Dance Marathon 2013: Block 1 recap

Students dance to the first song, “Kiss You” by One Direction.

Stephanie Haines, Development Editor

Amidst high energy screams, chants and bumping music, more than 1,000 dancers stampeded the tent for Northwestern University Dance Marathon 2013.  This is the first year NUDM has topped 1,000 dancers.

“You are dancing for 30 hours and saving people’s lives,” said Demetri Elias, one of the emcees.

Among the dancers, faculty and beneficiaries from the Danny Did Foundation and the Evanston Community Foundation stood on the outskirts of the tent, observing the mayhem.  The Stantons, Danny’s family and NUDM’s primary beneficiary, took the stage to give the dancers a speech.

“We are super jacked up to be here with you tonight,” said Mike Stanton, Danny’s father and the co-founder of the Danny Did Foundation.  “Tonight and for the next 30 hours we will dance.  And we, Danny’s family, dance with you. We dance with you … to share in this towering experience, fueled by your adrenaline, nourished by your hearts and driven by the soul of Danny’s life.  Let’s dance for Danny.”

Burgwell Howard, assistant vice president for student engagement, said he would be visiting the tent periodically throughout the thirty hours, “to see where people’s energy levels are.”

“This is one of the best days that I have at NU,” Howard said.

The NU men’s basketball team made an appearance and led the dancers in the Harlem Shake. Singer Katharine McPhee congratulated the dancers for their efforts in the first celebrity DM video.

Both experienced and new dancers expressed their excitement throughout the first block, themed “Dance for Danny.”

“I expected more of a high school dance environment,” said Ritij Goel, a McCormick freshman. “This is so much better because everyone embraces it.” 

At the end of the block, DM’s finance committee gave their first periodic fundraising update. As of Sept. 27, 2012, DM had raised $14,511.

— Stephanie Haines