and interacted with newly selected emcees, Communication freshman Adam Welton and Medill freshman Todd Johnson.

Dancers must raise at least $750 with one partner to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Evanston Community Foundation.

Registration was fast-paced, with almost all of the 500 spots taken by the first day, said Dancer Relations Co-chairwoman Jenni Maple, a Communication junior. The last 30 spots filled within a few days after registration began, Maple said.

At the end of the meeting, dancers received bibs, cans and a list of DM canning dates and locations — in Skokie, Wilmette, Deerfield and Glenview. Maple encouraged dancers to take advantage of their first opportunity to can outside Ryan Field at Saturday’s Homecoming football game.

“(The Dancer Relations committee) tries to facilitate canning,” she said. “We are trying to get canning shuttles to take people to different locations.”

Zach Freeman, a Weinberg freshman, is planning to can. Freeman, along with his partner Alissa Piccione, an Education freshman, are dancing for Allison Hall.

But some dancers already are considering alternative fund-raising activities such as letter-writing and bake sales.

“DM is a big presence in Willard (Residential College),” said Caroline Ainsworth, an Education freshman.

Along with canning and writing donation letters, Ainsworth said she might participate in some of Willard’s fund raising events.

Kevin Smith, a representative from DM’s primary beneficiary, and his daughter, who has Type I diabetes, spoke to dancers during the meeting. Familiarizing dancers with the beneficiaries before the annual 30-hour dance will be emphasized more than last year, said Executive Co-chairwoman Elaine Kanak, a Weinberg senior.

Dancers will be required to attend an all-dancer meeting in January and a kick-off event in early February, and tonight, a “Thriller” themed float will represent DM during the Homecoming parade, organizers added. The 30-hour dance will be held March 4-6, 2005, in the Louis Room at Norris.

Reach Michelle Ma at [email protected].