Q&A: Demetri Elias and Chloe Woodhouse, Dance Marathon 2013 emcees

Weinberg juniors Demetri Elias and Chloe Woodhouse will use their energy and passion for the Danny Did Foundation to keep dancers excited as emcees during DM 2013.

Teal Gordon/The Daily Northwestern

Weinberg juniors Demetri Elias and Chloe Woodhouse will use their energy and passion for the Danny Did Foundation to keep dancers excited as emcees during DM 2013.

Laken Howard , Reporter

Dance Marathon named Weinberg juniors Demetri Elias and Chloe Woodhouse its 2013 emcees Sunday. Although the big night (and day, and then night again) is four months away, that doesn’t mean DM excitement isn’t already sweeping campus. Elias and Woodhouse sat down with The Current to talk about their job description (to keep you pumped up for those 30 sleepless-yet-invigorating hours), why they love DM and their secrets to staying awake.

The Current: What should students know about you?

Demetri Elias: I’m a junior here at Northwestern. I took a gap year before coming here, which I spent traveling and doing community service in different places. I worked in an orphanage in India, coached soccer in Ghana, helped build houses with Habitat for Humanity in New Orleans and worked with sea turtles in Greece, so I really like to do community service. I really like to do fun, crazy stuff like DM. I’ve been to La Tomatina, which is a giant tomato fight in Spain and to Thai New Year’s, which is a giant water fight. Dance Marathon really brings my two loves of giving back to the community and doing crazy festival, partying stuff together.

Chloe Woodhouse: I’m also a junior and I have traveled a lot as well. I did a lot of community service in high school. I worked in New Orleans over a summer to help with (Hurricane) Katrina relief. I was living in a dairy farming village in Costa Rica for about a month and doing some community work down there. I think the thing that’s great about Dance Marathon, besides its charity work, is how unbelievably inspiring it is to see people on campus all sharing a common goal. It really brings out the best qualities of Northwestern students.

The Current: What made you decide to apply to be an emcee?

DE: I applied last year and didn’t get it, and then I was on the Dancer Relations committee last year and I really had a great time pumping people up. I had really crazy costumes and I had a lot of fun interacting with the dancers.

CW: Last year I was group head for Willard. It was a really rewarding experience, especially at the end when I was with my whole group and we found out the final total together and we were jumping up and down and crying and hugging each other. I have some theater and public speaking experience, so I knew I could be in front of a large crowd. I feel really passionately about DM and its cause and how it brings the campus together.

The Current: What does this year’s charity (The Danny Did Foundation) mean to you?

CW: The Danny Did Foundation is something that’s very personal to both of us. I worked at the University of Chicago hospital last year with a team of epilepsy researchers, so this is something that really hits home for me.

DE: I had an aunt die of epilepsy and my uncle has epilepsy now. It’s cool to work with Danny Did because it deals with seizure prevention and detection so I’m really excited that I can help out.

The Current: What are some of your favorite memories from previous Dance Marathons?

DE: Being a part of the dancer relations committee was really fun. Everyone on the committee is really exciting and weird and wacky and fun. We had to stand by the tunnel and cheer people on between blocks and I would stand on top of garbage cans and bang on the walls and ceiling and it was just cool to pump people up.

CW: Last year when we were dancing, they were playing “The Circle of Life” and everyone got really into it all of a sudden. There was this one kid who was wearing yellow pants and a yellow hoodie and he got up onstage and everyone just picked him up and held him up a la “The Lion King” when Simba is held up at the opening. Everyone was just so into it and laughing, pretending to be elephants and giraffes, so it was probably one of my favorite memories from Dance Marathon.

The Current: What are your secrets for when you start to get tired during DM?

DE: I’m just gonna be dancing. I don’t get tired.

CW: When certain songs come on I’m like, “Yes! This is my jam,” and I think being up on the stage, we will feed off the energy of the people around us. Throughout the year we’ll be working with the Danny Did Foundation and I think when we’re onstage, thinking about those families whose lives are going to change will be enough to keep us going.