Northwestern Dance Marathon announces emcees for 2012

Cat Zakrzewski

Northwestern students Ned Baker and Ashley Thompson were selected to emcee the 2012 Dance Marathon on Sunday after a week of auditions.

Neither Baker, a Communication senior, nor Thompson, a Communication junior, is new to DM, NU’s 30-hour philanthropy event. Baker participated in the event by dancing as a freshman and was “enthusiastically surprised” to learn he would be returning as an emcee this year.

“Being emcee has been a dream of mine since I walked out of the tent after those first 30 hours,” Baker said in a press release Sunday.

Thompson participated in dancer relations last year, and was responsible for keeping dancers motivated throughout the event.

“I loved it last year,” Thompson said. “I realized being the emcee would be like being a macro-level DR person.”

Throughout the weeklong audition process, Baker and Thompson were confronted with scenarios that they may face at DM, such as encouraging tired dancers. They will prepare by raising awareness throughout the year for the charity’s beneficiaries, The Andrew McDonough B+ (Be Positive) Foundation and the Evanston Community Foundation.

“During the thirty hours in that tent, those beneficiaries become the world to you,” Baker said.

NUDM Executive co-Chair Scott Ritter said DM is confident Baker and Thompson are up to the challenge of keeping the NU student body motivated.

“Ned and Ashley are a magnificently synergetic combination,” Ritter said in the press release. “There is no question that these two are going to lead one of the liveliest, most fun DMs in our history. I’m confident that they will push DM and the dancers to above and beyond where they’ve been before.”

Thompson said the beneficiaries of DM should inspire DM participants who have trouble raising money.

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