Dance Marathon breaks registration records

Meghan Morris, Reporter

More than 1,400 students signed up for Northwestern University Dance Marathon, besting last year’s registration number by about 100 people, the organization announced Saturday.

This year’s NUDM beneficiaries are the Evanston Community Foundation and the Danny Did Foundation, an epilepsy-awareness charity started in Chicago. The group promotes awareness of sudden death related to epilepsy and advocates for the use of epilepsy-predicting devices.

NUDM public relations co-chair Katie Prentiss, a Medill senior, said about 1,300 students registered to dance last year. The dancers and committee members raised a total of $1,107,670 for NUDM 2012.

“The first actual DM was for epilepsy awareness,” said Prentiss, a former Daily staffer. “Danny Did is also a Chicago-based organization, which is great for DM as a year-long tradition, rather than just one weekend.”

Medill freshman Adam Mintzer signed up for his first DM with the Willard Residential College team.

“I heard that it was one of those things that people most regretted not doing,” he said. “I don’t like missing out.”

The 39-year-old group also has 336 committee members, the most in its history. Prentiss said the committees were restructured and expanded this year to better serve dancers. In addition to larger committees, DM is working with the Office of Sustainability and its corporate sponsors to focus on a new environmental initiative, which will be announced later this week, she said.

“Unlike other schools, this is an entirely student-run organization,” Prentiss said. “What comes out of working together on a large scale is amazing.”

Students who missed Friday’s registration deadline can still sign up by emailing the DM finance committee. The registration fee for late sign-ups is $55, $10 more than the regular registration.

“Especially if you’re a new student at Northwestern, you hear about all these organizations, and it’s a little overwhelming,” Prentiss said. “It’s a big undertaking to dance for 30 hours, and you should think about if you’re up to it.”

— Meghan Morris