Dance Marathon 2013: Block 3 recap

Paulina Firozi, Managing Editor

Behind closed doors, things began to change during Northwestern Dance Marathon’s first lockdown block, aptly named “Adult Swim” after Cartoon Network’s late-night programming.

Wearing an inner tube and a shark hoodie, emcee Chloe Woodhouse welcomed dancers — dressed in bathing suits, swim trunks and fish costumes — back into the tent.

“This is the first lockdown block so we’re going to be playing the dirtiest music possible,” the Weinberg junior said.

Demetri Elias, the other emcee, reiterated his excitement for the block and said he wanted to see “dirty, dirty dance moves.”

But as they began their seventh hour of dancing, DM participants didn’t seem to have enough energy for dirty dancing. Dancers were slowly losing their luster, even while 50 Cent’s “Candy Shop” blared on the speakers.

But the mood in the tent picked up when half an hour into the first block, co-founder of the Danny Did Foundation, Tom Stanton took the stage.

“It really is incredible to see a thousand Wildcats in front of us,” Stanton, Danny’s uncle, said. “I can honestly say your love and support has changed our foundation forever.”

Stanton also said DM’s efforts have reached the attention of government officials in Illinois, including Gov. Pat Quinn. He read a proclamation from Quinn, which included a declaration that March 8-10, 2013 had officially been named “Northwestern University Dance Marathon Weekend.”

“Each of you are helping to make a difference in lives of people who face epilepsy across the U.S. and around the world,” Stanton said.

He urged the dancers to “keep Danny in your heart and especially in your feet.”

Shortly after, DM’s public relations went on stage, led by committee co-chairs Medill senior Katie Prentiss and SESP junior David Harris. Later, environmental activist Erin Brockovich, who came to campus in November, was featured as Block 3’s celebrity video.

“No words can describe the feeling you get in this tent.” Harris said.

Inspirational words, and inspirational music further lifted morale, as Queen songs “Somebody to Love” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” enticed small groups to sway and sing along.

Community Relations co-chair Kate Mattax decided against a fish costume, instead wearing a sash and tiara to celebrate her 23rd birthday in the midst of marathon madness.

“It’s the best birthday I could have asked for,” the SESP senior said. “To spend it with my best friends, an exec board that has worked so hard, and 1,000 other people who have been dedicated, selfless and committed to Dance Marathon. I couldn’t ask for more.”

At the end of the block, DM’s Finance committee announced that by Oct. 22, 2012, they had raised $91,659. Dancers exited to swap their aquatic gear for jean shorts in time for Block 4, “Jhortz and Wizards.”

— Paulina Firozi