Dance Marathon 2014: Block 7 recap

Rebecca Savransky, Assistant Campus Editor

Students crowded to the center of the tent as Darude’s “Sandstorm” blasted from the speakers, rejuvenating the energy in the room.

Weinberg senior Will Ritter said “Sandstorm” was one of the most energizing portions of the block. Ritter said he has been at the center of the dance floor during “Sandstorm” this year and in years past.

“It was a little less wild than last year which a good thing I think,” Ritter said. “It was a little more controlled this year.”

Julie Van Houten, a member of Team Joseph, spoke to students about the importance of their contributions to the life of her son, who suffers with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and to many other children with the disease she knows who have hopes and dreams for the future. Van Houten talked about her 14-year-old son, Kyle, who was diagnosed at age seven, and his love for sports, especially baseball. Although Kyle doesn’t have the physical capabilities to play baseball, he’s been able to participate on his high school’s bowling team.

“I want you to know that my Kyle is worth it and Evan and Noah and Jake are worth it,” Van Houten said. “They’re all worth it, and of course you guys met Joseph. Joseph is worth it. So thank you for being here and thank you for dancing.”

ESPN reporters also created a tribute video to encourage and support dancers. The clip included John Clayton, J. A. Adande (Medill ‘92) and Mike Wilbon (Medill ‘80).

“You have to be dead tired by now, I know you are but keep going, this is important,” Wilbon said in the clip. “It’s really important to fight Duchenne, so in the name of Team Joseph, keep going, keep dancing.”

Members of the NU football team also put on a performance for the dancers, and football coach Pat Fitzgerald gave the students some motivation with a short speech.

“We didn’t come here to talk,” Fitzgerald said. “We came here to dance.”

At the end of the block, the finance committee announced the team had raised $243,694 as of Jan. 22, the half-money deadline.

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