Local high school students to participate in Northwestern Dance Marathon

Students dance during the eighth block of Dance Marathon 2013. Some Evanston Township High School students will participate in DM this year in a new collaboration between the school and Northwestern.

Daily file photo by Rafi Letzter

Students dance during the eighth block of Dance Marathon 2013. Some Evanston Township High School students will participate in DM this year in a new collaboration between the school and Northwestern.

Julian Gerez, Reporter

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Though more than 1,500 Northwestern students registered for the 40th Dance Marathon, a younger group of students will get the chance to leave a mark as well.

This year, Evanston Township High School students will be allowed to fundraise and be a part of Northwestern’s DM. If they raise $30, they will be able to dance in the tent for an hour. Participating ETHS students will dance from 3 to 4 p.m. during Block 7 on Saturday. 

“They tried to do a partnership last year,” Weinberg senior Samir Datta, DM’s Northwestern and community relations co-chair, said. “But it may have been planned a little bit too late to get something effective out of it.” 

Last year was not the first time ETHS tried to get involved in dancing. In November 2011, ETHS actually held its own DM, which was a student-run event that lasted for six hours in the high school’s gyms. Students were required to raise a minimum of $40 in order to participate, with proceeds benefiting three organizations: the Evanston Community Foundation, Special Olympics and Be Positive.

Niles Township High Schools students also have their own DM and executive board, with around 400 dancers.  

Weinberg senior Kari Fleischauer, the other Northwestern and community relations co-chair, said this year, the team really wanted high school students to get involved in the DM experience. 

“We want them to be able to represent Northwestern and the DM experience and really just build that partnership within our community,” Fleischauer said.

Dancing is not the only way in which the high school students will be able to help the cause.

“We’ve reached out to them in a couple of different ways,” Fleischauer said. “One of the big things we’re going to do is have some of their (ETHS) cross country runners be a part of our 5K.”

Datta said the average high school student’s view of DM makes it easy to pique the students’ interest.

“It is a spectacle when you go in the tent for an hour and you see all the lights and the dancing,” he said. “It’s crazy, and we can easily get them excited about that.”

It wasn’t just the high school students, however, who were excited to work with one of the world’s largest student-run philanthropies. Fleischauer said high school officials were also very helpful.

“They seemed super receptive,” she said. “They definitely are excited to work with the University and the area. A lot of them have ties to the University either through family or other friends.”

But fundraising is not the only goal for DM. Datta said awareness is also an important part of the event because even those who won’t be participating will make a difference in future years. The high school students were sympathetic to that as well.

“It was really cool to see them get excited about Team Joseph,” Fleischauer added. “Just as excited as we are.”

Email: juliangerez2017@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @Jgerez_news

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