Dance Marathon 2014: Block 3 recap

Paulina Firozi, Editor in Chief

Though dancers started to get lethargic in the early hours of Saturday morning, they were quickly reminded why they had committed to dance for 30 hours.

Katie Penrod, a representative of Team Joseph and Joseph Penrod’s sister, encouraged dancers to keep going early in Block 3.

“I just want to commend all of you on what an incredible job you’ve done this weekend, and that you’ll continue to do,” she said.

The 18-year-old reiterated the theme of “dancing for kids who can’t” and told dancers why it was important to her to be part of the cause, to dance for kids “who would give anything to be in your position right now.”

“Having a brother with Duchenne, I’ve come to appreciate our ability to run, jump, skip, walk, hold someone’s hand, hug your loved ones,” she said. “They can all be taken away from you with four words: Your brother has Duchenne.”

She appealed to dancers with siblings or people in their lives they’d want to protect.

“If anyone were to hurt your younger siblings, you would probably be really angry,” she said. “Duchenne has hurt my little brother and I’m mad. So I’m asking you tonight to fight along side me.”

Marissa Penrod, Team Joseph founder and Joseph’s mother, told The Daily she appreciated having Katie Penrod help spread the organization’s story and goals in the fight against Duchenne.

She said her daughter had gone to Washington, D.C. with her to do advocacy work on Capitol Hill.

“I always try to teach my kids that with great burdens come great blessings and that heartache and happiness can coexist,” Marissa Penrod said. “Katie is a great example of that.”

After Katie Penrod’s speech, the first lockdown block continued with songs such as “Eye of the Tiger” and “Animal” to fit the “‘Animal’ House” theme. Dancers wore a variety of costumes from ladybug wings to leopard print vests.

Block 3’s celebrity video, filmed by “Parks and Recreation’s” Jim O’Heir, touched on the impact dancers make not just with funds but with dedication to an underrepresented issue.

“Duchenne is a terribly underfunded medical challenge, but I’m hearing that the scientific progress is super encouraging,” O’Heir said. “With the funds you’ve generated, the research will be accelerated and we’ll be closer to certainly treatment and hopefully hopefully a cure.”

As Dance Marathon inches closer to the big reveal, the finance committee announced that as of the day before dancer registration, Oct. 20, the organization had raised $26,534.

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